How may times have you scrolled through Facebook and have read someone posting “eat this, not that” or the newest article about what you should be doing?
I do it too. I am sorry.
How often have you run into someone you know at the grocery store and feel like they are looking in your cart? Yes, this happens to me too. I look in people’s carts or stare at what the person in front of me is putting on the belt in the checkout lane.
To that person, I am sorry.
Stop the Food Shaming
It’s food shaming. I food shame. You food shame. We all have food shamed each other for the food they we put in our bodies.
I have also been on the other end of it. I often run into people I know at the grocery store and try to have small talk with, but I often find their wandering eyes drifting to my cart. I get it, people want to know what I am eating and buying for my family.
Let’s clarify something, I don’t write this blog to tell you what to eat. I write this all out of care and encouragement. I want you to find what works for you. If I give you an idea here or there, great. If I inspire you to try to make a healthy substitution, awesome. If I inspire you to to figure out how to find the balance between health, fitness and living then I have done my job.
Here is the thing with health, fitness and nutrition: everyone is different. That is the end of the story. I may have guest posters who know more about fitness or nutrition than you or I, but they don’t know your body. Most of all, they don’t know your desires.
Back in July I did a grocery store tour. As we went down the almond milk aisle, there was a side conversation happening where there was negative talk about people who drank almond milk. The woman did not agree with people drinking almond milk, it was not for her. She knows and believes in the benefits of cows milk. There was no reason for her to shame those of us who drink milk alternatives.
In the same breath, I know many who would judge her because her diet consists of cow’s milk. What if she feels great? What if she is happy in her own skin? There is no reason for others to shame her because she drinks cow’s milk.
It is not our job to job to judge people for what or how they eat. It doesn’t help to post on Facebook, “I can’t believe someone would ever want to put that kind of food in their bodies,” with a picture of a person eating a french fry. (Yes, I have read this from people- I have since hid this person.) This could have been this person’s first french fry in months. It could have been this person’s one treat of the week. Why do we think it is okay to food shame people?
Find What Works
We all have our struggles whether it is related to food, fitness, family, faith or something completely different. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Your goals are different than mine. What works for you might not work for me. I encourage you to find what works for you and what makes you feel good. Find what fuels you to live your best life.
For some, a Paleo diet might be what works and makes you feel best. For others, it could be eating what makes them feel good and following zero guidelines.
I know a few bodybuilders and their diet is much more strict than mine. It doesn’t make them any more healthy or better at life than me… or than you. I have a lot of friends who eat super clean 80% of the time, and it is what makes them feel good. It doesn’t make them better than you.
And for others, eating healthy is not on their radar. This does not mean that it will never be. Does this pain me? Absolutely. I don’t like seeing unhealthy or obese people because I know the consequences. However it is not my job to judge, shame or put them down. Maybe they just need help or guidance, not someone to judge or shame their food choice. I don’t know their story and neither do you.
My Job & Yours
It is our job to love people. It is my job to simply share what I know and how I live. To some it may not be the right way. Is there a right way? I hope by sharing this somewhere along the way I will inspire someone….
Inspire someone not to eat like me..
Not to exercise like me…
Not to live live me..
But to find YOUR happy place in the world of health & fitness…
To lift YOU up to live your best life.
So next time if I see you in the grocery store, I promise not to stare at you cart and judge the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and potato chips you stuck in there. And if you see me, instead of trying to hide the fact that you are trying to look at what kind of bread I am buying or if my chicken is organic, just ask. Ask me what I am cooking for dinner this week or if I shop 100% organic- I am happy to share. I am transparent. I am doing what is best for my family- no need to judge.
Need to find that balance in your nutrition? My FIRST ONLINE BOOTCAMP that starts on May 30th and we will not just have tough, sweaty workouts, but we will also be focusing on balance in our nutrition. I have just a few spots left and would love to have you join me for tough workouts, clean eating and daily motivation and accountability. Interested? Check it out here.
Your turn- tell me.
Have you ever been food shamed?
Do you catch yourself food shaming?How do you feel about this topic?
Mar @ Mar on the Run says
love this post! I have a similar post in my draft folder I haven’t quite worked out yet. But I agree with you. We are all so different and that is what is important. Do what’s best for you!
Thanks, Mar. I can’t wait to read yours.
Nicole @ Fitful Focus says
I wrote a post about this recently calling for the same thing: stop the food shaming! There is already so much pressure around food. Just eat what you want, let me eat what I want and let’s just go on enjoying life.
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says
Great post. I don’t really pay attention to what other people buy in the grocery store – I tend to be in tunnel vision! But I do get on my soap box about frozen dinners because they are so unhealthy, so you’re right that it’s something that we all do from time to time. We just need to worry about ourselves and be kind to others!
And just keep educating. It is one thing to educate, and another thing to judge. Thanks for reading, Janelle.
I do not food SHAME or do I allow myself to be a victim of it. I think everyone has to make these decisions for themselves.
I sometimes glance in other people’s grocery carts but it is usually cause I am curious to see if they have something I may not have seen or tried.
You are the second person that has said this is why they look in others’ carts- interesting.
Coach Henness says
Lol. I look in other people’s carts to get ideas and see if I missed a sale. 😉
Oh that is funny, Tiffany.
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner says
I agree. I share my recipes to give people ideas not to say that my way is better. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your family and balance.
Yes, yes, yes!
I have not food shamed others but I’ve certainly had it done to me. It feels really icky.
Good for you, Marcia. It sure does feel icky.
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running says
What a great post, and a great reminder about the need to not judge a book by its cover. We have no idea what each person’s dietary needs are, and there isn’t a one size fits all approach for everybody.
Agree! My body does well with carbs, that is not everyone’s body. And life is too short for me to not have a donut at church on Sundays… well I limit myself to half of one.
Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs says
Vegans are known for food shaming, but I try to stay cool about things. You win more battles with honey than vinegar. Metaphorically speaking, of course, since honey’s not vegan 😉
Love that, Debbie. Yes, I have been shamed by vegans before and in the same breath I have shamed them.
[email protected] the Long Way Home says
Thank you for this! Not that I felt bad about my fried chicken from Saturday night, but heck, we should be able to eat whatever we want, good or bad!
Absolutely. My friend says, “don’t label food good and bad.”
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
I totally agree! I have been food shamed at work before and it was really frustrating. I was given a hard time because I was eating something healthy. What they didn’t see was that I had 2 pieces of pizza a few hours earlier. You never know the other side of the story! We can only do the best that we can do and that should be enough!
That was the story of my life when I ate in the teacher’s lounge when I worked. I stopped eating in there for this exact reason. Little did some people know I was the first person to run to my co-teacher’s room during prep for candy corn when it was in season.
Great post! I see a lot of food shaming online, but I have to admit I don’t even pay attention to other people’s carts or notice if people are looking at mine. Haha I think my toddler keeps me distracted!
For me, it is mainly when I am waiting in line that I notice other people’s items.
MCM Mama Runs says
Yes, not a fan of food shaming. I don’t tend to pay much attention to what other people eat unless I see something in their cart that I realize I forgot LOL. Sometimes my cart is all organic/healthy. Sometimes my cart has tv dinners. Sometimes it has a lot of beer. Totally depends on what’s going on in my life at the time, so I assume everyone else is the same way.
I like it when my cart is full of beer 🙂 I’d secretly like to take a picture and say, “shame this”. haha
Patty @ Reach Your Peak says
Totally agree! I have no shame in posting when I have treats…it is all about moderation and being happy/not depriving yourself. Great post!
Ha! Whenever I see those posts, I make sure that my next meal that features it whether it be ice cream, bacon, fraps, etc I make sure to take a photo of it and put it on facebook 😉
Great post! I think we should all worry about ourselves and not judge anyone else for what they eat or not eat. I believe everything in moderation.
jill conyers says
Nothing is off limits. As soon as I make a food forbidden I MUST have it. I have learned what my body likes and doesn’t like and that’s how I choose what I eat. I’m guilty of checking out other people’s carts but not exactly for food shaming and judgement. I think to myself if they only knew how good they could feel if they made changes to their diet. I don’t think that’s judgement. Or is it?
GiGi Eats says
The only food I will shame is SUGAR… Oh and trans fat, however, that’s not a food but just a food additive that’s deadly!