UNITED STATES—This is a country where we are consumed with health and eating whether we want to admit it or not. Food is part of our daily lives and will always be. However, do you find yourself ever arguing with people over what you eat and what you do not eat. I’m having that battle currently with family members and I have to be honest, I am tired.

I don’t think you should have to ever convince people why you do or do not eat something. That is a choice that you have decided to make. Now, if someone is inquiring why and you provide them with the answer, I would hope they accept that answer and just move along, but that is not always the case. For me, one of the big ones is soda, pop, whatever you call it depending on what part of the country you are from.

As of May 2024, I haven’t had an ounce in nearly 19 months. Yes, I am nearing two years in October 2024. It was just a decision I chose to make to limit sugar intake and to curb my intake of caffeine. With that said, I don’t really consume much caffeine on a daily basis. You might think I indulge in coffee, but you would be wrong. I don’t drink that at all. When it comes to tea, I might have it occasionally, but it’s not something I have daily; maybe once or twice a week, if that. So, I was recently out to lunch with some family members, and it became this massive debacle when everyone was ordering soft drinks and I had to ask the restaurant if they had tea or lemonade as an option.

Within seconds, everyone was asking why I wasn’t getting a Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Hey, those tend to be the popular options at most establishments. It is one or the other. Why aren’t you getting what we’re drinking? My response was simple, I don’t drink it. Then you have the follow-up, why? I don’t indulge in the sugary content. Why? It was question after question, and it all came down to sugar content. I explained the amount of sugar in those drinks are way more heightened than people realize. Look at the nutrition label on a pop or soda bottle and if you see 40 to 60 and in some cases 70 plus grams of sugar in a single bottle or serving, that should be scary.

For me, I don’t want that in my body, which some family members understand, others not so much. What I find frustrating is that when a person makes a decision to take healthier approaches to food it is an uproar. You should be eating what I’m eating, but that is a conscious choice I made. I don’t expect everyone else to indulge in what I’m doing. You can do you and I’m not going to shame you for doing it. I just wish I had the same given to me. Don’t shame me for making a choice to be healthier. You might not agree with what I’m doing, but it’s not for you to agree with it. It’s something I’m doing for MY HEALTH.

We should congratulate individuals when we see them making changes in food habits for their overall health. Just because half or more than half of Americans are doing this and that doesn’t mean you have to follow in their tracks. Whatever works for you works for you and if others don’t understand it, that is their problem, plain and simple.