1

votes

Why am I always defending my eating habits?

Asked on February 29, 2016
Created May 13, 2014 at 12:19 AM

I'm tired of people looking at me with disgust or confusion because I do not eat junk like the average American. Aren't you constipated without eating fiber? Aren't your arteries going to clog from using bacon fat to cook? What exactly do you eat? All of these questions annoy me. Why is it okay for them to pump theirselves full of poison/chemicals and not ok for me to use fat to cook? Why do they even concern themselves or care what I do to my body? Im not giving them dirty looks for buying "healthy" protein bars or low fat "health" foods. Anyway my question is how do I respond to these people?. I'm tired of defending myself and as of late have been simply saying "I refuse to defend my eating habits to anyone. If you're curious and not condescending then I will chat with you about it. Otherwise it's not up for discussion."

4fee83a4195cf6356c30832f294ede74

(0)

on June 02, 2014
at 08:04 PM

New here, just saw your comment. Fights come about over the eating style of Paleo! My friends who don't understand what it involves call me names like "tree hugger" "foodie" etc. Laugh and say well "see ya in the cardiac unit" from all the fats! I'm tired of it.

4fee83a4195cf6356c30832f294ede74

(0)

on June 02, 2014
at 08:02 PM

I am new here. I get the same looks and questions even from my HUSBAND! What do you say when asked about your eating habits?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 13, 2014
at 02:08 AM

I love my family, but feel no need to discuss or defend my dietary habits with them. This is my life, this is my choice. I do not need affirmation or permission from anyone.

Medium avatar

on May 13, 2014
at 01:36 AM

The general public is one thing but family is another. I do suppose you're right though.

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14 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on June 03, 2014
at 04:42 PM

In reply to:

"I'm tired of people looking at me with disgust or confusion because I do not eat junk like the average American. Aren't you constipated without eating fiber? Aren't your arteries going to clog from using bacon fat to cook? What exactly do you eat? All of these questions annoy me. Why is it okay for them to pump theirselves full of poison/chemicals and not ok for me to use fat to cook? Why do they even concern themselves or care what I do to my body? Im not giving them dirty looks for buying "healthy" protein bars or low fat "health" foods. Anyway my question is how do I respond to these people?. I'm tired of defending myself and as of late have been simply saying "I refuse to defend my eating habits to anyone. If you're curious and not condescending then I will chat with you about it. Otherwise it's not up for discussion." "

Question by question:

Aren't you constipated without eating fiber? -- A simple no will do, but might be followed by a "Why do you ask?" It might make the person realize how critical they sound. Criticizing people is still not polite, not even in this wild west society. But maybe they already suspect they have a problem with fiber too. It could be a serious question and they might say "Because I noticed that high fiber things make me sick, but I'm too scared to try low fiber." In which case the simplest way to explain is to tell them to look into "diverticulitis diet" or "low residue diet" which are both medical diets, though not Paleo. There's no need to explain your Paleo to people who might only be interested in one aspect of it.

Aren't your arteries going to clog from all that fat? -- Lots of options here, but this question is phrased in a critical way, so I'd just say no and change the subject. I won't waste my breath explaining stuff to people who aren't ready to listen.

What exactly do you eat? --- "why do you ask?" and depending on answer, I might give a sample menu or 24 hour recall. I would warn them however, that it might not sound tasty to someone who hasn't tried it. How tasty does Pemmican sound if you haven't actually tasted it or how tasty was it the first time you made it (if you make it)?

But mostly, I just don't use buzzwords like Paleo unless I'm getting to know someone I already like. I might say to a new friend, " Many years ago I started trying to get healthy, so I tried Vegan and it made me sicker, and now I'm Paleo and I feel much better." A friend will be glad you found something that works. In restaurants or someplace, I might tell the waitress I'm Atkins because it's less explanation than Paleo. Also I live in an area where Atkins is very well known, but it's behind the times so Paleo might throw people off. I try to consider my audience and when all else fails, I just say that this is the food I prefer. That takes health out of the equation. I don't have a responsibility to educate the public.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on June 03, 2014
at 03:23 PM

People tend to treat dietary choices like religion, complete with orthodoxies. So they tend to feel mistrustful of "other". Especially since this country has been brainwashed for so long that fat and meat are unhealthy and "food" comes in boxes, bags, and cans. We are as opposite from how America eats as it's possible to be.

My SIL and niece are both morbidly obese and sick with various food related illnesses. They recently told my daughter that they cannot understand how I lost more than 70 lbs without ever counting a calorie, and tried to send her home with all sorts of crappy commercial gluten free treats for me, full of sugar and fake fats. I'm just sick that my niece is sinking deeper and deeper into depression with fibro, and a seizure disorder, while she eats sugary crap all day long. She tried to go gluten free for one day and claims she almost had to be hospitalized because her blood pressure went up so high??? And my SIL takes statins and other pills for her high BP and pre-diabetes ("It's ok, my doctor is WATCHING it", she tells me). They both know the calorie count of every low fat crap item they eat, but they sure aren't losing weight or gaining health. But we can't have a discussion because they don't believe a single thing I say. Their doctors, whom they depend on, tell them different.

Anyway, I treat people on a need to know basis. First level is "I've cut out sugar in my diet". Who could argue with that ?? If the conversation goes farther I might say that I don't eat grains for health reasons. Then I might say I try to eat natural, whole foods (which might lead them to think I'm a vegetarian, most people approve of that, for some reason that's a virtue). I try not to go further into the fact that I eat lots of natural fats, pastured meats, and offal unless they are planning a menu specifically for me.

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on June 03, 2014
at 11:31 AM

I had a lot of criticism from friends/family when I went HFLC Paleo in an attempt to avoid CVD & neurodegenerative disorders which both run in my family, but after showing them some of the science they agreed it was best. I then developed cholesterol deposits under my eyes (after cheating with carbs very regularly) which signify ApoE4 genes & low HDL and they're all buying into conventional wisdom that I should now totally switch to a high carb diet and I'm currently having to convince them (and myself!) that I just need to be strict keto.

If you feel you have to convince someone ELSE of the diet thats right for YOU, your probably just trying to convince yourself.

0
Medium avatar

(10601)

on June 03, 2014
at 10:01 AM

Herd mentality. Tell them you're getting into Argentine cuisine.

0
B8139a868ab2e819ca6e582f1f064426

on June 03, 2014
at 07:19 AM

Social situation can be quite confronting while on the paleo diet and often I feel forced to break the rules. It can be difficult to eat paleo while out and about as a lot of foods aren't paleo friendly.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on June 02, 2014
at 11:27 PM

i never feel like i have to defend myself for how i eat. i just state how i eat if asked and then move on. i don't care if someone doesn't like it. that's not my problem. you shouldn't care so much about what others think. it's a waste of time.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 14, 2014
at 01:27 AM

you could always tell them that you eat this way because high fructose corn syrup kills people. In particular it kills pedestrians by hitting them with a vehicle. We are just doing out part.

http://www.tylervigen.com/view_correlation.php?id=296

0
448c39675ede6150c888dd8fba927102

on May 14, 2014
at 12:55 AM

I would say , " I am so glad you are taking an interest in Paleo, let me refer you to some websites." I would say I feel better eating this way.

0
C772212ab2b5415b0533a789f16a98ca

on May 13, 2014
at 04:44 PM

Do you have to defend yourself when you say "I'm having steak and spinach for lunch today" or when you say "I'm having a duck heart I cooked in lard with a can of coconut milk". No one has said much of anything about my food, other than complementing the smell. I think most of the 'OMG I'm being persecuted for not eating Pop-Tarts' type posts are from people going out of their way to be in-your-face about their new way of eating.

0
5ec664054a4956cd8f6f2f1f89b1a50c

on May 13, 2014
at 04:52 AM

I've been lucky. Most of my friends have been very supportive. I haven't told my family because I know it will lead to a lot of conversation like what you describe. I thinking being confident and firm goes a long way, "I like the way I am eating now, I feel good. Let's talk about something else."

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on May 13, 2014
at 03:48 AM

I'm somewhat lucky... my family (the ones I still talk to) & friends know I think & do things very differently than the average joe.

Unfortunately, "odd / different" seems to be more acceptable if one is: male, an engineer, older

I just tell them.....

"I'm doing an self-experiment". "I've dropped 30lbs & I've added muscle". "I've gone from 220 to 190 and I've been at my new weight for over a year". "My blood pressure is down 15 points & my internist is definitely impressed"

Any one of these usually shuts them up.

Your response of ......

"I refuse to defend my eating habits to anyone. If you're curious and not condescending then I will chat with you about it. Otherwise it's not up for discussion."

is a very assertive way to set boundaries / limits but for a first response it might be a little harsh.

If people probe more, I tell them...

"the way I eat is the result of reading a handful of books, innumerable articles, research papers & blogs, plus about a year of trial & error with foods. I'm mindful about what I eat. I eat almost no packaged, canned, process or prepared foods. If you're intrigued or still interested, chat me up next time you see me or email / txt me for details."

0
686b2338444d42546ab0f719d1ef3b35

on May 13, 2014
at 02:46 AM

Be sure and confident about your eating habits gathering knowledge. Then avoid the questionings if you don't know how to act yet. Explaining paleo and why you chose it can be a pita, specially if you're dealing with the average joe.

0
Medium avatar

on May 13, 2014
at 01:45 AM

I just had an encounter with my friend the other week and he tried to get me to eat kidney beans on our camping trip and I said I don't eat legumes and he started to have a fuss about what I do and don't eat, and we got into argument about it. There is no way to avoid these interactions, unless you cut people that have a negative attitude towards your values and drain you of energy when you're around them out of your life. To be honest I have no problem with doing that and you shouldn't either if its draining you mentally to deal with them.

In the event of people questioning you about how you eat, just tell them that it is a choice you made and it makes you feel better, ask them "Do you not want to see me happy?" Pauuuuuuusse, and let them answer with a stifled look on their face. I have been doing crazy amounts of research throughout the years and I am so bought into healthy eating/paleo that I can put anyone in their place about how the junk they are eating is sub optimal to their performance and that they are damaging themselves further by eating it, but I choose not to go that route, its too confrontational. I usually answer back with a joke (diffuse with humour) or something simple such as "Gluten makes me bloated and inflamed, that's why", you don't need to validate yourself, just speak the truth.

4fee83a4195cf6356c30832f294ede74

(0)

on June 02, 2014
at 08:04 PM

New here, just saw your comment. Fights come about over the eating style of Paleo! My friends who don't understand what it involves call me names like "tree hugger" "foodie" etc. Laugh and say well "see ya in the cardiac unit" from all the fats! I'm tired of it.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 13, 2014
at 01:27 AM

Anyway my question is how do I respond to these people?

Don't. You care way too much about how others think if it affects you this much.

Medium avatar

on May 13, 2014
at 01:36 AM

The general public is one thing but family is another. I do suppose you're right though.

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