Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stick To It Like Glue

Sometimes it's hard to explain. I have certain lifestyle choices that limit what food I can and can not eat. Those of you who have ever gone through any sort of diet or lifestyle change know what I'm talking about. It can be difficult to stick to your choices around other people. If it's people who already have their own opinions or just don't understand why, you feel like you always have to explain yourself.

And, well, you kind of have to. But how do you explain your lifestyle choices to other people? How do you explain your diet? Your reasons for doin' whatcha do?

It's probably easiest when you have some sort of health issue. I have to do this because of my health. Because of arthritis. A little tip is to tell people you're allergic. Silly, I know, but it works best at restaurants. Though after the Elimination Diet I can easily say I have reactions to dairy, I can also say from study that all humans have reactions to a number of other foods. So there you go, one excuse. That's on the house.

Beyond allergies, it's a little tricky, and it depends on who you're talking to. For example, most of my close relatives and friends know I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. They also are people I feel comfortable getting into the details of my life, therefore it's easier to explain the "whys" of my food choices.

I can get into more detail beyond "it's my health". I can talk about the fancy, interesting things I've learned, such as how the digestive system works and how grains react when your body attempts to digest them. I can talk about omega3/6 and how certain foods cause inflammation. I can talk about how important it is for me to stick to my diet plan so that I can avoid extra pain and swelling.

And I can hope that those I talk to respect my decisions to do so.

Other than that, I have to hope that the people outside that trusted circle can give the same respect.

What is it with people not respecting others' personal choices? Can I continue an entirely separate blog on that topic? Well I could, but I'll just stick to this one.

But seriously, some people have a very hard time understanding why others make the food choices they do. It's beyond just, if you like it, eat it. Hell, there are a lot of foods I like. . . . I LOVE . . . but I know what they do to me and I know that I don't want to deal with the end result. It's more than I don't want to eat that because it'll make me fat. What it's about is . . . I don't eat that because I want to be as healthy as I can possibly be. And that's the truth.

So here's my advice to all of the"healthy" enough people who don't give a hoot what food they put in their bodies . . . let it go. If someone tells you that they don't eat something, or they don't want something, respect their decision and work with 'em. If you want to get into the conversation of why, ask them why. Most of them will be more than happy to explain it to you. I know I would be.

And those of us who follow our self-imposed guidelines . . . try to not be pushy with your views, and help other people along. If you're meeting someone for lunch, choose a restaurant that will have something for you to eat. If you're headed to a dinner party, offer to bring a dish that you know will work for you. Don't expect others to completely understand your new views, but also don't put up with people disrespecting them.

Oh yeah, and if you need a break, stay tuned for some non-paleo, non-diet cream pie coming your way soon.


  1. Wish we could apply that philosophy to ra in general...would that curtail those unwanted comments by others? Maybe it is just human nature..I am not at all sure but I do like your philosophy on the matter.

  2. I agree with you 100% Deb. I feel there is an unfortunate lack of respect for others' health. We often feel bad for someone's disability but we rarely care to know how they live. I find the most interesting part in people is how they battle their issues in order to stay positive.

    Food is my most recent endeavor so that's why I write about it, because it's one way I can be in control of my health. But I think the key is to also be aware of people who ignore our health issues and just carry on our own way.

  3. Although most people we have met are very understanding of the paleo diet my 13 year old daughter and I follow, there are always a few. My daughter and I always laugh because when she goes to a friend's house for a sleepover, we pack lots of snacks for her that she can also share. However, the mom continues to offer her food she can't eat (she follows diet for health reasons too). She will tell her she can't eat the lasagna and then five minutes later offer a cookie saying, "Surely a cookie won't hurt." I think for a lot of people they don't really believe diet can make you feel better and feel you are being picky or even disrespectful by not eating their food.

  4. Cathy - Yes! It's that feeling you get from some people like you are insulting them by not eating their food! It is so frustrating! There are times when I'm thinking, "I would love nothing more than to eat your entire plate of brownies, but I just CAN'T!" It has nothing to do with the person with the food . . . unless it becomes a problem.

    Aye! Maybe I'm too tough on this one. But when it comes to my (and my family's) health, I'm pretty dang serious.


I love your feedback! Leave a comment and let me know what you think, and feel free to send me an email any time.