One week out from Thanksgiving now and I’m starting to get anxious again. We’re spending it this year with Chris’ family… and let’s just say, I’m pretty much the odd woman out. My husband, Chris, comes from a family that are all overweight and obese and it isn’t uncommon to have homemade fried french fries for breakfast on the weekend.
When I changed my lifestyle, there was this silent tension between all of us- suddenly, I didn’t want to go out for fried chicken wings. Suddenly, I felt out of place. My habits no longer mirrored theirs and I felt like they secretly dispised me a little bit for that. I’m the one loading up on a big, green salad before tearing into the main course, putting dressing on the side, and doubling up on veggies. I’m the one saying no to second portions and to dessert. I’m the one keeping track of it all. And I’m also the one who turns into the butt of every joke they say. I would be critized for running races, exercising everyday, and counting my calories. I tried to laugh along with every punch, pretending their words didn’t hurt me. I really don’t know why they couldn’t find anything else to talk about. Sadly, Chris never did much to help defend me or stand up for me against them, he’d be giggling along with the jokes and then console me later. He could tell I’d always come home pissed off.
I put space between us and would begin to decline dinner invitations from them, not wanting to go through the feelings of hurt and resentment once again. Naturally, his family began to wonder why they never saw their Daughter-in-law anymore. I consciously chose to only surround myself with people who believed in the things that I did, that raised me up instead of bringing me down.
Here we are, 5 months from the last time I saw them and I’m about to go through it all again. I’m going to try my best to make small talk with everyone, avoiding any conversation that might segway into exercise or food in general. I’m tired of having that kind of spotlight on myself.
How do you deal with holidays, family gatherings, and sticking to your new lifestyle? Do you throw it all away to keep the peace at home, undo your hard work, and end up kicking yourself later? Or do you stand your ground, no matter what they may say, and feel good later knowing you did what you knew was best for you?