I am very conscious of health and living a healthy balanced lifestyle. I also have a very sensitive system. My body reacts very strongly to anything that I put in it. I mean this in a very broad sense and not only pertaining to foods. Anything from Tylenol PM to peanut butter can cause me to somewhere on the scale of ‘meh’ to ‘extremely yucky.’
It is only in the past year or so that I decided enough is enough and really started zeroing in on what foods would to eat that would make me feel awesome. I avoid Gluten, Soy, and Dairy. I am also sensitive to nuts, beans, and cruciferous vegetables in large quantities. Over the years, I have simply found that avoiding certain foods and making healthy choices give me more energy, more focus, and just a better quality of life.
So what foods do I eat? Literally everything I can that does not fall into these categories. I am not picky whatsoever, I pretty much love all foods (except asparagus).
Because of my health-conscious self, my food restrictions do not bother me too much as dairy, soy and gluten are not really staples in fresh home cooked meals (with the exception of soy).
Why do I frequently feel self-conscious about the way I eat?
I find myself feeling self-conscious in many situations because of my diet. There is nothing I hate more than explaining why I avoid certain foods or why I make healthy choices. Very frequently people will think I avoid certain foods and make healthier choices as an excuse to lose weight. This DRIVES ME CRAZY.
It is so hard explaining to people that making a healthy choices and dieting are two completely different things. Believe it or not, I really take offense to people assuming I am always trying to lose weight; I’m actually totally fine with the way I look, thank you very much! Not only that, but the same people will go on to say that I need to eat more, or ask me why I eat so healthy since I’m already in great shape. (And so begs the never ending rhetoric of why people who are in great shape eat healthy? Chicken or the egg? If you’re sensing sarcasm you should be).
I do admit that when I try to look at the situation with an outside perspective, trying to avoid so many different food groups and simultaneously making other healthy food choices does look like a diet geared towards weight loss.
It is still frustrating. I am not trying to lose weight, I just want to feel great, have abundant energy, and live a healthy lifestyle. Why do I have to take so much **** about it almost on a daily basis?
I have come to think of this as Health Food Shaming.
The gluten-free fad kicked in about 7 years ago, and since then I have seen two ends of the gluten-free spectrum. Those who think of gluten as the devil, and those who think a gluten-free lifestyle is just an excuse to cut carbs and calories for weight loss.
Let’s not forget that Celiac is also a serious disease that
many suffer from and have suffered from long before this
Gluten-Free thing happened.
For me, I didn’t really know what gluten was until it became a topic of conversation. After eliminating gluten from my diet I went from getting sick about 2-3 times a year to…well I don’t really get sick anymore.
Beyond the actual sensitivities, my eating habits incorporate lots of lean proteins, fresh veggies, and healthy fats. It is amazing to me that something that I have worked hard on for many years that gives me energy and a sense of achievement also causes me social discomfort.
I often feel myself retreating into the glass orb my audience clearly thinks I should be living in when I explain my diet choices.
I believe that a healthy lifestyle is so essential in our society today, especially when there are so many unhealthy influences surrounding us. At the same time, those who do manage to ignore these influences and enjoy healthy living must deal with constant scrutiny by those who have yet to find a healthy balance.
Am I alone? Do you find it awkward to make healthy choices in public where so many others do not? Do you feel bombarded by your less-healthy friends?