As many of you know, we do not have cleaning eating in my home--far from it! In fact, we always treats of various types in my home. Sometimes, the pantry seems like a gas station aisle full of all of the most impulsive junk food--donuts, crackers, chips, candy, etc... And I used to eat like this! Seriously, back about 10 years ago, it was a habit to eat half a family-sized bag of candy by myself on any stressful day.
At some point, I decided that I am strong enough to win only one eating battle--my own. And, over the years, some of you have suggested to me to straighten my family out--and force them to eat better--that what is good for me is good for them too! This is true. But as insistent as I am about eating healthy, my family is equally insistent about eating the way they want to eat.
So how did I start deviating from the family to eat much differently than them?
It first came from my yoga friend P. I honestly asked her, "How do you to stay slim when your husband is so chunky?" She honestly answered,
Honestly, I had never considered that before! I had often been so irritated that our family meals were so unhealthy, but rather than eating something different, I just felt low-grade anger about it. And I ate the very foods that made me angry! Way for me to ingest my anger!!! But P made me think there was a better way!
I started making grocery lists regarding what I would separately eat from the family--enough healthy food for a full 7 days. And I told my family that they could not eat any of it. If they wanted the same types of foods, they needed to let me know so that I could buy more for them.
I started eating an entirely different way than my family--totally different meals! At first, they gave me a lot of back-talk about this! They ridiculed my healthy choices! They pushed indulgent food at me several times per day. And this made me very irritated because it's hard enough to make the decision to eat healthy, but then the saboteurs come to brighten your day!!! And they almost made it a sport to try to sabotage my healthy eating!
At this point, I had a meaningful talk with myself:
What did I want for myself?
How deeply did I want it?
Would I fight for myself?
What extent of fight was I worth?
I came to the conclusion that I was very sickened over my unhealthy eating habits, and I really wanted to change in a huge way.
I decided that my healthy eating was going to happen--no matter what!!!
Plus, I realized that it didn't feel like my authentic self to eat unhealthy anymore. Quite simply, it was "very Marion" to practice self-love. And a huge part of self-love is caring for my body. And I felt at peace about my decision because I knew, overall, I'd be a lot less angry and disappointed on a daily basis when following through on this choice of healthy eating.
I stuck to my guns and kept telling them "No" many times per day...many days, into a few months. After a few months, strangely my family got used to my new way of eating! And they quit bugging me about it! They still think it is strange, but they accepted it!
This year, we learned of a person who had very serious health issues due to unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. My teen daughter told me, "Mom, I'm so glad you eat the way you do." Because she knows that I'm planning, health-wise, to be around for her for many decades to come!
Re Monique's question about eating among relatives outside of the home: I have a slightly different angle. How does a person go to a holiday meal and not offend the hostess when eating tiny smidgens of indulgent food?
I gradually decided that I will no longer do self-sacrifice for the sake of pleasing others. I've decided to quit being a people-pleaser. Now, in reality, I still do quite a bit of people pleasing. However, I have made it to be *my decision* for whether or not to do something for somebody. I no longer feel forced into self-sacrifice. Instead, my actions reflect deliberately chosen caring actions that make me feel *happy* to do them. The underlying rationale makes a huge difference!
When a hostess/relative tries to push food on me, implying that is love, I do not self-sacrifice. If this person truly loves me, then she will understand it is important for me to practice self-care and to make my own decisions for myself. Further, love can be generously given in ways other than high calorie food, such as great conversation, playing fun games, and sharing lovely music. I guess, you have to be very confident about who you are, that you can love people without self-sacrifice, and then make that somehow happen in tough situations. It takes time, effort and patience, but it can be accomplished.
What do *you* think? Did this help anyone? As always, I like to hear about your opinions and own solutions and experiences.
Have a Super Day!