It's NOT about you.
I first become a vegetarian at the age of 16, after spending part of my day watching documentaries about the US meat-packing industry. My parents thought it was just a "phase" that I would grow out of.
I haven't yet.
I didn't become a vegetarian for health reasons. It was more value driven, which I thought would make it a non-negotiable--something that one couldn't and wouldn't try to convince me out of. It proved to be very negotiable in most people's minds. It was as if my opinion and my choices didn't matter.
A little over a year ago, I wasn't feeling very well. I was lacking energy and was often taking naps during the day. My runs had turned into "runks" (a run-walk combo). I knew something was up, so I headed to my doctor and to a homeopath to get a well-rounded opinion.
After some tests were run, two major problems were revealed. 1) I was anemic, and 2) I was pre-diabetic. The first didn't surprise me, but the second did. How could I, the healthy-eating-vegetarian be pre-diabetic?
Having had gestational diabetes with my 2nd child and a family history of diabetes, I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. I am relatively thin and sporty. Type-2 diabetes only happens with people who are over-weight, right?
I have since learned the term TOFI from the book The Diabetes Code by Dr. Jason Fung. It stands for "Thin on the Outside, Fat on the Inside." Yep, according to Dr. Fung, I most likely have a fatty pancreas, a fatty liver, and fatty muscles. That marbled look is great on a slab of beef, but not so great inside my own body.
The good thing is that new research shows that Type 2 Diabetes is 100% reversible with diet. No medicine or insulin needed.
And that is what I did. I went from pre-diabetic to non-diabetic in a very short time. The graph of my A1C looks like the white cliffs that I saw on the Normandy coast this summer--straight down.
I also went from being a vegetarian, to a vegetarian who doesn't eat breads, potatoes, pasta, grains, lentils, beans, starchy vegetables, most fruit, and as you probably guessed, sugar.
Who wants to invite me for dinner? I mean come on. I am the perfect dinner guest. If you throw in a few nut or egg allergies, it would be hostess's dream.
Needless to say, my husband and friends have been 100% supportive of the change. At least, I thought that everyone was 100% supportive of the change until I heard these words, "The way you eat is ANTISOCIAL."
I wasn't as welcome as a thought.
Sometimes when change occurs the people around us react as if we have slapped them in the face, rather than made a personal choice. We are then criticized, made to feel unwelcome, or even sabotaged. Instead of being lifted up and cheered on, we are tripped up and made to fall.
Even though I resist it, I get it. When someone changes their habits, and makes shifts in their priorities, it causes us to look at our own habits and priorities. We think, "If she is doing this, then what does that mean about what I am doing? Is it not 'good enough.'?"
Most recently, we left our home with a friend while we traveled. We came home to newly organized kitchen cupboards, new dish towels and deodorizing cleaners in each of our toilets. My husband said, "I can't help but feel judged."
Plus you can't FEEL judged. That's not a feeling. Feeling judged is a thought. Or, more precisely a story, a story that we have made up in our mind.
My husband "felt judged" but he has no idea if our friend was actually judging him. It's a story he made up in his mind because she was kind and left us clean smelling toilets and new kitchen towels.
As for me being antisocial, well, that isn't a story as those were the words that came directly out of their mouth. It was definitely, 100% a judgement, even when in the next breath they said that they weren't trying to criticize.
Here's the thing though. People will judge you no matter what. They will judge you in a positive light and they will judge you in a negative light. Judging is part of our survival, just like breathing is. If you don't want to be judged, you must stay at home, stay quiet and never interact with anyone, even online.
Sounds miserable to me.
Instead, I must meet my own judgments and the judgements of others with understanding and compassion. I must also remember that usually when I "feel judged", it's most likely a story, and it's definitely NOT about me.
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It's Theresa, founder of the Emerge Book Circle(s). These musings are focused on the living, loving, learning and leading that occurs everyday, in all its messiness.
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