Thursday, October 29, 2009


In general, I'm not in favor of taking medicine. There, I said it. I also would rather only eat raw cashews (vs. roasted), and I don't think most whole grain cereals are overly healthy.

The reason I'm telling you this is because people frequently ask me about what I do in the realm of health and wellness (i.e. what do I eat? what do I do for workouts? ...etc.). I don't like to answer those questions because then people turn it around on me, saying I'm giving them advice that isn't practical. But I wasn't actually giving advice---I was just talking about what I do when asked.

This happened two days ago at the RIT benefits fair---Kristina (the new coach, have you met her yet?) and I were set up taking BP and body composition (boring, but easy). The table next to us was manned by the Better Me program, and one of my very good friends who works for them chatted with us throughout the day. Not only did she make sarcastic (jokingly, of course) comments at lunchtime when Kristina and I did not grab one of the boxed lunches, but she also made sort of a scene to passersby saying the wellness coaches don't eat. Later, she handed me her bag of snack mix and asked me if it was something I would eat. I looked at it and said no. She asked why, so I told her why. Then she got all offended-acting about it because I had said she was eating something bad.

She said, "I'm just not going to ask you anymore---you always (?) tell me what I'm eating is bad."

I said, "I didn't tell you this is bad. You just asked me if I would eat it, and I told you the truth. I didn't say you shouldn't eat it."

She acknowledged that, and I offered to tell her what I would say if she has asked more generally about the quality of the snack. She was happier with that dialogue, and then we dropped it.

First off, I won't defend my own food choices, and if you know me, you know that no matter what my food values are I still eat junk with the best of them. I might not support the idea of eating white pasta, but that doesn't stop me from doing it occasionally. I might not want myself to eat certain things, but I sometimes do it. Really, the point is that when I'm wellness coaching, we talk about what you do, not what I do. I told my friend that I don't coach to my needs, I coach to the person I'm speaking with. It's not that what I do is better, it's just what fits me right now (and I expect that to change continuously).

In the same light, we shouldn't compare ourselves or our habits to other people. Don't judge others for what they do, even if you think you're more evolved. We need to just make the decisions that fit ourselves now, and be open to new ideas too. It's much more pleasant that way. And if you want my opinion about something you do, I'll give it in whatever context you ask! There is no universal right or wrong when it comes to wellness---its a continuum, and yours is different from that of everyone else.

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