Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
Beginning a journey of redefining health through nutrition and/or exercise is not an easy task. We do
not know what someone struggles with internally and physically. According to Mario Palmer, in an
article from amplifyyourvoice.org, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies but only 5% of women
possess what most consider to be the “perfect” body type portrayed by Americans.
We’ve all been told “not to judge a book by it’s cover” but it’s much more convenient and easier to look
at someone and quickly make assumptions. As an Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist, clients tell me
all the time, “it must be easy for you to eat healthy” or “exercise is your living, you must be in the best
shape”, but these statements are just assumptions based upon appearance.
There are many reasons I entered the career I’m in today. The main reason, however, was due to
circumstances in my past that lead to challenges I face every day, the good ole sweet tooth. When I was
growing up, I was a very picky eater and never wanted to eat any type of breakfast food. My parents
struggled to find something, anything, for me to eat before going to school. Finally, I settled on Little
Debbie brownies. To no fault of my parents, I began eating brownies and other Little Debbie products
for breakfast for years.
Fast forward 15 years later. As a result of my decision, I struggle to this day with the severe addiction of
sweets. Every day is a mental and physical struggle to not pick up and eat something sweet, even though
I know exactly what sugar does to the body. It’s like putting cocaine in front of a drug addict and telling
him he can’t have the coke. Most people think that this is an extreme connection, however, addiction is
addiction and an addict will face those demons every day.
Each person’s journey to eating well and becoming a healthier self should be without judgement. We as
spouses, friends, roommates, co-workers, etc., should be supportive. If you have never encountered the
demon of food addiction or just an unhealthy relationship with food, try not to look at whomever
judging them for a bad day or bad meal. For example, if your spouse struggles with eating multiple
sweets a day, celebrate with them when they only have one! This might not be a big deal for you, but for
us, it’s a huge win!
The best thing we can do is to no judge someone by their outer appearance and to communicate with
him/her about their decisions, listen and try to understand where the other is coming from. Your
support system needs you!
- Jacy Mullins M.S.Ed., NASM-FNS, CES