I am not a health nut. I'll confess that up front. Sure, I'll eat healthy things--if they taste good. ;-) I'll exercise . . . when I start to get unhappy with how I look. But I don't do any of those things for the sake of themselves.
Now, my parents have decided virtuously to be healthy. My aunt is a nutritionist, personal trainer, and nurse practitioner. My mother-in-law went through this phase before David was born when she was all about keeping everything that entered her body "pure." (She describes herself as a step removed from crazy with it at the time.)
So naturally, I decided that in my WIP I need to have a character who torments the heroine with this sort thing. =)
The heroine in my work-in-progress is the third of five children, and the rest are all boys. (Fun, huh?) Her oldest brother is my Health Nut, and he moves back from California at the beginning of the story and invites himself to stay at her house. Throughout the story, he drives her nuts by interfering with her diet and "forcing" her to exercise (no, my family would never do this, lol).
But he also makes her realize something--that foods are good for you not because of what they DON'T have, like fat and calories and preservatives. But because of what they DO, like vitamins and minerals and nutrients.
I came to this realization one day when I thought, "Well, I'm ruining my salad by putting a full-fat dressing on it." Then I thought, "No I'm not. I need the salad because of what it has. Not just because it's a better alternative than pizza."
My heroine then takes it a step further and applies it to people. So often we judge ourselves on what we're not--on our failings. But wouldn't we rather define ourselves by what we are? Maybe I'm not in good enough shape, maybe I'm not patient enough, maybe I'm not . . . all number of things. But you know what? There are a lot of things I am too. And they're a whole lot more important.