The stigma of healthy eating…

For any elite athlete, eating healthy and paying close attention to nutrition is an essential part of performance. As a result, healthy eating often becomes a major component of an athlete’s entire identity. For some, it becomes an obsession. For others it just becomes a cautious realization of what foods will help fuel performance, and what foods can and will destroy it over time. Beyond just athletes, nutrition is an essential part of anyone’s life, and should realistically be something we all pay attention to.

So it’s all the more confusing why a stigma exists around healthy eating. To this day, I find myself having to justify my food choices on a weekly basis. From “Why are you buying that type of milk?” to “Why don’t you want to take the pizza box home with you?”, I often have to justify my desire to live a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it’s almost like if you eat vegetables, you are somehow weaker than a big burly man who only eats meat and spends the whole day constipated as a result. I will admit, sometimes it makes social events or outings more difficult. Since almost no sugar or trans fat ever enters my body, I always end up having a strange feeling in my stomach after eating out. I never let that stop me from going out and enjoying my food. But it makes me uncomfortable. Even though I’m fully aware my stomach will have an uncomfortable reaction to the food I’m about to eat (and unhealthy food tends to come in massive portions), it almost feels better than having to justify my desire to do something we should all do – and that is eat healthier.

Eating healthy and paying close attention to your daily nutritional intake is something we should all do, stigma-free. So next time someone skips the sugar on a recipe, goes for a low-fat or low-sugar option, drinks water rather than soda, or whatever it may be, don’t tease or judge. Praise them for their decision to eat healthy. In the meantime, I encourage all those fellow healthy eaters out there to embrace the bizarre stigma around healthy eating with a care-free attitude, and even clap back at anyone who tries to put you down. In the end, who cares what other people think about you, right? I know I’m making choices that will benefit me not only in the long-term, but massively in the short-term as well. Remember that and don’t listen to the haters. They’re likely just intimated by your healthy lifestyle, and the intense realization that you’re completely one-upping them on one of the most essential parts of life.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

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