I hear it all the time: “Are you only going to order a salad?”, “We can’t go to that place, I am sure he/she doesn’t eat that kind of food”, “Why don’t you drink anymore? You are such a bore!”, “I don’t crave meat anymore, but sometimes I eat it to avoid explaining myself”, “I want to make healthier choices, but I feel uncomfortable asking the waiter so many questions”, “It’s the weekend, can’t you make an exception and break your diet?”. Why is it that in this day and age, with all the tools and information that is available out there, we are still getting shamed for trying to take care of ourselves and become our healthiest version?
I know that healthy eaters can sometimes become very neurotic and that vegetarians and vegans have a reputation for scattering their food choices and the benefits of their lifestyle to the four winds, even when no one is asking. The same goes for meat eaters trying to defend the reasons why they consume animal products and how animals were “put on this earth for our nourishment,” disregarding all the environmental issues associated with the meat industry unsustainable practices. I guess we are just people being people, defending our opinions and points of view and even sometimes making excuses for not being brave enough to take control of our health.
But, is that reason enough to shame our choices?
We are all unique and have different physiological needs when it comes to choosing a “diet” or way of eating that agrees with our age, gender, physical activity, stage of our life: developing years, pregnant or breastfeeding, have reached menopause or even recovering from an illness. So it sounds ridiculous to me to think that there is a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
I don’t believe in restricting diets, it’s too hard to make them last a lifetime. There is a place and time for them, for specific needs or attain short term goals (like detoxing, breaking addictions, overcoming food intolerances, healing the digestive tract, reversing diabetes, kickstarting weight-loss), but not for everyone all the time. I believe we should enjoy whole, good quality food, give our bodies what it needs to be nourished, energized and in balance. If you are in good health, you can even indulge once in a while, and your body will be able to take it because it’s working in optimal conditions. I also believe there is no room in our food supply for “frankenfoods” full of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, artificial additives, coloring and preservatives. Those guys are wreaking havoc on our body and making us sick and fat. We must learn to choose and distinguish the good from the bad and not just eat mindlessly, trusting that the food industry has our best interest at heart.
We have the right to choose for ourselves, shame-free, no opinions needed (unless it is sound medical or nutritional advice, or a comment made in a loving way if you are concerned about their wellbeing). At the end of the day, we don’t know what a person might be going through or what health conditions they might be facing. If the dietary restrictions are part of a medical treatment, maybe they are battling with depression, an eating disorder, addictive behavior, developmental issues, autoimmune disease or just trying to look gorgeous in that wedding dress or get that bikini body they’ve always wanted. Who are we to judge?
What is true is that everyone following a certain diet is doing whatever they think is best to attain wellness, health and happiness.
It is not about being true to a label, commiting yourself to a rigid dietary theory or hopping onto the next fad diet, it is about reconnecting with your body and its innate wisdom, so you can remember how to nourish yourself in a way that promotes health, vitality and a sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and the planet.
If we are healthy, full of energy and thriving, our bodies become the vessel to go out there and chase our dreams and do what we love. Never, and I mean NEVER give that up in an effort to please another person’s opinion.
Let’s do it!
Let’s start by not shaming ourselves when we make poor choices and work towards keeping the promises that we make to ourselves. This is a difficult process and shame makes it even worse. Habits are hard to break, let’s try to show some support and compassion instead. Only then can we be consistent and replicate this behavior towards the people around us. There is no such thing as failure in this journey, every day and every meal reveals a new opportunity to bet on your health and choose wisely.
If you need help finding the right way of eating for your unique self, I am here for you, judgment-free!!!
Would you like to learn more about how you can thrive taking simple steps toward a healthier lifestyle guided by my personalized support? Are you ready to invest in yourself and your health and wellness? Contact me for a free initial consultation!