Monday, December 5, 2011

Do What you Know (Part 2)

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"
"It's Christmas"
"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.


  1. Thank you for this post. My husband and I have been agonizing over this and this is exactly what we needed to read.

  2. thank you so much for commenting Emily. Sometimes I throw posts out there wondering if anyone will care or if it will help anyone. Just knowing it might have helped one person makes me very happy. I hope you are well. Stay strong, friend.

  3. Tiffany, can i just tell you how much I love this post? This is what I go through on a regular basis! Thanks for putting it into words

  4. You are welcome jen. I am glad you liked it. I am going to keep checking in on you!

  5. I love it, so true. It bothers me to death when I don't partake and people either make fun of me for being a health-nut (which isn't a hundred percent true, usually it's because I've already eaten my day's worth of sweets, or I just don't want any that late at night, or some other reason). I don't know why we force unhealthy food on each other. But I do love this post!

  6. Oh, this is AWEsome! I feel like if I would say this to those people who do this, I'd be labeled "judgemental" or etc... but thank you for having a forum where you sing my song lady! Yeah, I do break now and again to chuck me some egg nog after psycho day with "wants-to-pee-standing-up-like-some-kid-in-primary-even-though-we-all-and-I-mean-all-sit-down-in-this-German-house!" child. Just sayin. But esPECially when I ditched sugar for 8 weeks. Yes, 8 weeks as a challenge to myself (and had shakes for the first week- now if that doesn't tell you something- and people needed to chime in about excessive behaviors, not wanting to cause kids to binge later (since I didn't give my one-year old sugar (!??) and in general not supportive, or were sarcastic, or tempting me. Kind of wish we could support each other more and lift each other up instead of making things a comparison all the time. I don't find that in as many other places as I do church,sadly. Maybe it's because it's a married student ward. I'm sure the amazing amount of similiarities makes the comparing appealing to some. Anyways. Hard to do something you think is good...even know is good for you, and feel brought down by naysayers.

  7. I totally get this scenario and I hope that I have never made anyone feel this way. I do think that people mean well and honestly I feel like sometimes it is the opposite, where it becomes a contest where the healthiest, strictest person wins. I think sometimes people are really just trying to be nice and probably don't totally understand the situation. I always try to be supportive of anything that is a positive thing, but I am sure I have stuck my foot in my mouth at one point or another.

    I was a vegetarian for 5 years and for some reason it never really bothered me that people would stay stuff (one guy told me he'd pay me to eat a burger and my MTC president read sections of D&C telling me I was making a mistake) but I just figured it was my own thing and I didn't really mind what anyone else thought. Maybe that is because I figured that if they understood where I was coming from they'd be okay with it. I don't know, I just have felt so stupid so many times for not being the maybe the judgements go both ways.

  8. Serena -- Absolutely! You couldn't be more correct. I agree with the competition stuff "let's see who is the healthiest" ha ha.... SO silly. Everyone needs to do what they feel is right for their own bodies. Some people are loud and annoying about their diets and opinions (you have told me about some of the girls you know) and others simply try to say "no thank you" and should be allowed to be left alone! And the ones EATING the sugar or "seemingly unhealthy" item should not be judged as well! It completely goes both ways. Now that I am off sugar again I have let some friends know so they can help support me. It's funny because I was at a friend's house this week for lunch and some comments were made about me "being so good". I felt bad because that isn't what it's about. It isn't "I am making better choices than you". It's I am making the best decision for my body. I can't believe the difference in my energy, my mood, my focus, and my tolerance since being off. I just have bad reactions to the stuff. It kind of goes up and down... maybe some day in the future I will be able to handle it again, but a detox sure has felt great!

  9. And Jess, you crack me up with your german sitting stuff. I would love to hear how you felt off sugar! What changed for you? I have withdrawal symptoms as well. They last about a week. It used to take me two weeks. Thanks for your comment!

  10. You're awesome!! Love this post. So dang true.

  11. Hi checking in here once in a while. You remember how I broke my back a while back? I had to use a walker (yes with tennis balls) and learn to walk again. I had a newborn, one-year-old and three-year-old and major back surgery and nerve damage (still have a slightly floppy foot). No lifting the kids, lots of time in bed, etc. Needless to say, it was a difficult time in my life. I put on weight and self-medicated with food. It's been a long road back but I'm feeling great now...slowly getting strong and making changes for life. I cried when I ran three miles without stopping for the first time in years. Literally cried on the track. No more taking my body for granted...but I am continually shoked by the negative comments I get about my diet. I never make a big deal about what I'm eating or not eating (I don't bring it up unless asked) but when asked how I've lost weight, etc., if I tell them some of the changes I've made, I get negative comments from people who don't understand (this always cathes me off guard if it's someone who knows what I've been through over the last few years). I always just tell them that it's all about doing what truly makes you feel good I feel great now. I didn't before. I lost my health and I'm earning it back. That usually allows for the conversation to turn into a positive one where the mention of green smoothies and unrefined, natural sweeteners no longer seems stange or extream. It's definitly not about right or's about how each person feels and being willing to make personal changes without comparing or judging. I'm so thankful for people who have helped and encouraged me! All we can do is offer the same to each other, no matter what changes we're working on at the moment.


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