I am not a health and/or fitness expert by any means. However, I do try to live my life as healthily as possible. And I try to ensure that Vishnu does the same. I educate myself by reading books/articles/blogs, watching documentaries, and talking to people who are professionals in the fields.
If I had to boil it down to a simple statement, I would say that we limit how much processed stuff we eat, and we try to move our bodies as much as possible.
For some reason, my family and friends think that I’m some sort of health freak that exercises for a living and eats oatmeal and broccoli for every meal. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little. But I do get a lot of questions about our healthy(ish) lifestyle. Some are genuine inquiries, while others are asked to push my buttons. I try to maintain a sense of humor when it comes to this part of my life because I know that now everyone understands or even agrees with it. That’s fine. Honestly, it is. But there have been times where I’ve had to bite my tongue when answering to avoid getting in trouble and/or to avoid sounding preachy.
Well, I’m not biting my tongue any longer. With this post, everything changes, and I’m laying it all out there – haha!
With that being said, here are the questions I frequently get asked and the answers I wish I could give.
Q: Are you on a diet?
A: NO! I don’t believe in diets. In fact, I hate the word diet…with a vengeance. And I actually love chocolate and cheese and eat those things quite frequently. So no, I don’t diet!!!!
Q: Does Vishnu miss normal food?
A: First of all, that’s a question for Vishnu. But let me take a stab at this…just for kicks. Vishnu is a very, very honest person. If he likes something, I know it. If he doesn’t like something, I know it. He doesn’t hold back. So while his diet has changed a little since getting married, he has a lot of say so in what we eat. I honestly don’t plop salads in front of him and say, “YOU MUST EAT THIS!!!” And really, what does “normal” mean? How would you define normal? Burgers, pizza, ice cream? I’m sorry, but that’s not normal either. Not that it’s anyone’s business, but our diets are actually pretty balanced. Thanks.
Q: Ewww!! You put spinach in your smoothies?!
A: Don’t knock it until you try it. And you absolutely positively can’t taste the spinach.
Q: Do you ever make unhealthy desserts at home?
A: The honest answer to this is no. And there’s a really, really simple answer as to why. When it comes to sweets, both Vishnu and I have no concept of portion control. If we know it’s there, we have to eat it. That’s why we leave the more unhealthy dessert indulgences for when we go out to eat.
Q: Do you healthify everything you make?
A: Not everything. But I do try to think through how I can make different foods healthier without altering the way they taste. If I think it’s possible, I try. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Healthy doesn’t mean zero calories, zero fat, and zero taste. Healthy (to me) means more nutrition, more satiety, and more flavor.
Q: How much more weight are you trying to lose?
A: Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I’m not actively trying to lose weight. I exercise and try to eat right because it makes me feel good about myself, reduces stress, and is honestly something I’m passionate about.
Q: Will you judge me if I eat ____?!
A: No! I don’t judge people for their food choices, just like I don’t want people to judge me for mine. If I know for a fact that your behavior is harming you in some way, I will (nicely) say something. But for the most part, I’m not trying to be a one woman revolution!
Q: Why do you exercise so much?!
A: First, I don’t exercise so much! 30-45 minutes of movement 4-5 times a week is what’s recommended for most adults. And second, while I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of having to get out of my comfortable bed in the morning, I do love the feeling of accomplishment after a good run/power walk, elliptical session, or strength training circuit. And it not only makes me feel physically empowered and strong, it helps keep me mentally sane. You should try it!
Phew! That felt good to get off my chest!
You may not know it from reading this little Q&A, but I actually love talking about “healthy stuff,” and I love it when people ask me questions. What I don’t love is when people judge me for my choices or imply that I’m starving my “poor husband.” Thanks for allowing me to vent!
Do you ever feel judged for the way you eat and/or your exercise preferences? How do you respond? How do you wish you could respond?
10 thoughts on “What I Wish I Could Say”
This might be my favorite post of yours yet…I feel like you took the words out of my head so in a word- AMEN! When did eating burgers and leading a sedentary lifestyle become “normal”?? And if that’s normal, I am much happier being abnormal! I’ve learned to bite my tongue when people ask me questions like the above- I rather not waste my energy trying to prove a point :)! As for making “real” dessert at home, my reasons are exactly the same as yours- I rather spare myself the temptation at home and just enjoy it when I’m out!
I agree word to word with you Parita. Its really frustrating sometimes..Food and exercise takes center stage sometimes with friends and family and I bite my tongue, sit there speechless – there are times when I will comment on a thing or two (if somebody asks for my genuine opinion) but most of the time I feel like people are just trying to show that they eat healthy and work out because I am judging them or something. About healthyfying things- if things can be made equally tasting by making some easy substitution why not. I dont know why its such a big deal for everyone..The best thing is ignore people, come home bake some black bean brownies and go for a run…best feeling ever
I love how you summarize it because I try to live the same exact way. I don’t believe in diets, I believe in a healthy lifestyle. I absolutely love homemade baked goods, but I don’t eat them every day. I still cook more meat than I’d like only because my fiancee doesn’t consider it a meal without meat, but I try to stay balanced and not overdo it on any one thing.
I hear ya! I have been lashed out on numerous occasions by family members because my so called balanced way of living was harming my husband (he went from 197 lbs to a healthy 170 lbs after marriage).
The other thing that annoys me the most is the silly questions, like why did you stop eating rice? Why don’t you like your tea cloyingly sweet? Now if these were asked in genuine interest I would have no problem answering them but no they are just jabs in front of others to start an hour long one sided debate.
It’s so funny. If you ask someone about their unhealthy diet, they get really offended and think you’re looking down at them. But they think it’s okay to do the same with you. I have friends on both end of the spectrum and really don’t care what they eat (as long as it’s not a candy diet 3x/day)!
You should seriously start answering people with the answers that you wish you could give – there’s no reason to bite your tongue when it comes to educating people about healthy living, as long as you do it in a lighthearted way that doesn’t come off as preachy. I definitely feel judged for my habits every now and then, and while it used to bug me, nowadays it’s pretty easy to just shrug it off. I find that the best way to communicate health to other people is to do what you do and lead by example.
Loved this post but sorry you feel like you need to defend yourself. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and you should be so proud of yourself…is it just an “indian aunty thing” to ask about whether your “poor husband” is getting enough food?! I’m sure Vishnu feels heaps better by eating healthier and doesn’t feel guilty when he chooses to tuck into not so healthy food (like in T&C?) xx
Good post Parita. I use the word diet once in a while on my blog before going on vacation, I’ll say that I need to diet and lay off cupcakes, but then I replace the cupcakes with chocolate. 🙂 Eating healthy is a lifestyle choice, it’s not a diet. I wish more people would get on board. You can have all your foods and healthify them and you’re still taking in a good number of calories, but it’s not lethal. One of my best friend’s is overweight and I’ve tried so hard to get her to lose it, but she is an emotional eater and wont’ change her mindset. Nothing wrong with eating crap, just can’t do it all the time. Love this post.
I wish I could say so many of these things! Funny how if you try to be healthy people judge you. And if you try to be unhealthy people judge you. 🙂
Love this post. Most of these questions are a classic case of dammed if you do and damned if you don’t. Do share the recipe of the smoothie with the spinach in it.