It's funny how people react to things they don't understand. I mean, most of the time when someone hears that I am not eating sugar, they're just curious.
"Oh, yeah? Why's that? How do you do it, what do you eat? I couldn't do that."
That sort of thing. I take all that in stride, and gladly share my expriences. Especially if it helps, if it opens someone's eyes. And all the better if they are wanting the information, and willing to hear it and be open to it.
The people that are the toughest are the ones that feel personally challenged. As if my way of life is a personal affront, or a personal attack of some kind on their way of life. My own biological family reacts this way a lot to many things, such as vegetarianism or non smoking. (How dare people ask that their health be spared? How dare they make me smoke outside! they say.)
It seems sometimes that when certain people are confronted with a new reality, their fear response kicks in. Most of the time I see it for what it is; and I generally say, when explaining I don't eat sugar, that I don't care if anyone else does- it just doesn't work for me. Same for being vegetarian; it's my own choice, my own way of life. You can do whatever pleases you, whatever lets you sleep at night. These kinds of reactions, fear reactions from people who find their own reality being tested, are to be expected. You just have to be ready, and have your wits about you.
I don't have any specific examples for today; this is an issue that has cropped up in my mind from time to time. The best example I can give is when someone offers a sweet and they find it turned down. This is a rare thing! Who doesn't eat sweets? Sweets are love. Sweets are kindness, sharing, giving, caring... right? Who turns down love? You are turning down my gesture of friendship? Wow. Who are you, anyway?
Of course, every situation and every person differs, but it's all essentially the same; you are challenging someone's world view, or perhaps challenging them on some level, on some trait they consider weak in themselves. Not that you are offering a challenge; but by simply being who you are, you are challenging them to look at parts of themselves they are not comfortable with and that can be hard! Perhaps you are speaking with someone who always wanted to give up sugar themselves, but found it too difficult (and it is difficult! I won't lie!). Perhaps, then, this person has always felt guilty, or weak, or bad as a result. Then you walk in, successful in your quest... well, that is just downright insulting, isn't it!
All I can say is that I try to live my life by my own principles. I lead my life as an example- to myself. I am my own role model, my own leader. If other people are inspired, great! I am not out to make others feel bad about themselves. I am the first to admit, I have my faults and I slip from time to time... it is I, after all, who will buy Endangered Species chocolate a few times a year. Yes, it's sugar! I think that knowledge goes a long way for people. I'm not saying I'm perfect, not to anyone. That's the key. It's a day to day, week to week, month to month challenge, to live by one's own highest values and principles. It is something you work at, perfect, and practice. Every single day.
Tomorrow, I will not eat any sugar. I didn't eat any today (except fruit, let's be honest), nor did I the day before; and if I have my way, the days and years to follow will show the same tale.