Recently I was asked for my Social Psychology class to spend 12 hours ‘not conforming’. We discussed what conforming is and what some examples of not conforming would be.
Thanks to a quick Google search, I found this definition:
Conforming: Behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards
For our assignment, we were asked to go out of our way to ‘not conform’ and then take note of people’s reactions to us. Ironically, I found that I got the largest reactions when I wasn’t even trying (apparently I’m a non-conformist at heart!)
At one point, I was standing in the grocery store checkout in my gym clothing eating Candy Corn. Needless to say, I got a few sideways glances and odd looks, as if they were thinking, “Honey, if you’re going to be eating that, why bother exercising at all?”
In the past I’ve gotten similar looks when I do things like order dessert at a restaurant instead of a meal or ask for bacon on my veggie burger or opt for the regular dressing over the ‘light’.
I’m beginning to realize that by eating intuitively I am refusing to conform on a daily basis.
Our society (or, maybe the billion dollar diet industry) tells us when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat – and if we don’t go along with it, then we are sure to be questioned, judged, and sometimes even ridiculed.
This is what I’ve come to decide, though:
If conforming means I have to ignore my body’s natural ability to know what it needs; if it means I have to deny my hunger and lose faith in my innate ability to nourish myself; if it means I have to label foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and associate eating with guilt and rules; if I it means I am not supposed to be satisfied with my body and the way I look – and instead I am meant to always be striving for something ‘better’; if it means that I must count calories and calculate percentages of carbs & fats and know my weight right down to the last gram – Then I choose to be a non-conformist!
Because I want to live my life fully and freely without feeling trapped by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet plan and because I like chicken fingers & JELLO!
What about you? Are you going to conform?
~ Lauren Bersaglio