I’ve come to realize that we live in a world where people love to make comments about other people’s choices. Whether it be what they’re wearing that day, how they choose to spend their weekend, or what they did to study for that test, people in our society today love inserting their two cents. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for people to feel confident expressing their thoughts, but when it comes to what someone is eating, it’s time to keep it to yourself!
Throughout my life, my relationship with food has had its ups and downs as I’m sure most people can relate to. I went through a period when I was in high school where food was a way to cope. Then it was the thing I had to think constantly about to shed the weight I so desperately wanted to get rid of. Thankfully, I’m now at a place where food is something I’m so thankful for. It’s something I know I can nourish my body with after a workout or a long day in class. It’s something that brings my family and my friends together, but I can often still be affected by the “little comments.”
If you were to take a minute to listen to any conversation at various restaurants, you’ll likely hear any combination of phrases like “wow, that’s a lot of food,” or “are you really going to eat all that?” While commenting on the amount of food someone is eating is unnecessary and harmful, it can also be toxic to make comments on what they choose to order. As someone who loves healthy foods and often chooses salad as an option for lunch or dinner, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone make a comment about how “annoying” I am for choosing it over something perceived as more delicious. I’m sure the person who made this comment had good intentions, but it immediately made me feel insecure for no reason other than the fact that I thought they had a problem with what I was eating.
The fact of the matter is whether you think you’re being nice by pointing out how healthy someone is or you’re trying to make yourself feel better by subtly telling someone they’re eating too much, comments about other’s peoples eating habits aren’t beneficial for any party involved. You just truly never know what someone else’s history is or why they chose that specific meal and quite honestly, it’s none of your business. If this person had stopped to think about my history with food and how I recently lost a lot of weight, they might understand why I’m drawn to salad over tacos.
Recently a friend of mine shared with me how uncomfortable her boss was making her feel during their lunch break because he continuously asked her if what she was eating was enough and why she didn’t have more. Little did he know that she is working extremely hard to change her eating habits due to a history with disordered eating. Just a small comment like that made her feel so self-conscious and he wasn’t even aware of the impact it would have.
All this to say, before you feel the need to comment on someone’s food choices, take a minute to ask yourself why you feel compelled to do so. Almost everyone has a complicated relationship with food so it’s best to steer clear of the topic all together. Let’s use a food as a way to bring people together not tear people apart!