A huge, huge pet peeve of mine is when people accuse me of eating “bird food” – or in other words, not eating much outside of seeds, salad and veggies – because I’m in shape/not overweight, etc. (I stray away from calling myself thin because I really think I’m average or normal size.)  I have a particular friend who does this on a semi-regular basis.  She asks what I’m having for lunch or what I had for breakfast, and then expresses disbelief in my menu and asks things like “you eat bread?”  Really?! REALLY?!

This sho’ ain’t what I eat!

I have to keep in mind that many people don’t understand that food is fuel and that all food – except those nasty processed foods – can be consumed in moderation.  I tell her, and others, that I eat EVERYTHING.  Pizza, burgers, fries, Jack Honey, wine, rolls, fried chicken and everything in between, but I place time (occasionally), place (homemade) and manner (1 serving) restrictions on them.  As for the right time to eat these treats, I believe in the 80/20 rule: I eat well 80% of the time and have a nice treat 20% of the time.  (This reminds me of Jillian Michaels’ daily 300-400 calorie treat.) I also try to prepare most of my high calorie meals in a certain place – at home! That way, I can control what goes in the dish and can even eat clean “cheat” meals. And last, I try my hardest to keep the portions in check.  I often fail at this last step…what’s one glass of wine?!  (But, I am getting better!)
I tell my dear friend all of the time that the key to losing weight is NOT depriving yourself.  Yes, losing weight and getting healthy involves discipline and instituting new habits in your life, but neither should suck all of the fun out of eating.  In fact, I think understanding this concept is key in creating a lasting healthy lifestyle.  No one is going to sign up for a life without bread, burgers and wine!

I will eat this, though!

The other thing that bothers me about being accused of not eating is that it implies I’m lying about my eating habits, presumably in an attempt to come across as a person who eats what I want and stays healthy.  There are a very FEW lucky people in this world who have a metabolism that high…and I wish I was one of them!  The bottom line is that the majority of us have to work at it.  Living healthily is a choice, not chance.
In any case, I use all of these moments as an opportunity to reveal the tips that have worked for me.  So while I’m annoyed, I do try to turn it into a positive experience 😉