Something that I’ve noticed as my waist has gotten smaller and smaller, is a larger and larger disconnect with my family. Since I’ve been the lone ranger, taking on this healthy lifestyle all by myself, there’s almost an elephant in the room. Crazy how food can either make or break relationships.
Growing up, we could count on at least 4-5 days of sit-down family dinners. When my Dad was actually in town for a full week (rarely), we could count on maybe 6 nights together. Getting along or not, we could at least count on a warm meal (always from a box. We lived on food storrage for 2 years while my Dad started a new business. Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese + cut up hot dogs was a regular. And favorite) together. Not surprisingly, our waistlines begin to grow. My mom did the best she could, sprusing up the processed meals we had with a few fresh ingredients. I didn’t want to complain and have the arguing start up again. My parents were already super-stressed having to pay my Dad’s new employees from our -wait for it- savings account. I just happily cleaned my plate… and then wondered why my clothes didn’t fit the next week.
Don’t even get me started on eating out at resturants. That’s a whole war within itself, and frankly, I’d rather skip it alltogether for the fights we have. My parents have still not wrapped their heads around the fact that I can’t/won’t be eating at McDonald’s (sorry, Ronald. You always freaked me out, anyway), Wendy’s, or any place that constitutes a drive-through window as a food transport. I’ve gotten so used to making my own meals at home, actually knowing the ingredients that go into them and not be bombarded by massive amounts of a) sugar, b) salt, c) fat and d) all of the above.
Sure, it’s a little isolating to be the only one having grilled chicken and veggies at parties when everyone else chows down on a huge cheeseburger. Sure, it’s hard dealing with the criticism of not eating a second piece of birthday cake/pumpkin pie/Christmas cookies. I do hope one day my brothers, my parents, and I can begin to have conversations outside of “carb and calorie control” and if I miss buffets. What happened to debates about politics, current events, gossip, you name it- ANYTHING but food?
Frankly, I don’t miss that girl I see in my before pictures. I don’t miss the way I felt back then. If standing out from the crowd means that I have to pass on second helpings and greasy take-out… I’ll take it. I don’t want to blend into the crowd if it means getting in the same line for blood pressure and diabetes medication. Thanks, I’ll pass.