When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in April 2012 (four years ago), my “food” awakening began. I finally made the connection that food – gluten-free food, processed food, and sugary food – is what ailed me. And as much as food ailed me, it would also be the key to healing me, my gut, and my whole body. Anyone who tells you you’re wrong for thinking food directly impacts your health is someone in denial, and she is someone who so attached to her food and her poor food choices that she can’t see straight. Poor food choice is a direct cause of disease in our country. It’s not the ONLY cause, but it is a cause nonetheless.
As a nutrition and health coach, I am awakened and so passionate about helping others. Sometimes I can’t help myself…
I can’t help but wonder if I’ve crossed a line when it comes to helping those I love MOST – my friends and family. If I give my friends and family gentle advice, why is it that they support me LEAST (and are actually kinda hurtful about it too)?
I’ve been in this tricky situation twice.
Just the other day I was at one of my friend’s house for dinner. I shared some advice about healthy living that I learned on my journey to heal myself. I thought it could help her and her son, who was dealing with some serious health issues and following a GF diet. When I gave her a few pointers, she gave me a look like I should stay out of her business. It was cold, unfriendly, and uninviting. It was unlike her.
Here’s my thought… I’m not sure why a good friend, one who I care deeply about, wouldn’t eat up the advice from me? I have not only been there, done that, but also I have worked SO hard to study integrative nutrition for the past year. I know this stuff. I want to help her!! And, of course, no one has her best interests at heart like her good friend!
- If your great friend is a Realtor, why wouldn’t you support her business by hiring her the next time you bought a home?
- If your friend is a lawyer, why not call him the next time you’re sued and need honest advice?
- If you’re not feeling well, why not call on your friend studying nutrition – and one who follows the same diet – to help you?
NO ONE is going to take care of you and have your best interests at heart like a good friend!
I’m not going to lie. My friend hurt my feelings – even if she did so indirectly. I can see how she might reframe it as, “My friend Jenny has lost her mind and is trying to tell ME how to feed my kid. No thank you, I know what I’m doing.” As my husband would say, she has a fixed mindset (vs. a growth mindset).
But my disheartening experience with my good friend isn’t the only close encounter with the fixed mindset.
I told another friend, who was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, that she should examine her diet and consider going gluten-free. There is a STRONG and undeniable tie between gluten and autoimmune. I knew something that could benefit her life in an amazing way. I knew something that was too important not to share. However, when I shared what I learned with her, she didn’t even reply to me, ask me any questions, and she outright ignored me. I don’t quite get it. Is she so attached to her food and her food choices that she can’t bear to open her mind to new ways to improve her life? Are my suggestions taken as criticism? Is she in denial? Should I have said nothing and just let her be unhealthy even if I held information that could help her feel better and prevent future disease?
So, as you can see, this all weighs heavily on my mind.
I’ve been changed. I’ve been awakened. I’ve grown.
Some of my friends and family haven’t changed. They haven’t been awakened. They are fighting growth.
Part of me wants to find a way to keep my mouth shut, but the other part of me feels like if I know something that can help my friends and family, then I have a DUTY to share that information. Is withholding information worse than sharing it with someone who isn’t open-minded to changing, learning and growing? I’m so torn.
Has anyone else dealt with pushback from people they love most?
PS: If you are open to learning and growing about how food can hurt and heal you, please visit my Nutrition and Health counseling page. I specialize in helping people take control of their food choices – specifically coaching anyone new to the gluten-free diet (check out my signature Go Gluten-Free Jumpstart Program). I take an integrative approach – which means I look at the whole body and help my clients explore and uncover the root cause of their chronic diseases, ailments and aches and pains.