Tuesday, March 4, 2014

People are judgy

People are judgy.

They're judgy about other people's clothes, their opinions, their jobs, and their diets.

I don't know if you've noticed, but people are the most judgy about what other people eat.

As a former diet-a-holic, I get it. It's human nature to get yourself psyched up about your new eating plan. I mean, the process lends itself to it -- you decide you want to lose weight/get fit/look like a supermodel, you do your research (or watch commercials), and you pick your diet of choice.

Then, once you've picked, it's time to throw yourself in 110%. You read the books, you buy the food, you toss out everything with sugar or calories or carbs from your fridge. And then, you feel want to share the new plan that you've found with everyone you know.

I love when people get excited about making healthy changes to their lives. Letting other people in can be inspirational to them and serve as accountability for you -- if everyone knows you're working to improve your health or fitness, they'll be able to share in your excitement, which will help you stick to your plan. Plus, it's always awesome to share articles, research, and results. Teaching others and sharing articles of substance isn't something we do often enough.

But what about when all-or-nothing approach leads us to cast judgement on the eating choices of others? Whether it's on social media, in a friend group, behind the backs of strangers, or just in our own heads, why do we so often cross that line between teaching and judgement?

You know, the "she's not actually eating Paleo because she eats Greek yogurt," or "how can you call yourself a vegetarian when you eat fish."

I'm going to drop some truth here: There is not one "correct" diet. 

There are expert opinions both for and against nearly every existing diet plan or diet choice. You could literally justify nearly every nutrition plan you could create with research from "the experts." And, just because you've been highly successful eating Paleo or following Weight Watchers or cutting out all meat does not mean everyone else will be too.

Each of us has unique nutritional needs and unique experiences that shape our ability to respond positively to any sort of diet change.

Since it's National Nutrition Month, I'm going to challenge you to focus on your own nutrition and discover your perfect diet (as in, what you eat on a daily basis). Be open-minded, and try out an eating style you've never tried before. Learn from others. Test different eating plans, listen to your body, and figure out what makes you function at the highest possible level for your needs.

And take off your judgy pants when it comes to what other people eat -- unless they are living on Oreos and Reeses. I'd challenge them to find expert research on that one.

It's National Nutrition Month, so it seems as good a time as any to kick off a series about food: what we eat, how we eat it, why we diet, and what's really the best food for you. This post is the first in this series.

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