Social Injustices of Eating Healthy
Feeling alone and isolated is a far cry from what you expect when you see fit and healthy individuals. Unfortunately, this is a more common problem that is increasing in our culture. So much of our social engagement revolves around grabbing a drink or grabbing something to eat. Well, in case you haven’t noticed- it’s really hard to eat healthily AND keep up with your social life.
Let me explain. If you are counting your macros and go out to grab a bite with a friend, how are you going to measure something you didn’t cook or weigh?
Same for Paleo- would you eat a pizza? No! Our ancestors didn’t eat dough or highly refined meat products. Okay, well how about Keto? How will you know the exact fat amount that is used in your plate of eggs, bacon, and avocado?
You have to measure, weigh, and prepare food in a certain fashion so you can accurately count and track the numbers as it works for your individual needs. I am not ignorant- you can certainly ‘eyeball’ or ‘guesstimate’ what you ate, but it is still a guess at best.
Don’t get me wrong, I have succumbed and gone out with friends and after I place my order with specific instructions to the waiter, I feel a million eyes burning a hole in my soul because I was one of ‘those guys’ who insist my food be prepared a certain way otherwise I just won’t eat it.
This is true for people with food sensitivities or allergies.
Let’s say you have an allergy to dairy. You go out with your friends and order a turkey sandwich and leave off the cheese. It seems simple enough right?!
Much to my own personal surprise, some bread contains milk and dairy products. Additionally, the turkey may also contain milk. You are scratching your head and saying ‘no way!’
Well, it is sad but true. This goes to show that you really don’t know what you are consuming when you eat out!
Acting like ‘that guy,’ getting frustrated that you can’t measure your macros appropriately, having to go through great lengths to avoid your food allergies and the anguish that accompanies all these feelings lead a person to give up.
They will either stop eating healthy so they can feel accepted by their friends and go out to social gatherings OR continue to eat healthily and eventually lose contact with friends because your friends don’t understand or appreciate your life choices because it’s not the ‘norm.’
Before I go any further, you can already see how social isolation and depression can develop and eventually consume an individual for not conforming to societal norms.
FUCK SOCIETAL NORMS.
Much like you, there is a reason I decided to go down this route. There is a reason I don’t feel good when I eat out all the time. There is a reason we are trying to take control of our lives and enhance our health.
So why let society get us down and dictate how to live our lives?
Forge our own path and give the middle finger to the idea that you must have alcohol or food to have any social engagement with your friends and family.
What would happen if they asked you if you want to grab a bite and you counter with, “How about we go check out this new bike trail a few mins from my house?” Would they be uncomfortable with the situation and say, “Well, I haven’t ridden a bike in years” or “It’s too hot out” or a million other excuses they can think of?
How is it socially acceptable to give them the benefit of the doubt that they haven’t ridden a bike in years, but when you go out to grab a bite and have dietary restrictions you are looked upon as a clown?
Do you see the double standard and hypocritical nature that our society has pounded into our brain?
This is ludicrous! How and why did this happen?
Here is yet another example of how ridiculous our societal adaptations have become. I am on a very restricted diet due to my digestive issues and have to prepare every single meal I consume or I will suffer the ramifications in a very shitty way. I also prefer to not eat processed foods (which 99% percent of American’s consume) that are loaded with hidden chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
I get asked many times from friends and family, “Are you eating AGAIN?”
Let’s think about this notion.
Can I go up to an obese person and ask them if they are eating AGAIN? Or a person suffering from bulimia and you ask them that question? In what way, shape, or form does that mean it’s okay to say that to someone??
Better yet, how is it okay to give someone a hard time that is trying to better themselves about eating healthy and preparing their own meals?
Some individuals take their health seriously and would LOVE it if family, friends, and coworkers would be more understanding of their lifestyle decisions to better themselves. I get pressure all the time due to my preferences with eating meals because of the negative side effects I experience.
Additionally, I tend to avoid onions, garlic, dairy, and gluten. Have you looked at the back of a nutritional label lately? Those 4 simple things are literally in EVERYTHING!! From shampoos to candy! Yes, many shampoos and lotions contain gluten.
Needless to say, I can get very anxious, high strung and stressed out about meal times. So much so that I try and make my food in a secret fashion so I wouldn’t have to hear the constant questioning or eyes penetrating right through me with disapproval from others.
What a joke! Why do I have to feel like that and conform to the pressures that society puts on me for trying to live a healthier life??!!
I don’t want to be made out to be a freak on display for everyone to laugh at just because I am more educated about this topic and understand the negative effects poor dietary choices have on my body!
Have you noticed that every single person who questions your “abnormal” dietary habits are generally obese, have health issues of their own or complain about being overweight or feeling tired all the time?
Yet, I continue to not give in to pressure, eat my healthy “weird” food, and still look and feel great.
Everything is perspective. You CHOOSE your path and the actions you take. Yes, there can be outside noise that tries to steer you one way or the other, but it ultimately comes down to YOUR choice. You choose your actions. What are you going to choose? How society dictates your life, or how YOU choose to live your life?
The choice seems pretty easy to me…