The Stigma of Being Healthy

It’s been 17 days since the competition.  I was fearful of gaining back more than 10lbs within a few days of being off the competition diet, but much to my surprise, I’m only up 3lbs.

I took two weeks off completely from dieting.  I ate when I was hungry, I stopped when I was full.  Once in a while I did indulge and kept eating long after I was definitely full and got that “stuffed” feeling.  Luckily, because I never had anything all that “bad” in the cupboards anyways but I did have an out of control mentality for a few days.  Without someone guiding me on what to do, I felt a little lost.

But it was a freeing experience to not be measuring or weighing anything.

Saturday I got a plan from a new coach, Erik, whom I have invested 12 weeks of coaching.  I’m familiar with LOSING fat but not gaining muscle, I admit.  This is definitely not my forte.  So I was quite relieved to get his email Saturday morning with a workout program and a very detailed food plan.

Back to being held accountable again!   I needed it.  I got a little too excited as I printed out my food plan and headed to Costco to stock up and spent most of the day Saturday prepping my food for the week.

A friend made a remark that they were amazed by all the bags of pre-weighed chicken and tilapia and sweet potatoes I had in the fridge.  I commented that I absolutely loved living this way.  Kind of like a Super Boy Scout, er, Girl Scout – Always Prepared.

There’s definitely comfort and less anxiety knowing my next meal is already ready to be eaten when it’s time; cooked, measured and sitting in the tupperware.  I could eat like this forever.

However, eating this way, ya know, healthy….doesn’t exactly agree with everyone.  I’m hearing alot of “It’s too hard to eat healthy, it’s too expensive to eat like that, it seems like a lot of WORK to eat that way.”

But this wasn’t an issue 15, or 20 years ago was it?  If you go back in time, back to your childhood, wasn’t it easier to eat healthy?  Wasn’t it easier to EAT period?  I find that most people want to eat well but an even more common complaint is a lack of time to eat anything at all!  On the go, on the run, busy busy, no time to do anything?  Well, if you were prepared from the beginning, you’d at least have time to eat in your car or at your desk.

Think again about your childhood – before adulthood.

For some, you had breakfast at the table cooked or prepared by yourself (or your parent if you were too young). Regardless of what it was (healthy or not), it was usually eaten in a group, slowly, already planned out for you.  Even if it was a piece of toast and a yogurt, your Mom or Dad didn’t let you leave for school without something in your stomach.  I’m sure there are exceptions to this depending on your age and your living situation but I think most of the people in my age group (30’s and 40’s) can relate.

Think about your lunch, at least during the school year.  Who made it?  Did you get it in the cafeteria or did you brown bag it?  You really only had those two options.  If you didn’t buy it through the cafeteria, you were usually a brown bagger like me.  I had Peanut butter and Jelly on white bread for about….10 years?  Seriously no joke.  I was the pickiest eater ever.  That’s all I would eat, along with a veggie and a snack like wheat thins or pudding or something like that.  My Mom rocked. 🙂  Maybe once in a while I had something different like bologna and cheese.  Wow, can you believe I ate bologna??  Nasty.

Now think about dinner.  This was the beginning of the end for most people.  I hear that alot of families don’t sit down to eat anymore, my family included right now.  Everyone on different schedules, cooking different things for different tastes, cooking differently for kids vs. adults, working parents, kids after school activities.  I get it, we are all busy.  But think about how it USED to be.  You ate at the dinner table as a family and you all had the same thing.  And it was prepared by someone else, unless you chipped in at dinner and helped out your parents with the meal.  I admit I was spoiled and bratty for most of my teenage years and am ashamed to admit I never asked if I could help my Mom with dinner.

My point of this trip down memory lane is to get you to understand that all the meals were made by someone most of your childhood.  Now, as an adult, how can you then translate that into YOUR diet?  This isn’t a trick question – the answer is:  Cook your own food.

This is not rocket science.  But if people can just realize that we don’t need to go thru the drive thru, we don’t need to try out that new lunch place that people at work are raving about, we don’t need to go out to client dinners every night, we’d save ourselves alot of extra calories and alot of MONEY and alot of time.

We can be the exception to the rule.  We don’t have to conform to what advertising and Big Food wants us to be.  We can treat ourselves once in awhile and enjoy ourselves and eat those sweet treats and then go back to eating our normal healthy food.

But it isn’t considered the norm yet is it?

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a stigma with people who MAKE their OWN food.

stigmaofhealthyeating

It’s ODD and WEIRD if you go to the movies and DON’T eat the popcorn or get a snack; you come to a party and bring a HEALTHY dish, you go to a BAR to watch a game and you DON’T have a drink, you don’t even order an appetizer.

“You bring your own lunch to work?  Why are you eating that salad?  Don’t you want Arby’s?  How about Subway?  Come on, just once won’t hurt, live a little!”

Take the opportunity to educate those people about the benefits of being prepared, being healthy, and being the exception to the rule.

Defend your right to eat your own food.

2 thoughts on “The Stigma of Being Healthy

  1. I sometimes think people are scared by people that show that much dedication. It means that achieving their own goals is possible if they really WORK and many of them don’t want to work…They want a quick fix.

    And they can’t accuse you of having a quick fix when they see you doing that much work!!!

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