Feelings about food are tricky and complicated. Most of us have a serious love/hate relationship with food and its effect on our bodies. Whatever your thing, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, fat-free, keto, paleo, or whatever, what you eat is your business and no one else’s.
Whatever your reason for eating “differently,” whether for a just a little while or a complete lifestyle change, if you are a healthy, fully functioning adult, your diet is no one’s business but your own.
This is kind of a sore subject for me, as a vegetarian/borderline vegan, I’m used to getting quizzed about my food choices. As someone who likes to eat, I’m also used to people saying things like “are you going to eat all that?” and alternatively “what’s wrong? You usually eat more.”
Why Your Diet Is YOUR Business
First, what you eat is your business and no one else’s. That’s worth repeating. What you eat is your business and no one else’s. I’ll confess. Sometimes, I eat cheese or eggs, even though I am trying to eat close to vegan. Or occasionally, I indulge in a little ice cream, my favorite guilty pleasure. And, sometimes, I feel the need to hide it or explain it.
But, in truth, we don’t owe anyone an explanation or information about what we eat.
It’s taken work, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m (mostly) okay with my food choices. Sometimes I do indulge, and sometimes I stick to my meal plan. And if someone else questions my judgment, that’s their problem.
What People Say and Think Is Their Business
I get it. It’s hard not to let people’s opinions of you get to you. And whether it’s your food, clothes, hairstyle, car, whatever, someone is bound to have an opinion about it. And, sometimes, they are not shy about telling you. But, when we hear those comments, we have the power to disregard them if we wish. Usually, whatever is said is more about the person who said it than it is about you.
Of course, putting this in practice is the difficult part. And, to be honest, sometimes I slip up. I don’t mean in my eating, although, yes, I slip up there sometimes. I mean, in how I let people’s comments get to me or feel like I have to justify my eating habits.
What You Eat IS Your Business
As adults, we all know pretty much what we should be eating and what we shouldn’t. And if we want to over-indulge on ice cream, pizza, potato chips, or anything else, that’s on us. And the opposite of that is also true. If you don’t want to eat something–meat, bread, pasta, whatever, then don’t.
Keep in mind that when people make comments about your food choices, it’s often about them, not you.
When everyone is indulging in doughnuts, and you don’t, they often try to convince you to indulge because they feel guilty that they are. Weirdly, the same is sometimes true of people eating meat around me. I don’t judge them for what they choose to eat, but I suspect that when they make those comments, they are judging themselves.
We all want to feel accepted, feel a sense of connection and validation, and be understood by others. It’s normal, and it’s healthy. It only becomes a problem when we internalize the things people say. Most of the time, these comments are just someone’s opinion. They don’t have to be yours. So, go forth and practice your healthy diet, slip up on occasion, and keep moving forward. Practice makes perfect, or at least improvement, in all things.