What does eating healthy have to do with meditation? Many strange things have happened to me since I started meditating on regular basis. I crave exercise. I am less angry and judgmental. I actively look for ways to help others. I like eating healthy food.
That’s right. I eat (moderately) healthy foods and take the time and extra effort to plan and prepare meals and snacks that are relatively healthy and tasty besides. And I don’t apologize for it.
What I am finding interesting, is that people; both friends and random people I meet, make semi-apologetic excuses for not eating better themselves. I don’t know if anyone else is experiencing this phenomenon, but I find it a little unsettling.
I like to socialize over lunches and dinners as a way to strengthen or help to forge the bonds of friendship and camaraderie. However, my diet has been changing over the years to a healthier diet, giving up cheese, soda, eating more vegetables and so on.
I never paid much attention to what others were eating (unless it looked better than what I ordered) and was never concerned about what my companions thought of my meal. Having said that, I have been on the receiving end of near militant ‘ians who had no lack of opinion and were more than happy to “share.”
And perhaps that mentality is what my friends now anticipate from me; although I hope not. I make my choices and choose what I will and won’t eat. I choose to go into restaurants and order off menu if there aren’t choices that I find palatable. What I don’t do is expect others to make the same choices.
And yet my friends, family and even complete strangers give me the impression that they feel bad or ashamed about what they are eating, and end up basically apologizing to me for their diet; or making excuses to me about why they are not eating better. It’s creepy to be honest.
I don’t know the real reason they act the way they do around me. I am very careful not to push my own choices, and I generally don’t even mention them unless contextually appropriate. I’m not the food police and I certainly don’t critique everyone else’s meals.
I’ve just begun this inquiry to find out the cause of this odd behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of inspiring others to be their best and to cheer them as they strive for new goals. But I have no desire to be the self-righteous bully that looks down his nose at the choices and lifestyles of others.
For one thing, it isn’t my place. For another, it sounds like a lot of work. I don’t want to have to keep track of everyone all the time. And finally I’m still learning and growing. I have and will likely continue to make missteps and mistakes; have to back track and even apologize at times.
If there is one thing anyone takes from this, I hope it is to be yourself. If you aren’t happy with where you are in your life, make a change. If you don’t feel you can make that change alone, ask for help. No one can offer a helping hand unless they know you need it.
Drop the excuses and take action. If you don’t want to make a change in your life then don’t. Be confident in yourself and your choices. Everyone else can either support and accept you, or not.
“You have to meet people where they are, and sometimes you have to leave them there.”
– Iyanla Vanzant