I've always been someone who sort of did my own thing. I've always done things differently from people in my demographic, but I don't do it to be trendy or offbeat. It just comes naturally.
So many things that I do in life, it makes me feel as though I am the polar opposite of everyone else. Some examples:
- In high school, all the girls wanted prom dates. To me, a date just seemed odd. I didn't have any close guy friends, and I certainly did not date, so why attend with a random guy? I went alone. To me, that was default. To everyone else, default was to bring a date.
- In college, all the kids wanted to go out and socialize, maybe party and drink. I never had that urge. I just like hanging out on the internet, chatting online, downloading from Napster.
- Most people date either occasionally or all of the time. I never really did much dating, but I tried it for awhile. It wasn't me. I do my own thing. I don't need someone there.
- I've always done a lot of things alone, that most people do with others. Vacation, movies, going out to dinner, going to musical performances. I just never felt like I needed someone to go with, and usually don't have someone around to go with, so I just go alone. It's a non-issue.
Many of these things have made me feel to be polar opposite from the general population that I observe around me. And the more intense I go towards one side, the polarization effect is even stronger.
So as I am leaning down, making really good health choices, I feel even more different from the people around me. And the only negative thing that I think about this, is that I tend to misunderstand, and sort of feel sorry for those who are at the other end of the spectrum. I feel like they're the ones that have it all wrong. But I realize that's not necessarily true. Some people will opt to eat and live their lives to the fullest. I don't really even blame them! If they're happy, more power to 'em! They certainly do get to enjoy their food more than I choose to!
I know that I am not alone in this phenomena. People at the extremes of the spectrum often are so far removed from the other end, that they lose the understanding they previously had when they were more moderate. And this applies to me. I have a heightened sense of awareness and sensitivity to those that aren't doing what I am doing.
So when I know women that have never been single, I misunderstand that, and don't care for that. When I see people who always are out drinking and partying, I misunderstand and don't care for that. And now, when I see people who are so sadly unhealthy, I misunderstand and don't care for that. Now, more than ever.
We all have our prejudices. No one can deny that. Some have more than others, but we all have at least a little bit. Even the super sweet person who has very few aversions to certain people, can have an aversion to say, people who are always late, or people who litter, or people who play loud music on public transit.
Due to my relatively extreme focus on health and fitness right now, my prejudices are amplified. Does that make me a bad person? I guess perhaps some would think so. As I get closer to what I would consider the "ideal level of fitness," those who do not fit that ideal, are more foreign to me.
So, when I went down for my Diet Coke to the cafeteria this morning, and I see really obese people buying what they are, in my head, I'm judging them. I'm not going to feel badly for it, and I'm not going to apologize. I've been judged, oftentimes by people who have told me so.
I've been chastised through the years by dozens of people for the amount of Diet Coke I drink. I have been bombarded by that old claim of artificial sweeteners give people cancer. Or how it's going to mess up my cravings. Or how all the caffeine is really bad for you (that one is partially true, due to it being a diuretic).
Drinking diet soda has become one of those "free license for people on which to give you their unsolicited opinion." I know smokers also get it. As a vegan I get it. I also get it because I am not married and do not want children, and will express it when asked about it, but this isn't as pandemic with people when it comes to giving opinions; but this is only because it's not as outwardly apparent, such as drinking diet soda or smoking. I think the reason people do this is not to be hurtful, but because they think they are helping. I don't mind being helped, as long as people are well-informed. And, since the artificial flavors in diet sodas have not been proven, yet some "random guy at work" or "random friend from wherever" sh*tting out his or her mouth with his or her uneducated version of "cancer causing foods", it really burns me up.
So when I see heavy, unhealthy people, I do want to help them. If someone were to ask me "Hey, what do you to do be so healthy, I'd like to get healthy myself," I would love to have those floodgates open. But that rarely happens. The only time I've been asked that, is by generally fit and healthy people, usually at the gym. But those aren't the people that really need help.
I don't feel the urge to change anyone. I think that if I were that heavy, unhealthy person, that I'd try to inspire myself to change my lifestyle. I'd probably ask a lot of questions, try to glean encouragement where ever I could. I know that before I started leaning down, I asked my trainer, who competes and models, so many questions about diet, about his lifestyle, so I could start to educate myself. I also did a lot of research on the diet of fitness competitors, to see what they were doing that I was not doing. I wanted to educate myself.
And although I didn't take the plunge right away, I wanted the information. I think it takes people a lot of time to process education and information, to evaluate how it would be possible to incorporate it in their lives. To analyze whether it's something they want to do or not. I know that I certainly did.