Judgment is a mirror, not a window.
This means that when you look down on someone, you are projecting judgments you have about yourself. You judgments say more about you than the other person.
I’ve realized this in my own life. There was a phase where I was obsessed with eating healthy. I judged people who ate foods that didn’t match my diet. That’s because I had a self-critic with a strong voice that would reprimand me every time I “slipped.”
I thought I knew what the best diet was (some kind of unhealthy intersection between vegan and paleo), and figured that it applies to everyone.
I learned that my diet wasn’t healthy. Regardless of its nutritional value, it was unhealthy psychologically. When friends would invite me out, I refused to eat most of what was available because there was something wrong with it: maybe it had meat, or flour, or sugar. My friends stopped wanting to invite me out because they felt bad I “couldn’t” eat anything.
Another time, I went to a local international cooking event, and I was basically bragging about my diet and the foods I did and didn’t eat. Strangers looked at me with pity while I looked at them with pity for being “ignorant” of their “unhealthy” diet choices.
After WWOOFing, I met a family who had an even stricter and healthier diet than me. But I recognized they weren’t that happy. They were isolated from the surrounding community with their self-sufficient practices. They said their 5-year-old daughter had a severe lack of friends. I learned that this was an extreme version of what I was suffering. After that, I consumed a bunch of junk food. It was partly out of frustration and giving up, because there’s no way I could match that farmer’s family’s lifestyle. But it was also to give up being so judgmental, to be more accepting of not being perfect.
Since then, I’ve learned that quality of relationships is a bigger deciding factor of happiness and health than diet. There is no one-diet-fits-all. Every body has particular needs based on genetics and environment. Diet is not a moral issue. When it becomes one, it becomes an ideology. And all ideologies are short-sighted and prone to confirmation bias.
The best I can do is to eat healthy out of love for my body, not out of hate for what it could become. A good rule of thumb is sticking to whole foods. Supplements are good, too.