I'm about to cry
I just had the worst experience in the break room just now and I feel the only people I can vent to and be encouraged by are you all here on goneraw who understand what I'm going through. Okay, I have alot of people who support me in my lifestyle including family and friends but at my work every single day is a battle. I get made fun of, weird looks when I eat and constant constant 'advice' on how I really should be eating.
I was just making a green smoothie(I try my best to go when I don't think anyone will be in the breakroom) and a co-worker walked in and gave me 'the' look. I am friends with this guy and to me he has always seemed like an open minded person, one of the most open minded here but not today. I asked him what was wrong with putting spinach in a fruit smoothie and he would only shake his head with a smile like "you're a crazy person" and said he was sure it was 'very healthy'. So, I asked him if he would like to try it as I've had success with that method(everyone likes it once they try it) but he kept shaking his head. I poured him a little in a cup and gave it to him but he refused to drink it and started making a big deal to the other people in the room(now 3) about it. They started looking at me weird and finally I left and as soon as I did I could hear them talking about me in there. I'm so humiliated. Things like this happen every day here and yet do I make fun of them for eating their microwave dinners and ramen noodle cups? No! It's so frustrating that I'm the only one that gets persecuted.
I'm sorry for being negative but I'm really discouraged and I know that I won't be able to have a normal conversation with that guy again even though we were friends before.
I wouldn't take it too hard, troubles. People say things when they are in groups to try to sound cool. When you see him again, just ignore him and he'll know he did something wrong. When he asks what's up, just tell him that you thought you were friends, but don't want to be friends with people who judge you by what you eat. I've noticed that people only make fun of others because they are insecure. And look on the bright side, while they are destroying their bodies, you are bettering yours!
Troubles- I'm soo sorry to hear that you're being judged and bullied by your coworkers. Feel better :)
I understnad how you are feeling. I've been ditching company luncheons and birthday cakes for months now and people seem to think that I am self-conscious about my weight... A coworker once said outloud, 'I wonder if she's (talking about me) going to pass out from malnutrition hahahahah." It really hurt my feelings.
Just keep your head up high. They know that you're doing the best for your health and well being. The people I work with bring a lot of microwave foods too. I try to tell them how microwaving is detrimental to our bodies, but they don't seem to care. They brush me off as if I'm insane. Don't worry about that guy who laughed at you. He might actually be curious but just doesn't want to admit it! Who knows? Be proud of who you are and how great you are treating yourself by simply being healthy and raw!
Hugs to you. Hope the rest of your day goes well.
I'm so sorry that you were treated so disrespectfully. Sometimes people know how to deal with others well in everyday life, but when it comes to diet, they act with disregard. I would give your friend one more chance but have a talk with him.
I would have gladly taken your smoothie! You're so sweet. :)
"'I wonder if she's (talking about me) going to pass out from malnutrition hahahahah." It really hurt my feelings."
I went off on someone before about how much I have read about nutrition and will show them pictures of my muscles if they have any problem accepting that I'm in the "know" with regard to my body. People are sick.....ugh. I was going to go out tonight, I hope I don't have to dael with any crap.
It is of course normal for us to feel humiliated or ashamed, even though we should not. It of course hurts. When I did the master cleanse, and spoke to my mother she said "why are you doing THAT?" very derogatory and shaming. I've learned something. It's them, not you. I repeat, it's them, not you, that has the issue. I suppose its projection of what they feel insecure about (like said above) Many a people, really have a hard time when someone else they're friends/family with that is doing something that isn't their lifestyle. But remember, it's your life, not theirs. And their life, not yours. So also maybe to think about is next time, offer once, but if they decline, go about your merry way. You should no more push your way upon them, as they do upon you. One last thing.. in my rumi book, I read this statement in all bold letters (it is in a poem/picture book) and says this. I think it finally sank in. "IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF YOU". period. What they think of you does not matter, because it is them, not you. Life your life. Be resolute. Be kind to those who so foolishly wish to refute truth. It teaches you that you are that much stronger of a person to do what is right even when it is not popular. Let truth be more important than another person's selfish desires to keep them blind. **HUG** Together we can all beat the negative, the disillusioned, the evil down by standing our ground.
Hey trouble -
Don't let the negativity pull you down.
Focus on the postive things in your life.
Think of your Awesome and Glorious Garden!
I agree with what joannabanana said.
Nobody can stand rejection and eventually he will probably
come to you wondering what he did. But it sounds like he spoke
out of ego.
I know it is easier said than done, but think to yourself
"this is the moment that change begins".
This is the moment that you will not let others pull you down.
You know the benefits of your lifestyle verses the lifestyles
of others. The majority of our society is so unaware, until they
are ready to listen. Key element here...when they are ready to listen.
The change starts somewhere. We are pioneers on the frontier.
Be proud and do not let their ingorance pull you down.
Smile friend! :)
You have radishes to go home and plant...chic-a-dee!!
Trouble, they are just jealous of your tomatoes!
I got out of the Navy six months ago. Six years, I was in, and you can only imagine being a guy in the military and being a vegan! It is always interesting to me, particularly with family (I'm sure you all go through this), how people are always trying to control what I eat! I do not insist they take a bite of my avocado, but they insist I take a bite of their stake! lulushka8 is right about being jealous, people are kind of offended by your attention to your health, because they know they should be too. Misery loves company though. I like to raise peoples curiosity by making food that looks awesome, then they get intrigued and start asking questions -- and just maybe want to try some. You have to be careful when talking to someone about their diet, people don't like to be challenged in their lifestyle choices. I know so many people who refuse to learn about where their food comes from, because they just don't want to know. Giving up meat or other animal products would be too inconvenient for them, even though they know it would be a healthier option. I've been made fun of more times then the elephant man, but I can not let that discourage me from doing what's good for me. Focus on the people who care enough to learn about your lifestyle and incorporate it into their own, everyone else can have their Micky-D's and subsequently their pill boxes when they are 50. I won a chili cook off, in Texas of all places, and my favorite part was telling the judges it was vegan chili! hahahaha oh, to have a picture of their faces! Going to pot lucks and such is fun for me, yeah I enjoy vegan potlucks, but I really enjoy the kind where I have the only vegan dish there, and people have really gotten into trying what I bring, I love to entice people, but not force them, that only brings resistance.
I am really sorry your coworkers are so ignorant they feel the need to tease you, and acceptance is important, but you really can not let it get to you. I mean are you going to let someone who has the cooking skills of a college freshman with their microwave dinners upset you about food!?!?!?!? Come on you are better then that! You have to admit, a green smoothie does look a little dramatic, but like I tell all my friends, if the Vietnamese can choke down some monkey brains and snake venom to live forever, then I can handle a cup of kale to stick around a little longer! Keep your head up, you are an awesome person!
Chin up Troubles, I read something the other day which said 'Don't Take Anything Personally.
Nothing other people do is because of you. It's because of themselves'. I think that really sums it up!
I too have had my fair share of odd looks and jokes from work colleagues and it does hurt a bit to begin with but I try to rise above it all and just tell myself that they are insecure with their own lives/diets.
Well put! I always give a disclaimer when talking about my Raw lifestyle. I tell people I am in no way judging what they are eating when talking about my Raw lifestyle. I think a lot of people assume that I think the way they are living is crap if it isn't Raw. I do think everyone would feel better and be happier Raw but I don't expect them to jump on board with me. Maybe with some gentle prodding I'll convince them one day:)
I tell friends I personally feel like crud when I eat outside of my Raw diet. Of course, I never do eat anything but Raw but I feel kind of cruddy even when I eat too much dehydrated food. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now:)
Nothing pisses me off more than someone who will criticize food that they have never tried before. Annoying that he wouldn't even try it. I have had that happen to me at work. But I told them if they won't even try it, then shut up about it. I also commented to other people how small minded it was to make opinions about things they don't know anything about.
Snippy of me? Yeah. Did it shut them up? Yeah.
Another amusing thing is a woman here started copying everything I am eating. lol. She has lost weight. Other co-workers even laughed about it because when you open our fridge, her shelf is full of greens and fruits just like MY corner of the fridge and she makes these HUGE big salads now like I do... lol.
I'm really sorry you've had a rough day...I think we've all been there, and the others are right: they're just miffed they can't be healthier - since I'm sure they realize it takes more strength to stay healthy in this world than not to...oh bother.
I've a "friend" who makes snippy remarks about, "go marry a carrot" and garbage like that, and I once told her that when I live forever, she'll be sorry...I did tag on that her fat ass would thank her to eat a salad now and then (which was really REALLY true, but really REALLY horrible to say)...you know, we're human too, and if others can dish out but not take it, then that's their trouble, not mine. yes?
truth be told, I felt really awful about making fun of her -truly enormous - fat ass, but it's like elementary school: The bullies MUST be shoved down good and hard before they'll stop harassing you. Seems like it doesn't matter how old the bully is, you've still got to deal with them quite strongly to get your message across....
Truly, they're just jealous because YOUR heart will not explode upon turning 53, and theirs likely will.
i can relate. i work in a small health food store and i get shit!! a health food store!!! i bring in a green smoothie most mornings and its constant little comments or weird looks. the irony is there is a vegan that sorta jokes with me about it and i'm thinking dude, turn the tables please. you get shitty when people make jokes about vegan food. .... but they don't get it. i agree with everyone who said these people are jealous. so i say drink your green smoothies with pride and a blissful look on your face. thats what i do now. i smile inside with every delicious, nutritious sip. screw 'em!!
I get really tired of the "doesn't that look to you" jokes when people are eating or serving big meaty things. I've been raw about a year and a half, but was vegetarian for 15 years before that. So, when someone makes a stupid joke like "oh, don't you want to eat that?" and then follows it with a "just kidding, but does it bother you to smell/see it." I tell them that it doesn't bother me, just like it doesn't bother me to see my dog's food, since I don't eat it either and don't think of either as food. Then they feel kind of bad since I put their food and my dog's food in the same category, all the while, making a joke.
The thing that happens to me all the time, when people hear that I am raw (usually someone else tells them), is that whoever I am talking to makes excuses about their diet. I never try to push my diet on anyone, I will talk about it if they ask, but try not to bring that much attention to it. They act like they are guilty, it's so funny, I'm not passing judgement, but they feel the need to justify.
daniefon- yep, I've met with the same. I don't get it really. They are definitely feeling judged, but by themselves! it's odd.
luxdivon~ "IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF YOU". Oh, wow. Thanks for sharing that! Good one for a 'post-it note'. read daily. repeat. ;)
troubles~ I agree with what has been said here: people often do get awkward when something is different- many folks deal with that with elementary school playground tactics: Bullying. Why folks feel self-judgment by our eating habits is beyond me, but they often do. As has been pointed out, every now and again, someone in the crowd will come around, and actually learn something- but they have to get there on their own. The seeds have been planted. Not all grow. Some do. It's totally cool when they do. But don't sweat the ones that don't! I'm with luxdivon on that-- offer once, if they seem intrigued. But only once. It may come off to them as being pushy otherwise.
Good luck with your friend. I wouldn't write him off, but I would let the food offers stop, until he asks. Next time he looks funny at your food, just smile and tell him how yummy it is!
Try to shrug it off. It's really no one's business what you eat.
However, I wouldn't offer any more food to people at your office if I were you. Your colleague may have thought you were pushing that green smoothie on him, and actually, I can't blame him--you offered, he shook his head no, and you poured him some anyway. To me, that isn't any different than someone offering you SAD food after you have indicated you don't want any.
I am of a similar mind as RawLibrarian. You mention that in response to his look, you said something along the lines of, "What is wrong with with putting spinach in a fruit smoothie?" Even if this guy does think there is something "wrong" or weird about it, it could be construed as a defensive statement. You could have responded to his look simply by saying, "I'm making a green smoothie." Leave it at that. That way you seem confident in the choices you are making, and others may actually come to you ask more about it - maybe even ask to try a bit. My co-workers think my green smoothies are weird, but I don't think they think I am weird. They have joked about them occasionally, and I joke along right back; I understand my food choices are a lot different than what they are used to. They asked me what they were and why I was drinking them, and I explained that I am trying to improve my health and how I get most of my daily fruit and veggie requirements in one drink. One of my co-workers even asked me to make one for him, and he liked it. It was all in good fun - he still eats fast food everyday! Just be confident in your choices. I think a lot of people react badly not only because it makes them have to take a closer look at what they put in their bodies, but I think they sometimes assume that we think we are better than others because we are doing something they find difficult. I think it's probably a case of misunderstanding and you two can definately remain friends.
I totally understand your frustration. I have been going through this at school since day one. I get shit on all the time at lunch because I am the only vegetarian (let alone raw vegan) in the building. I've got comments like, "Did you know that if you don't eat meat, your brain will shrink?" or, "Hey Ms. Sampson, don't you want some of this STEAK and CHEESE, it's SO GOOD." Once, someone threw a brownie at me on Valentine's day and said, "I know your'e not going to eat it, so why don't you just give it to someone who enjoys REAL FOOD?" I've considered eating by myself in my classroom many times, but I seem to give the others a fresh start every week anyway. Funny thing is, everyone that I work with is overweight except for me! So, I often wish that I could think of snappy comebacks right at lunch, but usually I just sit there and feel bad about myself and continue to drink the "green shit" (as they call it) that I bring. Whatever. They can eat their steak and cheese, or fish and chips, and go home and be fat. If they want to ask me about my diet, cool, if they don't, then they shouldn't be making rude comments or antagonizing me but I can't really change people. As long as there's other people out there somewhere that REALLY appreciate Real Food, then it's all good.
Troubles- I think that people make fun because they don't understand. I too use to work in an office and before I was even vegan or raw, I use to drink Odwalla's Super Food and leave a jug of it in the fridge. I had a co-worker give me "the look" because it's so dark green and I asked if he wanted to try some too. He did, and he was surprised how sweet is was. I still got looks from other people, but I just kept telling myself that in a few years, I will be in better shape and I will feel so much better than these people who judge because they just don't get it. But for the most part I have found that people who are insecure about themselves, tend to pick on others to make themselves feel better- aka bullying. And like sv3 said, it's not you it's them.
I also am currently living with my in-laws as my husband finishes school in Ontario. They are major farm (meat and potato lovers) eaters and I have had a hell of a time defending myself against my very oppionated mother-in-law. I am lucky that my husband LOVES fruits and veggies and eating healthy and he is great at defending my choices with me (although he does eat a bit of meat.) I got into an argument with her one night because she told me that my "lifestyle is different and you will have trouble eating if you travel around the world." (Which I thought was amusing because most cultures have some sort of veggie and grain dish!) This coming from a woman who's travel experience is a few trips to Ireland and the travel channel re-runs from her lazy boy recliner. I was disgusted by a program she was watching where the travel host was eating baby goat brains and pickled pigs feet and I made a disgusted face which got her attention, to which she made comments about my eating. I decided then and there that it wasn't worth arguing about because she doesn't know better and I wasn't going to win no matter how factual I was. And unfortunately, most people in our society were raised that way are not open minded, no matter how many points you can make. ( We've also had an awesome god vs. evolution talk!)
You just have to remember that you are doing this for yourself and no one else. I wish I had some awesome comebacks for you to use next time as well... Keep it up though!
PS Has anyone else has the "you don't eat meat? Do you eat chicken then?" comment? I love that one!
KMcR i get that all the time!
I think its so funny because what is chicken then if they dont consider it meat. I have gotten that comment with fish too.
My mom dragged me to Red Robin once (I was vegetarian at the time) I asked if they had anything that wasn't a boca burger that was vegetarian, the waitress looks at me and says, "Oh yeah, we've got tuna fish salad, fish and chips..."
I know it has already been said, BUT chin up!
I have been avoiding family get-togethers because I bring my own food - always enough to share if anyone wants to taste - and I get made fun of the whole time. I am the only person on that side of the family who does not eat meat/dairy. anyway, they all drool over my raw desserts.
I'm sure things will get better with your coworkers.
I am so sorry you work in such a hostile environment. My coworkers are so much more open to my food than even my immediate family is.
*sends hugs to troubles and lilburger*
I'm sorry that so many have to deal with rude and hostile comments. My co-workers tease me a little, but it's good-natured and, frankly, I don't care if they think I'm weird or what they think about my pond scum drinks. :) It does look gross, especially if it's spinach and blueberries and strawberries. I have invited some of them to taste the light green ones and they seemed to enjoy it.
I just learned something from one of those HR newsletters that circulate in my office. QTIP - quit taking it personally. I made a sign and taped a Q-TIP on there and put it up next to my computer monitor to remind myself that most stuff isn't about me as much as it is about the other person. (Unless, of course, it's my boss making the criticism about my work...)
daniefone - LOL, that's a good one about the dog food. And, it's a good thought for those of us still hankering after Twinkies or other SAD food. It's not "food" for us any more than dog food is food for us.
"To each his own liking, said the woman as she kissed her cow."
You should just keep to yourself. Don't ask them if they want to try your food and don't let them get you down. I never tell people that I eat raw. I kept things like diet to myself. Its not a big deal, you are worrying over nothing. Just forget about it and move on, live your life and let them live their own.
my mom used to say, "como como como", which means "i eat like i eat" in spanish. youve find a lifestyle that works for you, and i guess your co-workers think they know what works for them. since theyre not very interested, i would just leave at that and not even bother trying to defend it. if you are always positive and make it clear that youre perfectly happy with the way you eat regardless of any one else's opinions, people tend to lay off.
as a 15 year old, i'm pretty much the only person around that's into healthy food. before i showed up at my new school, no one even knew what veganism was, much less raw. i definitely understand that ignorance can be very frustrating. i've found the best way to respond is with the "como como como" type attitude. i eat what i eat, you eat what you eat. cool. if people ask me what i'm eating or why, im happy to explain. when my friends give me the look, you know, that what-the-freak-are-you-eating type look, i'll tell them what it is, offer them some, and move on. sometimes i bring up that whole como como como thing, or say something like, "hey man, you go with your flow and i'll go with mine." giving off a happy and confident vibe helps to make everyone more comfortable.
we're all just doing the best we can, and we are all connected as a body of beings living on the earth. maybe they havent discovered their relationships with their bodies, the earth, or the universal spirit, much less you, but that doesn't mean the relationship isnt there. it just hasn't been developed yet. we're all at different places in our paths of life, and that's okay. find other ways to be connected with people. think of snow white and the dwarves- the dwarves didnt understand everything, but she could still love them because she understood that they had a limited perspective. she connected with them at their level instead of trying to bring them up farther than they were ready to go. i used to get very upset about the differences between my peers and i- they could get me so frustrated. then i remembered they're just people.
Thanks everyone for you kind words. I know that I should be past all of the hurt of situations like this by now but for some reason this one just cut deep and caught me off guard. Of course I won't write is him off as a friend but I don't know if he'll want to be my friend. You better believe I'll be even more careful making sure the coast is clear in the breakroom before making my green smoothie.
I'm so grateful to all of you for understanding:)
I get teased a lot at work, but Im good at laughing it off!!!! I would just ignore it and know that your life quality is better because of the things that you do. Also know that things are changing people are becoming more open minded about health and different lifestyles in general, but it does take time. Those that do eat unhealthy (even the naturally skinny ones) will have to answer to the doctor one day if not now.
You always have such positive posts so it is sad to see you so hurt!
I know how you feel. I've been a vegan or vegetarian in various workplaces, many of them naturally not so amenable to "those tree-huggers". Usually, people find out gradually and I don't tell them outright. Here's my very undelicate take on it -- no offense intended ever. These are just the three things I learned along the way for good "dietary relations" at work.
*** RULE ONE: You are not there to prove anything. You are there to work.
I'm sure you offered your smoothie to your co-worker in kindness and in an effort to make a connection. But to them it seemed, I imagine, like you were trying to prove yourself or looking for validation, and that made them uncomfortable.
What you put in your body is your business. If they ask questions, you can answer them gracefully and without judgment, making it clear that this is just what you have found you like to do, what makes you feel healthy, and that everybody has their own choice of what's good for them. (Even if you know you've made the healthier choice :wink:)
*** RULE TWO: Co-workers like to feel some sense of common ground. Even if you live differently, don't wave your differences in their face.
If the immediate common ground they find is "Look, she's so weird, she eats crazy plant food!" then they'll take it. It doesn't have anything to do with you personally, it has to do with how people bond. They bond based on what is their immediate and obvious common ground.
I've been the butt of that "Oh look at her weirdness!" and it's not fun.
And we like to think we can "celebrate our differences" in life. But at work, AND with such a touchy category as food, it's NOT the case. Celebrate your commonalities. Find other things to talk about.
*** RULE THREE: Shrug it all off and they will too. Shift the subject and they'll follow.
If they make some comment about the massive salad you're eating or the smoothie with spinach, just say something quick and light-hearted like
"Yeah, I think I'm sending a lettuce farmer's kids to college" or
"Hey, it works for gorillas!" or
"Heh, well, it looks crazy but I just like crunchy greens" or
"Hey, those two-hundred-year-old turtles endorse it" or
"I like hearing the vegetables scream for mercy in the blender"
(This ALL depends on what kind of humor your colleagues have - don't push it!)
No need to change what you're doing. But no need to respond to their comments any further. Don't push it. Move the conversation to something else -- the weather, sports, anything.
Better yet, move the subject to THEM. Most people can't keep quiet when you ask a few good questions about their favorite subject -- themselves!
I hope this, and all the other comments above, help you out somehow. People are weird about food, but unless you have complete (expletive)-headed coworkers, these should help.
I don't see why you should lose a friend because he doesn't want to try your green stuff. I would hope that someone who offered me a piece of cake that I refused wouldn't then hate me. Also, the silent treatment is never a good idea. Really.
Try not to take it personally. There's nothing wrong with being the "weird" one; it just makes you more interesting than everyone else. I also like Karina's idea of using humor; that always works. As long as what you say is actually funny.
Also; you get to make green smoothies at work? Really?
I sometimes bring my morning green smoothie to work and I always get looks and comments. I'm always prepared for them and I always handle them with humor. Because you know what...it is kind of funny. And it is unusual for most everyone to see. Maybe salads would be better for your work environment.
People are result oriented, when they see the results they will change their minds. All you can do is smile and hope that they eventually get it and make positive changes in their own eating habits.
Just to clarify, I NEVER tell anyone anything about how I eat unless they initiate and he had previously asked me about my lifestyle and was very interested. We're fairly close so it wasn't weird that I offered some to him.
Ambiguous-I'm definitely not going to give him the silent treatment but I'm pretty sure our friendship will be strained. I don't want it to be but it probably will.
I'm have dealt with people alot here and never been upset like I was on Friday. I'm not sure why that was so much more of a big deal than everything else. I guess I usually just don't try to prove anything and this time it was less of a work situation and more of a social/friend situation. It threw me off.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it:)
Troubles- Im glad you are doing better today! I, too, get weird looks at work when i have a green smoothie, or my green juice. I even get laughed at when i lug in my fruit for the day, or if i run to whole foods, (which is much closer to work than home) and bring in a HUGE bag of spinach or carrots. They are like, do you have horses? what are you doing with all that spinach trying to be popei. It does get annoying, and i used to be defensive, but now im like, i can easily go through that huge bag in a few days... it so good for you, and walk away. And i too make green smoothies at work, but i have a travel blender and you drink right from the blender ($15) and its in my office. Now i get the- i should get one for my fruit smoothies- and i laugh and say "i thought you didnt eat fruit" with a wink (all in good fun of course).