In a perfect world everyone you love would rally and cheer for you every step of this crazy journey called life.
Well, when it comes to trying to live a healthy lifestyle not everyone is ready with pom-poms blazing. This ride is hard enough without getting grief from those closest to you.
Here are my two cents about friends and family who make living healthy difficult.
The extra work of living healthy
I’m doing my damnedest to live healthy and well.
Logistically this means I drive about 5 miles to the nearest Trader Joe’s and to the nearest large natural foods market, and another 12 miles to the nearest farmer’s market.
Keep in mind I’m not in the middle of rural America, I live in a heavily populated LA. suburb (but one one that isn’t very focused on healthy living).
I must pass about 10 to 20 markets on my way to these places, but these stores don’t carry what I need (at least not all that I need in the same place or at reasonable prices).
So instead, every week I travel farther than all my neighbors just so I can stock my kitchen with plenty of organic produce and natural staples.
I also budget accordingly. Foregoing niceties (oh how I’d love a massage) so I can buy better food.
I carefully break out the calculator on every shopping trip, and plan out the week’s meals so as to ensure I stay on track.
Each week, armed with careful planning, I manage to successfully balance the budget and my desire to feed my family healthy organic food.
Unfortunately, I’m less successful at balancing some of the criticisms and cynicism of people around me. Now they are all generally well-meaning people, but that doesn’t always translate to them being supportive.
Living healthy but dealing with snark
I know from experience that I’m not the only one getting side-eye from friends and family for my insistence on healthy living.
I’ve met other people who struggle with the same kind of judgment. From unsupportive husbands to grandparents sneaking artificial everything to their grandkids, to acquaintances who feel threatened by your healthy ways…it all makes living healthy that much harder.
Open letter in defense of moms trying to live healthy
So let me be just one tiny voice for all the wonderful and dedicated mothers who have embraced a healthier way of life. Moms who are trying to give their children a better chance.
Of course this isn’t just for moms this is for everyone trying to live healthier, but I’m going to focus on moms for this one because we have plenty on our plates already without anymore eye-rolling. Know what I’m sayin’.
If you see a mom who has gone to the trouble of ensuring her child eats better, say thank you.
If your wife drives or walks any extra distance to go to a healthier grocery store, please say thank you.
If you daughter spends her nights reading books on nutrition instead of watching her favorite show, say thank you.
If your friend brings her child a lunch box packed with nutrient dense goodies, just smile and say thank you.
Why thank you?
Because that mom’s efforts likely mean her children will live with less disease than the average child.
Because those children will be less likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes than the average child.
Because those farms from where the organic produce is grown spill fewer toxins into your waterways.
Because the hard working field-workers who pick her organic produce don’t show the same pesticide overload as the workers on conventional farms.
Because the world needs more moms who care that much.
And finally because it’s hard to be a mom, it’s hard to add anything extra to a mom’s already full plate.
If you are lucky enough to have your wife, your girlfriend, your sister, or your daughter adding one more thing her plate just so her family can be healthier, then please give that woman a standing ovation, because she’s earned it. And when you sit back down either follow her lead or at least keep your judgment to yourself.
Let’s all try to evolve one step forward and have more kindness and love for our fellow humans.
One hard-working single mom just doing her best!
Thoughts? A word of support? Leave your comments in the box below.
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