I know, it's hard not to talk about food. For example, I have 5 amazing smoothie recipes that I just can't help but tell you about! Luckily, my guide (sign up below!) is full of smoothies and free of judgement :)
“You’re going to eat ALL of that??”
“I thought you don’t eat sweets anymore”
“You should watch what you eat”
“That is quite a large salad!”
“Maybe you should put a little less peanut butter on that apple”
“Woah you’re eating a cookie? But it has sugar!”
“I thought you can’t eat that”
“Your eating habits aren’t normal”
“Wow you look great!!!”
Unfortunately, I am positive that I am not the only one who has been the subject of these critiques and judgments from friends and family. People seem to love having opinions about things that they do not have the right to speak about – one of these topics is: other people’s food choices.
I’ve had people tell me to watch what I eat, implying that I should lose weight.
I’ve had people tell me that I eat too healthy, implying that I am restrictive.
I’ve had people tell me that I don’t eat certain ingredients, when I absolutely do.
This is simply infuriating and hurtful, and these comments come from people who I love and care for. And I know that they care for me too.
Why do people feel the need to judge others’ food choices? I have no idea. So, the only thing that I (and anyone else) can control is our own reactions, choices, and responses.
Thankfully, I’ve found a way to deal with these comments, which I’m going to share here. But, even though I can deal with it, it doesn’t mean that I am invincible and immune to feeling hurt and upset. That’s why we need to ALL commit to finding things to talk about other than another person’s weight, physical appearances, lifestyle choices, health etc.
That being said, read on for tips on keeping that confident smile glowing and those judgments at bay.
Take a deep breath. Not only is this my favorite tip to deal with anything that life throws your way, but it is pretty essential here. The first emotion that you may feel when someone makes a comment about your food choices is shock, anger, and defensiveness. While these reactions are completely valid and warranted, snapping with rage won’t lead to a productive conversation. Instead, take a pause and breathe. Be the bigger person and respond with a calm composure.
Respond and defend yourself. You deserve to choose what you put in your body without any one else’s opinions contributing to your decisions. Some people are more comfortable with brushing off rude comments with an awkward laugh or silence. I am not that kind of person – some may even call me “confrontational”. That is why I will always respond and defend myself. This should be a simple response to let that person know that you are taking care of yourself in the way that you would like to, and that’s that. As much as I would sometimes like to scream "shut the *%$# up and let me eat!", that's not always the most productive way to go about things..some better examples are: “Yes, I am in fact going to eat all of this delicious food. It’s super nourishing and I can’t wait to dig in!” “I choose to eat sweets/sugar/gluten/dessert when I want to. Now is a time that I want to. It’s so yummy, why wouldn’t I?” “Thank you for being concerned with my food choices, but there’s no need to be.” “My eating habits may not be normal according to your choices, but they are perfect for my body!” “Thanks for the advice. So how are you??
Give yourself a pep talk. Even if you are able to calmly and maturely respond to a judgment, that doesn’t mean that your feelings won’t be hurt. This can be especially true regarding food comments because it can feel like SUCH a personal attack, and it usually comes from friends or family who you love. That is when you should remember that you are your own amazing cheerleader. Remind yourself that you are beautiful. You are a freaking amazing unique star of a human. You are capable of making your own choices and only YOU truly know what is best for your body. Your hunger and cravings and tastes are completely unique to you, and you should honor those. The person making the comment is probably doing so out of love (it is a weird way to show love, I must say), so show them love back.
Communicate your feelings. If someone has made multiple comments to you about your food choices, that is not okay. This is another instance in which you have to be strong and confident and stand up for yourself. Telling that person how their comments make you feel is a great place to start. Then, explicitly communicate to that person that you would like them to stop speaking about your food. Tell them that you understand it is out of love, interest, concern, or curiosity, but their judgment is not welcome. Having this conversation in a calm manner instead of framing it as an angry argument will hopefully lead to a resolved issue and a happier you!
Keep doing you. Remember, you are the only one who knows how hungry you are, what foods make you feel good, what you are in the mood for, and what you ultimately want to eat. Stay true to yourself, and be selfish; take care of yourself in the best way that you know how to, and keep it up!
If doing you means enjoying some delicious protein smoothies, check out the yummy recipes in my FREE guide!
We are all guilty of critiquing others - purposefully and accidentally. Even if you don’t directly ask someone “Did you lose weight?”, they may get the same vibes from a simple comment like “Woah you look great!”...the person receiving that comment may wonder “does that imply that I didn’t look great before???” It’s honestly a weird and uncomfortable thing to say! So instead, ask someone how they’re doing in school/work/a project. Compliment them on a recent achievement. Make them feel VALUED for something other than their physical body.
Everyone has been critiqued at some point. Sometimes the criticism is constructive and completely appropriate; other times, it’s definitely not. I hope that this post and examples can help you to be confident in your choices and stand up to others’ judgments. If you have questions or comments, or would like some one-on-one support dealing with these issues, please reach out! I’m always happy to chat!