Food for Thought

Do you know how many strange looks I get when I say the four words, “I don’t eat sugar”?  People have a variety of reactions.  Some look at me with remorse as if I just told them I lost my dog.  Others look at me with total bewilderment wondering why I would ever make a lifestyle choice like that.  Then I have those who just come right out and ask me the question that everyone is thinking, “Are you wacked?”

I have to admit that giving up sugar was a great personal triumph for me.  I never thought I could do it.  One of the hardest part was the people surrounding me that couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to put such a chemical in my body.  Why I would deprive myself of such a joy in this life.  Judgement was and still remains the worst part.  It is socially acceptable to eat sugar.  If it was cocaine that I was giving up society would be totally understanding and supportive because doing that particular drug is not accepted in society.  It’s totally frowned upon. Giving up sugar, on the other hand, is totally judged and talked about by certain circles of people.

There are many temptations in life that are not socially frowned upon but are still bad for us.  Geeze, our government legalized marijuana but banned chocolate milk from the school system.  Even myself who is very open-minded and a huge promoter of limiting sugar intake sees that maybe we could reevaluate some of priorities here.  However, that is just my perception on these matters.  I think we all should have free-will no matter what the topic.

We also have things that are socially unacceptable but really don’t have that big of an impact in our world like social etiquette in different cultures.  If I was born in the East into an Indian Hindu family it is considered proper Indian etiquette to eat with your hands as this is how the majority of the Indian people eat in the East. It is traditional and part of the Indian culture.  Once they come to the West, they form to our culture and change their patterns of eating…but which one is right?  It all depends on what you want to value.  In all reality neither of them are right or wrong.  They are all just a perception.

As a society we have to let go of all this judgement and just let people live.  If they want to order chocolate milk at school, let them.  If they want to enjoy the health benefits of marijuana, let them.  If they don’t want to put sugar in their body, just let them be.  Who cares if people want to eat with their hands, chop sticks or a fork and knife.

I love when I am in the staff room with my fellow teachers.  I have multiple generations in one room with males and females alike.  Some are on the way to retirement and some are just starting on their working journey which gives us a wide variety of opinions.  When I bring up my next hair-brained idea, like fasting for 3 days, they all chime in their thoughts and share their concerns.  Instead of just supporting and acceptance, they all have a thought or perception on what I should be doing. I adore them all but they are just one example of how society without meaning harm is very judgemental.

Whether it is fasting for three days, giving up sugar, not eating meat, the way you spend your money, what substances you put in your body or relationship issues, everyone is going to have their opinion on how you run your life.  Their own judgements on what you should do, is really just their own issues about that issue.  I love Dr. Wayne Dyer and one of my favorite quotes of his is, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” 

We have to learn to just realize other people’s perceptions are their own and have no reflection on you.  Just do what makes you happy and let others do what makes them happy.  We are all on our own journeys in this life, and we should respect this in everyone we meet.  Hands, chop-sticks, fork…who cares!!!!

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