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Are You Enjoying Life or Harming Your Body?

I want to talk about nutrition and disciplined eating habits, as well as something that might resonate with a few of you but that I still want to put out there because of something I recently experienced. A few weeks ago, I was judged for trying to keep a healthy diet. Someone made me feel guilty for trying to fuel my body with the right foods and it totally blew my mind. It made me realize that, oftentimes, we judge people with great eating habits and label them as extremists or over the top. So, today I want to discuss the real meaning of having a balanced and healthy diet with good discipline.

“Diet is about balance, enjoy a few things in life” is what I was told by my friend when I shared my excitement about reducing my dairy consumption and stated that I was quitting ice cream. He followed up with some comments that almost made me feel guilty for trying to eat right. I was feeling ashamed of working on cleaning up my diet; that it is when it hit me. Oftentimes, people call you “crazy”, “rigid”, “extra”, “over the top”, or just presume you to be miserable when you have a clean and truly healthy diet. They assume that depriving yourself of certain foods is going to make you unhappy and that, perhaps, you care way too much about gaining weight. Whatever the reason is, sometimes there is some type of judgment that comes with people having strict diets. I realized that just like society often judges those who are overweight, people are also starting to see consistent-disciplined people with healthy eating habits as too much.

Have you ever had a friend who made you feel a certain way for maybe wanting to cut out a certain food completely from your diet, or for skipping dessert? If you haven’t, that is awesome, but if you have then you know that they usually tell you to enjoy life. They tell you that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of the things that make you happy, that life is too short to be so worried about eating some extra calories, or to stop making yourself miserable. I am not saying diet is not about balance and that all bad food must be cut off, no. Nutrition is definitely about balance. You should still be able to include some of the foods that might not be the healthiest but that you still enjoy. However, a line should be drawn once we start to normalize and underestimate the damage some foods do to our bodies and allow it to happen on a regular basis. Harming your body on the inside should never be labeled as “enjoying the little pleasures of life” or “relaxing and living a little bit”. For example, having dairy on a daily basis or even every other day still negatively affects your intestinal permeability so why would I fuel my body with something that is going to harm it? And when we decide to consciously make that switch on our mindset where we take charge of our nutrition, we shouldn’t be told to relax or be judged at all.

Like I stated at the beginning, this might be something that resonates with very few of you because like you, I always experienced praise for having good eating habits. However, after that experience with my friend, I started to realize that there is some subtle judgment from those who aren’t as willing to take charge of their nutrition. So, if you are being disciplined, fueling your body with the right foods but still allowing yourself to have a special treat here and there, then do not let anyone make you think that you are not enjoying life. Bad foods that taste amazing do not equal blissful and happy life. Taking care of your body and keeping it healthy and running for a very long time is. So keep up the great discipline, stick to a healthy diet, and don’t let society convince you that it is normal to eat things that are going to harm your body. It is not, and even though we have been conditioned to almost depend on some of them (cheese for example), be mindful and aware of the impact they might have and then decide if it is worth it or not.

Dani Ruiz


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