Stick it to the status-quo.

October 6, 2010 § 8 Comments

Hi friends!

Whilst away, i’ve been pondering with forehead furrowed on the topic of being different. Being that troublesome customer who modifies a set-menu item until all that is left is a bean shoot and some parsley for garnish (I’ll have the vegetarian pizza, minus the mozzarella, minus the fetta, minus the gluten…). Being the girl who produces a tahini-coated banana and herbal tea in the face of a social coffee date. Having all eyes on you as you gulp and attempt to answer the ‘But, where do you get your proooooo-teeeeeeeeein from?’ question that usually makes it’s clichéd debut approximately  30 seconds after divulging your plant-loving ways.

Even simply making the choice to modify your lifestyle habits for the better often inspires some kind of external commentary, unwanted curiosity, scorn.

How many times have you made the decision to avoid refined sugar, processed foods or take away, only to come undone as your colleagues, friends & family ply you with baked goods, ask infinite & awkward questions as to your new ‘diet’ or make hurtful remarks at your expense?

More times than you can count, I’m sure.

Why is it that taking responsibility and owning your health often elicits such a negative, hostile response? And why is it so hard to exit the status quo?

(I feel like Carrie from Sex and the City…)

Away from my absurdly stocked pantry and organic fridge oasis, I’ll admit it’s hard to maintain my own status quo. Spinach smoothies, spirulina shots and raw cacao treats take a backseat to simpler, more accessible foods appropriate to where I find myself. Unfortunately it is difficult to eat this way because it is simply not the norm. It is abnormal to eat for nutrition, vitality and life and doing so is a constant struggle.

I sometimes think, perhaps it would be easier to give all this up? To loosen my clingy, needy grip on superfoods, return to buying goods filled with chemicals & preservatives, forget about what is at stake when I perpetuate the sale of unethical, mass-produced products…

But that would be ignorance. Active forgetting. Blatant denial.

The truth is, once you know what is best for your body, your wellbeing, your planet, how can you look the other way?

By no means do you have to be a perfect specimen of moral rigidity however you can strive to make choices that are less impactful & more healthful.

I for one am embracing my aura of freak. I care about my health, say what you will!

I’ve realised that there is only one person who takes responsibility for my life. Me (and sometimes my mum. Hi ma!) Not the government. Not the health foundation. Not the hospital. And most certainly not the people working in advertisement, who ultimately dictate the scope of the terms ‘usual’ and ‘unusual’.

Perhaps in 20 years time, people will have discovered that it is NOT healthful to eat pre-packaged frozen dinners despite their glowing heart-foundation tick, in the same way we would cringe at the thought of inhaling a big cloud of asbestos fibres today. Smoking was once an accepted social norm (hello, Mad Men) but today we acknowledge the horrific magnitude of it’s disease fostering and destruction.

I for one, prefer to take a pre-emptive approach. It may be weird, it could be confronting, but no one controls this wild, hellbent health-freak. I’m going to have my algae and eat it too!

Do you find it hard to live the life you want due to social pressures? Is it different with an uncompromising partner? Has the fear of ‘being different’ stopped you from achieving your goals?

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§ 8 Responses to Stick it to the status-quo.

  • jjaci says:

    I eat meat very rarely, and if I am given the choice, I will have the vegetarian option. So, when my work has a function of some kind, I am always the one that eats the only meatless option. So, every single time, no matter what, everyone feels the need to ask me “don’t you eat meat…or something?” like, it’s a bad thing. But, it never ends, they have KFC, “what…you don’t eat chicken!?” they have pizza, “what…you don’t eat bacon!?” well, no, not really…and I don’t think it really makes much of a difference either way. Of course, while everyone else is eating the meat, I am left with the sides, or a few chips, so I ALSO get the questions about “what…do you eat AT ALL?” ARGH! I’ve been there for like 6 months now, and I STILL get that sh*t every damn time I eat around them. I feel pressured to eat the way they do, like it’s the only way I can shut them up…and even if I completely gorge myself with vegetable options, they still don’t think I have eaten anything. It’s infuriating. I just feel unequal. The same with alcohol, most of the time I am quite content with my decision to not drink, or to only have one or two on a very odd occasion, (I can’t even remember the last time I had a drink…must be last year?) but everywhere I go, people always joke that I am lame for having a fizzy drink instead. Friends, family…underage youngsters…everyone in my world. I was once shamed for not ordering alcohol at a FUNERAL. By an AUNT! …it throws me completely and of course I feel guilty, like I am not normal, because drinking doesn’t interest me. Kinda different things, but they make me want to deviate from habits that make me comfortable and happy…

  • Roselie says:

    GREAT POST!!!
    No way we are going to let ignorant, foolish, and downright rude people tell us what to do!! Here’s an idea, take a look at your diet first before you scorn someone else’s!! For me while it may not be a piece of cake in some places I ‘m never going to let them dictate my life.As for partners, why would I ever want to be with someone who doesn’t respect me, not even on simple diet choices? Not to mention veganism, I wouldn’t be with someone who wouldn’t have the same morals as me (meaning at least vegan on the making!)

  • Katie says:

    yea, this is a really good post – all so true! Most people really just don’t want to know about it…people would rather be blissfully ignorant of what they put in their bodies, so they see other people’s healthy attempts as a personal affront. or something. it’s pretty annoying. but you are so right – YOU are responsible for YOU. just because a packaged meal says it’s “healthy”, or a traditional GP says a pill will make you “better”, it’s up to you to decide what to believe and what to do with your knowledge.
    I have a hard time at work too – people always bringing in crap to eat and then they don’t understand when you don’t want to stuff it in your face. crazy, I tell ya!
    LOVE your writing, by the way. keep it up!

  • Babs says:

    Love it! I get a secret thrill at being different and love getting people to taste vegan food. I’m definitely not where I want to be healthwise, yet, but it’s all part of the learning curve. I keep a vegan house, but this weekend I’ll be going to a wedding and I’ll probably eat a bit of the non-vegan wedding cake. Heck, my own wedding won’t even be vegan (although I wish it was going to be), but it will be vegetarian at least. I think the goal should be to attempt to be a better person today than you were yesterday, and also to be a positive influence on others.

  • Amanda says:

    Great post!

    I often get funny looks when we go out to work lunches (i.e. we go to the pizza place and everyone’s scoffing down pizza and I’m eating lentil soup!) or if we go out to drinks (“I’ll have a light beer thanks!” *eyes shoot daggers at me*) but I couldn’t care less. This is my life and I will do and eat and drink what I damn well please! They are just jealous, I have come to learn, that I am able to exhibit discipline in the hardest times. Don’t get me wrong, I will indulge in pizza when I see fit but I won’t let my social experiences dictate that for me.

    🙂

    x

  • Great post, you nailed a lot of good points. I find it hard to keep my diet…eat the foods I like, that my body likes…to just fit in sometimes. It is hard, but I also have to remember to do what is best for me. I hate to cause scenes in all when eating with others, but also hate to feel like crap or feel guilty about eating this or that. Although as I move into feeling better, I am more confident so easier for me to stick to my ways.

  • […] of all a big thank you for all the thoughtful & honest comments on my last post (read them here if you missed it). I think we all agree that it takes hard work and a fair whack of courage to go […]

  • I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, though I was one for around 18 months a few years ago. I personally feel better with some animal products in my diet and find it easier to maintain. Though I do admire those who eat that way as it is tough (I did cop a bit of slack when I was a vego from family ha) but as I said it’s admirable. To each their own right? My family think I’m crazier now though with all the ‘different’ food I’ve made haha. However I’ve gotten them to eat quinoa and kale! Good effort right? I’ve even gotten my younger sister to eat sauerkraut! There is hope for everyone!

    About how/why I eat:
    I eat a nutrient-dense veggie-filled whole-food diet because It keeps me healthy and I find if I eat processed food I get sick. The sad fact of life is that ever-present processed foods are bad for us and they’re everywhere (as I’m sure you very well know) but I guess that is a part of the ‘great western diet’!
    Diet really does has a huge impact on me. The only times I really would get sick is if I eat processed foods, which is why I avoid them 99% of the time. But it is hard. You go out and what’s there? Processed food! I guess that’s why there is much value in cooking your own food.

    It does seem however, that some people don’t really care what they put in their bodies, but thankfully not everyone thinks that way. And it’s also one of the great reasons to blog, to let people know how they can use diet to have a healthy life!
    I’ve noticed these days many people do seem to be getting to know their fruit and veg more which is great!

    Great blog post Katey :).

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