Right this minute, there is someone going through chemotherapy shopping at your grocery store, buying popsicles and ice cream to help their sore mouth, and worrying what the cashier is going to think.
There is someone on hemodialysis buying white bread instead of whole wheat, trying to keep their phosphorus levels reasonable between appointments and hoping for the best.
There is a person attending intensive outpatient treatment for their eating disorder who has been challenged by their therapist to buy a Frappuccino.
There are dietitians picking up a dozen different candy bars to eat with their clients, who feel ashamed and guilty about enjoying them.
There is someone who just doesn’t have it in them to cook right now, and this frozen pizza and canned soup will keep them going.
There are people recovering from chronic dieting and semi-starvation who are buying chocolate and chips at their deprived body’s insistence.
All around us are people listening to what their bodies need and attempting to make the best possible choice within a context of overwhelming food pressure. All of their choices are valid, and every single one of these foods is “real.”