I have been sitting here almost all day trying to think of the absolute best title for this. It is actually something I have written on a lot and I think I have used them all. Plus the perspective I am writing from today is kinda different.
I keep reminding myself that this isn’t about others and it is about me and I believe that to my very core. But I am not so self indulgent to believe that my revolution hasn’t changed others lives around me. I feel like lately it is beating me in the head just how much it changes others lives.
First off, can I tell you how many times I have been asked about my marriage since I have lost this weight? At least 15-20 times. I know this phenomena well. I may have even spouted it a time or two. “Oh, she has been different since she lost all that weight…” I realize now it is really just a way to throw up a stop sign that someone made a choice that another didn’t. Psychologically it makes others feel better about themselves if they dismiss someone else. I did it. I won’t again.
I also find it incredibly rude that others think my marriage is their business. But I will give one short and quick answer. My guy and I just made it through the most miserable two years of our lives. We weren’t miserable with one another, but we were both miserable, beaten down and broken. My weight loss isn’t even close to breaking us. In fact, I don’t notice a difference. If there were one it would be that my husband is a fixer. He guilts himself when I make things that I choose not to eat for my family…things like carbs or desserts. But I would hardly call that a deal breaker.
As well, I never realized how much people’s own identities are wrapped up what you consume. The statement seems so simple and like it shouldn’t matter. But the reality is it does. Let me set the stage…you work with a grandma/momma like person who knows you absolutely love peanut butter brownies. She does know you changed your eating habits but really wants to show you how she cares for you by making your favorite.
It can feel like a dismissal of the choices you have made or you can toss it all aside and dive in. Its so hard (where I got the title) to decide your reaction. For me, some calories are worth it. I have some hard and fast rules, I won’t deprive myself, but I also recognize some things are like drugs to me and one slip up and I am done for the day and sitting there consuming the whole darn pan of peanut butter brownies just so they are gone. And whatever choice I have made will directly impact the feelings of the person you care about.
And sometimes they intentionally or unintentionally say things like, “Oh, you are still doing that healthy thing?” Or, “My option for brownies tastes way better than your cleaner and healthier version.” Or sometimes they say nothing at all. All of them have the potential to create an awkwardness. It is just the reality.
What I have found happening to me in the last few months is I have become obsessed with where my food comes from. It has become more than a diet for me, it is embedding itself into my beliefs. I have a hierarchy for the things I put in my mouth which means I have moral ties to it so it opens up that can of worms. Sometimes I feel like explaining that to other and other times I either assume they won’t understand (this is my flaw) or don’t care.
My solution is to bring my own options always and if I don’t have options then I know the accessible options I do have. Those options are researched and known well before I drive passed them on my way home from work.
And what you have there is conflicting identities. Your belief of yourself intertwined with the identity of someone else and whenever that happens there is a very real possibility someone will be misunderstood or hurt. Unfortunately, I have no great words of wisdom other than thinking about the cost.
If it ends up with you sicker than a dog the following day after the pan full of brownies and you can live with that then there is your answer. If they were never supportive to begin with then refer to the beginning –> “Psychologically it makes others feel better about themselves if they dismiss someone else.” Honestly, that is more about them and less about you. And maybe there is a middle ground where both identities are cohesive and accepting that a small portion of the brownies will be eaten and the rest shared because they are freaking amazing.
I just realized that my eating effects those around me like it or not. I need to be respectful of that. And just in the same manner my beliefs and eating habits need to be respected.