1. The minute you tell yourself you’re going to eat better, suddenly everyone you’ve ever met becomes an expert on what exactly you should be doing, what you should be eating, when you should be eating it, which metrics to count, what foods might as well be poison — you get it. There’s going to be so much contradictory advice hurled your way that you briefly consider giving up because how does anyone figure out who’s right?!
2. The week you actually begin changing your lifestyle is also the week you get invited to about 13 happy hours, brunches, weddings, dinner parties — whatever you can humanly think up that is going to involve the food you just said you were going to be more cautious about.
3. You realize that there’s only so many ways you can Instagram kale before it seems like a propaganda movement.
4. And you inwardly seethe when you see people post photos of pure gluttony like, … wait. You’re not really eating that. You just want people to think you’re eating that.
5. Few times in your life do you feel unmitigated rage as pure and focused as the kind you direct to the person in the office who takes it upon themselves to bring in homemade cookies.
6. Being the kind of person who tells everyone what they’re doing and how they’re eating now, and then realizing that hey, guess what, nobody cares. (But they should care, you tell yourself, as you munch forlornly on a carrot stick.)
7. The cold, bleak, heartless reality that no, it’s not exactly healthy to indulge in fries, a cupcake, a box of Oreos, a pizza, and a bottle of wine every time you have a hard day. (But what if you spilled coffee on your dress and screwed up the presentation and your boss caught you doing your killer impression of her and you snapped at your cat and… No?)
8. You understand the very real dichotomy between “people who are claiming health for actual health reasons” and “people who just want to lose weight and don’t want to be called out for it” and you feel the need to routinely disclaim that you are, indeed, the former (even if you’re like a venn diagram of the two, honestly.)
9. You’re quick to downplay any and all weight loss because no, it’s not the thing that matters most, and you don’t need to enforce the collective inferiority complex our culture is already dealing with.
10. Your health food endeavors have opened your mind to a few startling, brutal realities, including (but not limited to) the fact that cheap food is more accessible, that obesity is a crisis for this reason and others, and the fact that it’s simply easier to treat your body like a garbage disposal every day (and most people are genuinely unaware they’re doing so).
11. You’ve experienced at least one meal after which you’ve actually physically felt better, and in a few weeks’ time, you realize that your whole mood/lifestyle has changed, and it feels like a little miracle (and you start to get why people do this). Cue: self-loathing for suddenly being one of those people.
12. You have to come up with excuses as to not indulge in fast food every time your fellow drunken friends want to run out for a bite, not because you’re “better than them,” but because you know how quickly and easily your surroundings can influence you. (Which leads you to wonder if you should maybe not even go out at all, and come on, nobody wants to live that kind of isolating life. No one.)
13. You’ve used the bunny emoji while Instagramming a photo of your fifth salad of the day.
14. Whole Foods is your church, and you’re kinda, sorta, totally going broke on the prepared foods wall alone.
15. You now know, off hand, six different ways to prepare asparagus.
16. You are now a constant stream of information about nutrition — whether or not anyone asked you is beside the point — and can’t help but point out the fact that the “multi-grain” bagel is not the same as the whole grain one. (And then you catch yourself saying it and realize yeah, you are becoming this person. This is your life now. You are the “Healthy Friend.”)
17. You’re into buying and eating local because it’s a lifestyle, a cultural shift you believe needs to happen, a compelling brunch topic of conversation, etc. etc. etc. And while at first nobody cared, suddenly your friends are actually beginning to listen, and you can see it happening. You’re all going to be enablers to each other. You’re going to share the Cult of Kale. May you all be blessed.