I have a few pet peeves.
- People who don’t “string” string cheese. What kind of monster just takes a bite?
- Loud/open-mouthed gum chewers. I have had to change seats on the train to get away from serious offenders.
- People making negative comments about healthy food choices. I’ll explain below.
While the first two are things that I wish I could actually make illegal in all 50 states, I’ll let them go for now. The point of this post is the 3rd bullet point, and one that I know others have experienced too.
Raise your hands if you’ve ever been out to eat with friends, or at a work lunch with colleagues, or heck, even been eating around strangers and been subject to any of the following:
- Eye rolls when you ask for menu alterations (veggies instead of fries, for instance), or asking for dressing/sauces on the side
- “Why can’t you just order off the menu like everyone else?”
- “Ugh..Of course you are ordering that”
- [about food you’ve made] “You didn’t make a weird healthy version of this did you?” or “Ugh of course you made healthy substitutions”
Seriously. Would it be acceptable for me to go out to dinner with friends/colleagues/family and say things like:
- How come you’re ordering that, fatty?
- You’re really going to eat those fries? You know how bad they are for you.
- Of course you’re ordering dessert. You ALWAYS order dessert.
- Are you really going to eat ALL of that?
NO absolutely not. I would never, ever even consider saying something like this to someone that I was eating with. And if I did, I’m pretty sure I’d get slapped into next Tuesday. So why is the opposite ok? Why do some people think it’s ok to try to make others feel bad about being healthy?
I can only assume that comments like this are made out of some type of insecurity. Insecurity about ones own food choices being projected onto the other person, no matter how ridiculous or inappropriate. I have had this happen to me several times, and each time I have just kind of brushed it off, smiled and said “yes I am ordering this. That is the way I prefer it”. (All the while going into black-out-rage-mode in my head).
And then there’s the other side of it. If I make something and offer it to you (at work, or at a party, or just in my home), do you think I’m going to offer it to you if it tastes like crap? I’m not in the business of making people eat things they don’t like, and I would never serve something that tasted bad just because it was “healthy”. So if it’s healthy, and it’s tasty, isn’t that a good thing? It seems like some people just feel the need to complain, just for the sake of, well, complaining.
This certainly doesn’t happen all the time, (most people have at least some common decency), but it happens more than is acceptable. Questions are one thing. If you have questions about what I’m eating, why I’m ordering what, why I’m taking half of the bread off of my sandwich, than ask me! But don’t judge me negatively just for the fun of it. If I choose to not eat white bread, that’s my business, no? If I choose to order salad dressing on the side, how does that effect your lunch? Just like if you choose to order fries, that’s your business, and honestly I order fries sometimes too (they’re delicious!).
My point is, stop with the negative comments about others who are doing things to better their health. Whether the comments stem from jealousy, curiosity, or are just for the sport of making others feel bad, it’s not ok.
And next time someone does this to you (because if you eat healthfully, its bound to happen at some point), just smile, nod, and let it go. It’s just not worth getting upset or snapping back a rude comment yourself — unless of course you go into Rage Blackout Mode and can’t control what comes out of your mouth. In that case, get ready to eat your salad elsewhere.
Have you ever experienced comments like this? How do you usually react? Why do you think people make comments like this?