Have you ever heard that person say, "Oh, I don't eat that!"
And you thought to yourself: What a condescending snob!
Well, here's the thing: I want you to be that person.
Wait, wait, wait. Before you click away I want you to hear me out before you make your decision about whether there is anything of value here!
Putting aside the off-putting assumption that this person feels superior to the food offered (because honestly, it could be an allergy or aversion), what other scenarios can we deduce from this person's reaction?
Perhaps they are on a diet --
Perhaps they are particular about preparation --
Perhaps they are vegan or vegetarian --
Perhaps they are concerned about eating organic --
We truly don't have enough information to warrant a judgement call on character in this situation. But at least this person doesn't feel compelled to toss his beliefs out the window at the first sight of chargrilled bratwurst.
Don't be that guy
Listen, I'm not advocating for being rude. Don't tell the host that the bountiful harvest on his table is likely to take years off the lives of his guests! Don't be the guy who goes to the BBQ, rejects all the food, and sanctimoniously preaches to others what they should be consuming. Everyone hates that guy!
Or the guy who brings his own carefully measured portions of unseasoned chicken and broccoli...I mean, cool, but why did he even come to a BBQ? He could have at least eaten his special menu beforehand...
See, it's not about being superior, it's about being fastidious about what we allow into our bodies. It's about treating your body as though it were a literal holy temple. And why shouldn't it be? You get precisely one body and if you want it to carry you through to old age you've got to get stuck up about what you stick in it.
Everyone is a critic
We don't have to talk about it.
Let me say that again for the people in the back: We don't have to talk about it!
Our personal standards can be ours alone. Sure we'd love to share information with others about being healthy but our society is saturated in "eat this, not that" and the information is so convoluted and contradictory that it is nearly impossible to have a reasonable discussion about it.
You can try if you like, but I recommend a softer approach:
You know, I read somewhere that processed meats have very high levels of nitrites which are thought to contribute to a whole host of health problems.
I thought that was interesting so I cut them out of my diet and feel pretty good about it.
Ask for feedback, listen to them, and then move on.
It's entirely possible that anyone you meet has made personal choices about their nutrition. What's more, if they are having a "cheat day" (I'll visit this topic another time), they don't need some self-righteous know-it-all making them feel bad for it.
And don't get crazy! I hear stories all the time of people doing "keto" who can't fix their faces to disguise their disgust when they see someone eating a hamburger with a bun! Don't accost that person. Only address it if it comes up in convo.
Stick to common sense nutrition principles and only share when asked.
Stick to your standards
When we buy clothes do we choose anything off the rack? Most of us don't. Most of us have developed a standard for our clothing that requires that they accentuate our curves, flow over (or suck in) our imperfections, and make us feel good about ourselves. Why should our food choices be any different?
That isn't to say that we don't buy something from time to time that was out of our comfort zone. We took it home. Tried to wear it. But couldn't make it out the door. Or maybe we did go out in public in it! Maybe it took seeing other people's reactions to our bold choice to cause us to reflect on where we'd gone astray. And we do that with food too, don't we? We try something a little different, maybe knowing that it won't illicit the same confidence we usually feel and we typically regret it later.
It's okay! Sometimes revisiting the recognition that a food choice doesn't serve us is precisely the reminder we need to stick to our standards.
So make that the rule, not the exception. Adopt a standard that is sure to make you feel good and recognize that choosing something below that standard is below you. You have good judgement. You know what's best for you. You love yourself enough to stick to your standards.
And that's what this is all about, loving yourself. It's not about punishing yourself. Depriving yourself, starving yourself, or any kind of negative mindset. It's about saying: I want to live my best life. That means I'll eat the food that is best for my body. I'll wear the clothes that best fit my body. And strut my confidence all over the dang place.
When we feel good, we look good. When we look good, we feel good. Start with allowing only the good into your life and your body.
Skeptical? Try it just one day. Try one day to only eat what a snobbish, extremely confident person would eat. Don't apologize for having standards. Wear an outfit that makes you feel AHHH-mazing. And let me know if you can eat half a three-cheese pizza with cheesy breadsticks on the side while wearing it. I suspect not.
So, don't show up at the BBQ as the overbearing "which way to the gym" guy. Don't be the "I've given up and I'm consoling myself with this bowl of chips" guy.
Instead, be the guy who brings something healthy to share, chooses a reasonable portion of a reasonable food, looks like his clothes were made for him, and has a great time.
That guy is a secret snob.