The Disconnect

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.



6 thoughts on “The Disconnect

  1. I struggled with this too, but for me I am learning that I can eat anywhere and it’s so freeing! All I can do is make the best choices that I can. For me I need to indulge a little and have a cheeseburger from time to time or a slice of pizza or two (I do try to avoid fast food if I cant). If I don’t, I can only go so long before I feel deprived and go on a wild binge which is counterproductive and makes me feel awful. Everyone is different though.

    1. I’m still struggling to get the point where I can allow myself a treat meal once a week. I’ve always just tried to have a varied enough diet and make sure to be taking in at least 1,800 a day so I’m never hungry. As for desserts, I always try to swap out the unhealthy for something else (butter for avocado, applesauce for oil) so I don’t go overboard. I want to get the point where I can have the real thing once a week and not feel any guilt after, you know?

  2. My family and friends totally don’t eat healthy meals at all. However, with my job schedule, I’m rarely able to attend these meals, so it works okay for me…well, other than not getting to spend much time with the people that i love…I’m very fortunate that my family and most of my friends don’t comment one way or the other about how I eat…I’d rather they say nothing at all than make disparaging remarks anyhow.

  3. I so hear this. Everyone in my life has been very supportive, but my husband is 7′ tall, and barrel chested, so his calorie allotment for a day is more than twice mine–and he’s not really participating in the healthy change to the extent that I am (counting calories, tracking exercise). So there are times when he wants to order something/go somewhere/buy something and I’m all, “Sure, go ahead and have it. I’ll have something else.”

    It’s hard to say it, and I think it’s hard for him to hear it because…I think he feels like I’m judging him and his choices. I’m not! I mean, I wish I didn’t have to face the temptation he offers with his suggestions, but that’s about it. Maybe you’re family feels some of that? I don’t know, I used to feel judged when friends would make healthy changes and talk about/act on them in front of me, even though they didn’t mean to, and there was no reason to feel such a way.

    1. I used to be really bitter and play Food Police but I had to realize that didn’t work. My family fought back (in defense) by choosing more junk foods and calling out my healthy food choices, saying I wasn’t eating enough. I finally decided to keep my mouth shut- it’s their funerals, their waistlines, and I have no part in it. The most I can do is continue on with my own journey and be that example to them. When they are finally ready to put aside the pride and let me help them, I probably will. Until then, mum’s the word.

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