Is it ever okay to judge?
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
I have a confession to make: I am scared that I am becoming a food/eating decisions/exercise elitist.
I really don’t have a right to be so judgmental. I make bad choices (hello nachos and a margarita on Friday night), I don’t properly measure my portions, I’m prone to mindless snacking, I am averaging one skipped workout a week… and yet I have caught myself quite a few times lately passing judgment on the habits of others.
Saturday night at the endless meat buffet, I chose to only order the endless salad bar. I ate fresh asparagus, cucumber salad, a lettuce salad piled high with onions, broccoli, cauliflower, etc… and I was FULL after eating it. Not bursting full, but happily satisfied. The rest of my dinner guests couldn’t help but comment on my choice, only to shut me down when I tried to explain myself. THEY were judging me without understanding and I still felt a sort of animosity from them for my choices. Maybe they felt guilty? Maybe they don’t want to hear the truth? Maybe it was only fair that I sat there watching them inhale meat and judging them too (albeit silently) since they openly extended that courtesy to me? All I know is that I didn’t appreciate being called out or laughed at for my choices.
Here is how I see it: I have been researching nutrition and learning more about which proteins to consume and which may be harmful for you. I have discovered that a big pack of tofu is $1.50, where meat can cost over $10 and an animal had to die to feed me. I am by no means a vegetarian, but if I can cut back to save money and animals, I will. It is kind of ironic, but one of the critics from Saturday night who was one of the loudest founded an animal welfare group in college. Huh? I guess just for dogs and cats. Nonetheless, consuming large quantities of red meat isn’t ideal. Shoot – consuming large quantities of anything isn’t ideal.
Yesterday I had a work lunch meeting. My coworker ate a sandwich so covered in so much mayo and sauces that I couldn’t say for sure what kind of meat was in it. She ate a bag of potato chips and drank a big orange soda on the side. Knowing what I know now about nutrition, calories, processed foods, etc… I was shocked to watch someone eat a meal like that. Again – armed with my knowledge – I can’t ever see myself eating a meal like that ever again, even on a super stressed out in a pinch kind of days. I would at least have chosen baked chips, no sauce, and a bottle of water. Is it mean of me to analyze what she was eating? In a way it felt like a reminder that I was on the right path and gave me a little motivational boost.
Does this make me a bad person? I’m not verbalizing any of these thoughts. Not once have I spoken a word about how I’m thinking and feeling watching others eat their food. I guess I value the reassurance in my choices but I feel guilty for doing so at the expense of other people? I know I don’t like to be judged, but where is the harm threshold for internally judging others?
I think part of me is just shocked at how I used to treat my body and how many people do the same still around me. I want to live a longer and more fulfilling life. I want to outlive a zombie apocalypse. I want to be stronger and to last longer. I want to save myself money later in life by avoiding unnecessary medications and health complications. I’m proud of myself for taking these steps and for changing my life like I have over the past year.
I’m not perfect and I’m not claiming to be. But I’m TRYING and that counts for something right? I am afraid to turn into one of those “righteous, perfect health nuts”… but I DO want to be satisfied with my choices and live my life as I see fit just for ME. Something tells me I shouldn’t feel guilty about that.
That being said – tonight is my first “night” run. I’m a little nervous. I bought a day-glo yellow wicking shirt from Target. Hopefully that will stand out enough in the dark. Our roads are still pretty well lit but I worry about things that go bump in the night. I don’t run alone, I have my big tall BF with me, but you never know! I also worry that these dark, increasingly cold nights will scare me away from running. I just haven’t mastered the treadmill yet even though I know it is coming – I can’t run in three feet of snow. I also need to get back in the gym for strength training which I have slacked on since starting the running program. See! Not perfect, but moving!
Try to take care of yourself, even for one minute today. You are all you have when you think about it!
And I will keep trying not to judge… ugh!