There comes a point in your life when you realize that you have to start getting your shit together. This may hit the second you step out of your parents’ car and into your freshman dorm. It might not be until you’re done fucking around in gen eds and you realize that your academic schedule will no longer tolerate all-day hangovers. You might not feel it until you realize that you’re the last of your friends who still has her mother schedule her doctor’s appointments. But whenever it hits, you’re forced to wave goodbye to past habits and start making the choices your parents prayed you would start making years ago.
This revelation happened for me awhile ago, and after seriously considering where I wanted to be in ten years, I decided to make a few life changes. One of these was an idea that I, at the time, considered to be unthinkable: I cut out crap food for good.
I thought the switch would suck, and I was indeed correct in that assumption. Lifestyle changes are a huge pain in the ass, and something so common as eating is difficult to re-train yourself to do. I won’t bore you with the logistics of my diet, because quite frankly I am incapable of constructing any Pinterest-worthy meals and Jillian Michaels could easily make me cry, but I eventually learned how to eat relatively well and have fun doing it.
Immediately after I began my new life of looking away from the TV while plugging my ears and shouting obscenities during Taco Bell commercials, my friends started acting…different. They seemed disappointed when I didn’t want to make late night trips to get ice cream. They appeared unsympathetic when I couldn’t join the masses who quite literally bone over Chipotle. They rolled their eyes when I declined their invitation to get McBreakfast to “McCure our hangovers.” They acted as if my decision to eat like a paleo boss was the end of the world for me. And I’m just like, what the fuck? Why am I being punished for attempting to be an adult and partaking in one activity that my doctor would approve of? Why are people judging me for something that has literally no effect on their day-to-day life?
It doesn’t make sense. A large percent of this generation actually considers eating healthy to be an affliction when those around them opt out of eating certain foods. To be fair, I kind of get it. No one likes the kid who stays suspiciously sober during the party because he “doesn’t drink or do drugs.” But I would never miss out on any party, ever. My culinary decisions are not going to ruin your day, and they’re sure as shit not going to ruin mine. If I were genuinely miserable, I would quit the dream and go back to my old ways. But when you find something that makes you feel better, you do it. It’s that simple.
It’s not like I judge other people for eating all the shit I may or may not occasionally have sex dreams about. I wish I were you. I’m jealous of you. Just because I’m not joining in your carbohydrate-induced orgasm doesn’t mean I think I’m the pinnacle of human worth, or consider myself better than you, or would ever treat people like they’re going to hell for eating a fucking Snickers. Somehow, hoards of vegans before my time have convinced the world that every healthy eater is a pretentious piece of human garbage. Just because I found something that works for me doesn’t mean I’m going to expect everyone around me to join in, and be a bitch when they don’t. I care about very few things in life, and the eating habits of those around me are definitely not among them.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people think or how they react when they discover the things you choose to eat and not to eat. If you’re making a positive change and working on being a better version of yourself, that’s the thing that really counts. You don’t have to answer to anybody but you, and if you want to be that dork who sneaks apples into the movie theatre to avoid the temptation of popcorn, then by all means, do it. .
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