I was a head in the sand nurse who couldn’t AND refused to go through a checkout lane without grabbing a candy bar, no matter what time of day. I was the “cookie Mom” for a reason, and coincidentally my kid always got “top seller.” I drank fountain Coke instead of water. I was a Mom who watched Food Network and consistently avoided her veggies while telling her kids to clean their plate. A sugar addict who was certain that Lucky Charms was the perfect meal. Not dessert…meal.
I had never ever exercised outside of three brutal postpartum attempts to sweat off the baby weight. I was allergic to all things “healthy” and refused to read labels.
How did that person become a self-proclaimed, part-time food Nazi? Oh boy…
It’s a bizarre, funny, complex journey….discovering what I didn’t know that I didn’t know. I discovered that there’s a huge difference between actual food and processed crap. Ha! Who knew?
After this discovery I almost immediately lost my mind and jumped the Ho-Ho ship, frantically swimming as fast as possible to the former “dark side” that now looked like heaven because of a new lens of awareness.
I became obsessed with nutrition and started preaching, lecturing, condemning and shaming people who ate anything that resembled a Pop Tart, until most of my FB friends unfriended or blocked me. I embarrassed my kids regularly with my soap box rants at their schools and to their friends’ parents. My friends felt uncomfortable eating a bite of dessert in my presence fearing my wrath of judgement and condemnation or my passive aggressive smirk and “Are you really going to eat that” smile. Ironically these were the same friends I had for years spent 10am-1pm with at Burger King while our kidlets played amongst the toxic pit of plastic balls and we scarfed down their junior burgers and lied to ourselves saying, “She’s not going to eat it. I wouldn’t want to be wasteful.”
I became what I had for years despised and resisted. The food police. Funny how that whole law of attraction thing actually works. I resisted and tried so hard not to be “that girl”, and eventually I manifested it in my life in a way that could not be funnier now that I look back. Oh, I was “that girl” allright. I was her on steriods.
So what’s the lesson? For crying out loud this one’s full of lessons…the stand out is to meet people where they are. Love people where they are. Get off the soap box and pull up a chair. We can only “help” those who believe they actually have a problem, are willing to do something about it and are open to finding out what they don’t know that they don’t know. If not, all the preaching and teaching in the world will fall on deaf ears. You’ll be exhausted. They’ll feel unheard and judged. So be gentle. Respect their boundaries while holding onto what you know to be true.
Listening with an open heart always wins. Every time.