I’ve recently been doing some soul searching about gluten. While I have maintained a gluten free lifestyle for the past 18 months, lately I’ve been trying it out again and this brings up so much anxiety!
Do I tell people I’m doing this?
What about all those gluten free foods people have made for me?
Will someone be angry with me for wasting their time?
What if I go back to eating gluten?
What will they think of me?
The biggest question of all, and the one I need to focus on is:
Why is it anyone else’s business what I eat?
What you eat is your business
First and foremost: What you eat is no one’s business but your own. Let me repeat that: what you eat is no one’s business but your own. I worry about this so much! Every time I eat gluten I feel the need to explain myself. Or, anytime I indulge in more ice cream than I think the other person thinks is a reasonable amount I feel the need to explain myself (<– did I really say that?!).
But, I don’t owe anyone any explanation or information about what I’m eating. It’s my body and I’ll feed it what I find the most appropriate at the given time.
So, if I decide that french toast looks delicious and it’s right for my body and soul to eat it, then I’m going to eat it. If that makes someone unhappy or question my judgement, that’s their beef, right?
I totally get how this is easier said than done. It takes practice.
I’m not quite sure I understood that someone’s actions are in direct proportion to their view until today, actually. I received a phone call with some upsetting news and it happened in the middle of my great and exciting day. Well, shortly thereafter, I became so enraged at the traffic, honking my horn and cursing under my breath.
It became so apparent that this shift in mindset was, top to bottom, all on me.
The traffic didn’t change in the five minutes the phone call lasted. What did change was my perspective. This non-food-related situation made me really look at why people react negatively in a given moment:
It’s usually not about the moment, it’s about something internal.
I’ve tried to put that into practice – even before today – but didn’t necessarily realize the power of that idea until I recognized it happening with me on the other side (i.e. me being the angry jerk!). What people think and say is their business. They might share it, but we all have the choice to accept it as our own, or better yet, have the power to disregard it, knowing that it’s not really about us.
So, to bring it back to food: what food you consume is your business. If I want to eat all of the chili, that’s my business and I’ll be doing my business for awhile #becausechilies. That’s on me. And, if someone else comments on it or I catch a look, I can classify that as their issue and not mine. They have to deal with those feelings while I’m eating a delicious bowl of chili.
No more beer pressure
More importantly, if you don’t want to eat something, then don’t. This idea falls directly in line with the above sentiments. It follows: what you don’t put in your body is your business, too.
When everyone is eating a shit ton of candy and I’m already hyped from taking my inhaler (hellooooo, asthma!) I don’t have to eat any candy. That line, “Oh, come on, it’s just one piece” is total BULLSHIT. You know why someone is saying that? You guessed it, because she is feeling guilty eating that candy by herself.
Beer pressure is the same thing. We don’t need to make fun of someone for not drinking or try to persuade her to drink, mmmk? And, I’m not trying to sound preachy. I’ve been on both sides of the beer pressure: trying to get someone to imbibe and also being coaxed into drinking more. And, BOTH SIDES suck. I feel shame for those moments when I’ve persuaded friends to have another drink and embarrassment when I didn’t say no to that last sip. These are strong feelings and ones that can be avoided.
(This goes for candy pressure too, but that doesn’t sound as catchy.)
It’s on you, too
Own your feelings. If you’re taunting someone about what they’re eating or drinking, that’s on you. Is there a need to point out what someone else is eating? Let’s get some introspection going on, shall we? Are you projecting your own feelings onto someone else? Own that shit.
I’m not always on top of my own feelings – check in: today with the horn honking – but, recently I’ve really tried to not be concerned by what other people are eating and drinking.
It’s my body that I need to focus on and that’s it. Hopefully the next time I hear myself worry about if someone is concerned with my gluten eating, I’ll remember what I wrote here and chill the f out, knowing that what I put in my body is my business.