Christmas Eve spread at my parent's home 2009
Schadenfreude: german word meaning to delight in the misfortune of others.
A couple years ago I was at a holiday gathering of friends. We ate a few appetizers, talked, did whatever women do when they get together. Toward the end of the evening the host brought out a few delicious pies she had bought from a really nice bakery. One by one she went around the room and asked each guest which type they would prefer. After about 10 women were passed slices of pumpkin, apple, or chocolate deliciousness the friend standing next to me was asked which she preferred. Her reply: "No, thank you". A simple phrase.
A chorus of friendly opposition followed.
"oh, c'mon, just have a little piece"
"This pie is seriously to die for, you have to try it"
I knew that this friend had been working on her diet for months, had lost a considerable amount of weight and was trying so hard to do what she felt was right for her body. She started to give in for a second and told the host she would have a tiny slice. I quickly butted in and said "No, she won't". And then I turned and told her that she didn't need it and it wasn't worth it.
And then I sprayed redi-whip on all of those ladies.
Ha ha. I didn't. I love all of those ladies-- and I think I used to be the same way --but let's talk about it. Why does that happen? Why do people like to see others fail? Why are we threatened by another's choice? Why do these sort of scenarios and conversations happen all the time? Men and women alike? (I have known guys to be teased for eating "like girls" when they order salads or eat rice cakes). Why aren't we encouraging each other in healthy pursuits? Do you think it boils down to insecurity? guilt? jealousy that another might be making a better decision than we are?
This friend of mine just so happened to be avoiding sugar. I have had very similar experiences myself when I am not eating sugar. I think that is why I was sensitive to it and showed her my support. (she actually ended up not eating the pie!). I know many members of the church who have been given a hard time about being vegetarian or eating less meat.
There comes a point in our quest for health that we need to cast away all fear of what others will think or say and Do what We Know. When the spirit has testified to us what is right for our bodies, whatever that may be, we need to listen. We need to love our health more than love the acceptance of others who might be interested more in their own security. Pray for the strength to Do What You Know. Surround yourselves with people that encourage you in your healthy pursuits, try to avoid those who pressure you do do otherwise and come up with strategies to tactfully avoid what is not in line with your health goals. Be a supportive friend.
I have more to say, but I will wrap up for this week. I hope all of this is helpful. I would love to hear about your own experiences.