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You Wouldn't Eat That

March 27, 2016

Has someone ever assumed they knew how and what you ate based on your weight, activity, and/or their limited observations of your food choices?

 

This is something I used to think about a lot. I assumed others judged me because of my weight and thought they in turn assumed I only ate unhealthy food. At the time, I didn't know if my perceptions were accurate – it wasn't something I asked about for fear of being right.

 

So I find it ironic that these days, when I rarely think about it, people volunteer their observations. This has come up a couple of times recently at work. One co-worker joked that if we got raises, it might only be enough to buy a candy bar, but he quickly added, "Not that you'd eat it."

 

l didn't pick up on the comment in time to respond but it got me thinking about how our perceptions of others can be easily skewed. Especially since another co-worker asked me shortly afterward which of the breakfast foods provided at work – a variety of bagels and muffins – was the least “evil”. This time around I quickly clarified that I don’t consider any food evil.

 

At the same time, I will freely admit that I don’t eat the breakfast foods, but it's not because I think they're bad in any moral sense. It’s more that I don’t find them very satisfying, especially for breakfast. I prefer something with more substance so I'll have good energy through the morning.

 

As for candy bars, they're also not my favorite these days. l don't gravitate towards Charleston Chews, Snickers, Crunch bars, or Kit-Kats like I used to. And it's doubtful I'd eat an entire candy bar in one sitting, since I only want so much sweet at a time. But I do sometimes have the snack size version, or I might eat the larger version over time. And I made a point of going to a local gelato shop yesterday to try their Easter gelato flavors – my favorites were the Cadbury Creme Egg Gelato and Torched Peeps S'More Gelato.

 

Similarly, even in my heavier days, I always enjoyed some foods with more nutritional content – apples, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, and more. But anyone looking at me back then likely wouldn't have thought that.

 

All of which reminds me all over again how easy it is to make those snap judgments and how prone to error it is. I remind myself of this often, especially since I can slip into that mindset as much as anyone. When I do, I think of my own journey and try not to assume – and even more importantly, not to judge.

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