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deep down, are we all WEIRD?

Robyn Openshaw - Aug 28, 2010 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

At the gym the other morning, I walked into the locker room and there was a lady swimming in the pool wearing a tiara on her head. I’m not even kidding.

Sadly, none of my three friends I work out with were there to see the festivities. You can bet I texted them, though:

“We now have a three-way tie for Gold’s Gym’s Craziest:

“Tiara Swimmer Girl is neck and neck with Tone Deaf Loud Singer.

“Followed closely by Heart Attack Dude and Treadmill Dancer.”

TDLS is a lady who brings sheet music (hymn arrangements and Christmas music, year-round) and loudly sings off-pitch over the Van Halen and Black Eyed Peas coming out of the gym’s stereo system. While exercising on the elliptical trainer.

HAD is a guy who is actually quite fit, but gets on the Stairmaster and gasps and wheezes and heavy-breathes to the point where people either (a) ask him if he’s okay, or (b) complain to the management.

TD literally dances on the treadmill, and if you know dance, you can even tell what ballroom steps she is doing, and she does all the hips and arms too.

My BFF Laura has told me for many years that she thinks everyone–really, EVERYONE—is weird. You just have to get to know them well enough, to learn what their specific brand of weird is. And after she and I both got married, her theory evolved to encompass how married couples develop some serious enmeshed weirdness TOGETHER.

The one nice thing about my “weird” is that it’s no secret. With the advent of this site, and publishing my books, everyone knows!

I was driving my 17 y.o. to do some school shopping last week, and I pulled out a cooler of green smoothies. Got one out, handed it to him with a straw.  Had this convo:

Robyn: Here, drink this and I’ll drop you off at this store and I’ll come over in a few–I’m going in Sunflower Market for a minute.

Cade: Of course you are. Always with the vegetables, all the time. I’m sick of the healthy eating-thing.

Robyn: Well, that’s who I am. Better get used to it! It’s what I do. We eat healthy at our house. [I could say this in my sleep.]

Cade: I’m not asking you to start going through the In-N-Out drive-thru, Mom. I’m just saying. Most people are HERE. [He puts his hand, palm-down, on his leg.] And you are HERE. [He puts his hand, palm down, on the roof of the car.] How about a happy medium?

Robyn: [silent for a minute, thinking] Well, I don’t think I’m up there. I am just trying to make sure you get what you need to be healthy. I know people far more hard-core than I am.

Cade: No, nobody is.

So I chewed on that, all the next morning, on my bike ride up the canyon. I’m thinking I shouldn’t overreact, because we HAVE been eating an awful lot of zucchini lately. All our lunch and dinner meals in August, every year, tend to be 80% vegetables.

And I’m thinking, I know why I do it. Because when the kids come back from their dad’s house, there are smears of chocolate across my youngest son’s face, from his stepmom’s Crazy Cake, and her chocolate chip cookies, and whatever.   So I probably feel at some level that the 85% of the time they’re with me, I have to keep them on the straight and narrow.

I know what our health was like before. And I Never. Ever. want to go there again.

But what can I do so I don’t feel I caved to the teenager pressure, the stepmom-feeds-us-candy-and-cookies pressure, the pop-culture pressure? AND so my son is happier? Can I have both?

The answer I came up with is to continue–but try to focus more often on the healthy meals he LIKES. Even if some zucchini goes to waste. Even if there’s more fruit in the green smoothie than I like to use.

(FYI, just to show him how versatile I am, I came out of Sunflower Market with fruit only, no veggies.)

And to offset experiences like I’ve just described, there will be little rewards along the way. A few days later, my youngest son called me from home, even though he was supposed to be at his dad’s. This was the second time he had done this in recent memory.

He said, “Please can I just eat dinner here? I’ll make it myself, and I know, I know–I’ll eat veggies and fruits first.” He had his food laid out on the counter, told me what he was making. He said, “I don’t want to eat dinner at Dad’s–he makes disgusting stuff.” Like what, I asked. Like boxed mac-n-cheeze, he said.

It’s working. They’re getting it. You can’t take a little tantrum here and there to represent their whole experience with your consistent, whole-foods lifestyle.

Posted in: Relationships

13 thoughts on “deep down, are we all WEIRD?”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As I was e-maiing you a question in the comments section of your last post this morning, I thought ‘Course I won’t hear back for awhile – who else gets up this early on a Saturday?’ and then here is your new post at 6:00 – something this morning! But it makes sense you are not the ‘sleep-in’ type : ) too much energy! The weirdness factor – I must admit it has kept me from making a lunchtime smoothie at work for awhile now. At first everyone was intrigued, open, but once the novelty wore off, it was ‘Oh there she is, making that green stuff!’ But I have suffered for slacking off – economically and physically. Green smoothies are so much cheaper than the chicken strips and fries in the work cafe. Today I am going shopping for lots of raw veggies and plan to do GS at work for lunch again – even if it means I’m weird! It helps to look at the ‘normals’ and realize they are fat, doughy faced, tired and miserable with every ache and pain you can imagine. No thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is what we (all mom’s with intimate knowledge of a whole food lifestyle) strive for 🙂 and I think the only thing we can realistically can. Good on you!!!
    I agree with all of us being weird. Like the line from one of my favorite movies, Good Will Hunting,

    “The little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about. That’s what made her my wife. Oh and she had the goods on me, too, she knew all my little peccadillos. People call these things imperfections, but they’re not, aw that’s the good stuff. And then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You’re not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is: whether or not you’re perfect for each other.”

    I think the weirdness is what makes life so interesting 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    ONLY in Utah Valley where every woman has to be a princess and ballroom dancing rivals basketball in popularity and where some people think you’re more righteous if you only listen to church music would you see these kinds of people at the gym…

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s good to know that eventually our kids will appreciate what we are trying to do for them. I’m still in the process of changing our diet and many times my little kids and husband complain, but after two years of phasing out the bad stuff, they’re complaining less.

    I’m saving for a BlendTec blender and am trying to decide if the 2 qt will be big enough or if I should just get the 3 qt. There are 6 of us. What size do you mostly use for your family and in your demo videos?

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Jane, I always use the 3 qt!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love that your son wanted to eat at your house and not his Dad’s. When my son comes home he will basically drink green smoothies for a couple of days. He is four.

    The BlendTec is not really a 3qts sadly, they advertise it as such though.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Robyn… YOU GO GIRL!!! Here’s what I say, Let them wear what they want, play the sports that they want, etc, etc, but when it comes to the health of the body and spirit you have to fight the good fight and never give up! I get SO sad hearing Mom’s who have 2 year olds like mine say, “Well I try to feed her healthy, but she just won’t eat it so now all she eats is chicken nuggets.” Ahhhhh!

    And don’t you worry, they will thank you for it one day. I am so grateful to my Mom. Her ramblings about eating live food verses dead food still go through my head whenever I’m at a restaurant ordering or deciding what to make for dinner for my own family. “You need food that’s alive to stay alive” she would say. And on Thanksgiving day at my Grandma’s house she would tell us, “Don’t eat that roll first, it’s just dead food. Only eat that if you finish all the rest and still have room!” I have never forgotten, and neither will they.
    Thanks for blogging! I look forward to reading every day!

  7. I fed my 9 month old a green smoothies for both his solid meals today. The second time around he was even more enthusiastic about it! My husband was feeding him and was telling me how well he was eating and also begging for more! A lot of the time for kids, they are often comparing to their social group. As they grow older and meet more people around the country, I think they will remember how fortunate they were to have a mom as “weird” as you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think there *is* a happy medium, actually. I think you can have some junky stuff that you want, but I also think that the more you eat real food, the less you want junky stuff. But think about this—what if someone told you that you could only wear “healthy” things and use “healthy” products that weren’t mass produced, painted, or caused by-products from their creation.

    No artificial dyes, no nail polish, no makeup, no hair products, no paints, no high heels or shoes that constricted the feet of any sort, no plastics, no clothing in general that caused constricting or binding (which would include oh, say a bra…), no synthetics, etc. Eek! I mean, you’d be doing your overall physical health a huge favor…but your mental health might suffer a bit. Especially when you were with your friends or in a professional situation, or when you were on your bike (butt hurting like crazy because no padded compressio shorts or synthetic bike saddle, no constricting shoes, sweating in your 100% organic cotton t-shirt that was soaking wet…).

    As for me, I eat healthy, raw food versions of a lot of the junky stuff I like (brownies, pasta, PB&J, cookies, chocolate…) and I feed it to my friends and my family, but always with the disclaimer that they will not hurt my feelings if they don’t like it. I’m making choices for me, but I respect their decision to make choices for themselves (within reason). Fortunately, most of them are amazed at how yummy healthy can really be.

  9. I get complaints- more from the husband. But I PROUDLY say that after about 2 years of me doing it and not pushing the matter he has now had a green smoothie just about everyday for the past 2 months. It is just a step in the right direction but we are headed in a good way and I love it. I love when my 5 year old asks for a green smoothie- or my 6 year old tells me she doesn’t feel too good after a busy weekend and some not so good out to eat food choices she made. I still give my kids their own choices at times- they have learned that their bodies suffer the consequences and there are other foods that make them feel better that they truly love.

  10. Oh my gosh! I love this! I will keep on the good fight and deal with the little tantrums! My oldest daughter gets it, the toddler and husband? Well, we’re still working on it with them. I will have to run the everybody-is-weird-theory past the hubs! Lol! It’s so true!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi……………we get your newsletter weekly..but have been somewhat

    unhappy that we cannot find a way to contact you to ask some questions

    we have on nutrition and some information we wanted you to look at.

    How can we contact you Robyn?


    Dan and Teri

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Dan and Teri, I have three people who answer emails for me:

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