A Perfect Version of Myself

Losing Weight is Hard

Isolation August 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara @ 9:10 pm
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My mom and sister are visiting and I’m feeling really isolated from my entire family.

I’ve mentioned before that my family (the women in particular) have some pretty intense food issues.  The last time I was hanging out with my mom, sister and aunt, it was pretty awful for me.  I was determined that this time was going to be different. 

It’s been different, but I’m honestly not sure which visit has been worse.

I don’t think I’ll weigh in with an enormous gain this time, but I’ve felt isolated and hugely lonely the entire time they’ve been here.

My mom and sister view eating as an activity.  I can’t think like that anymore.  It’s not good for me to think that way.  I used to think that way, and I ended up over 300 lbs and miserably unhappy.

These days, I’m trying to retrain my brain to believe that food is fuel.  It can be great tasting fuel, but that’s all it is: a way to keep my body going so that I can live my life.

By me not participating in the “eating as an activity” thing, I’m being left out of a lot of stuff.

Today was particularly upsetting for me.  We were supposed to drive two hours to visit my brother yesterday.  He had to postpone it till today, which meant that I couldn’t go.  I booked yesterday off from my part-time job at the bookstore to be able to go, but was scheduled to work today instead.  I was crushed if I’m being honest.  I haven’t seen him in over a year and I miss him.  He lived with us for a long time, we got to develop a friendship as adults and then he was gone.  It’s been at least TWO years since my mom, sister, brother and I were together AT ALL, so I had really been anticipating getting together with everyone.

I sort of got over it.  Not really, but I understood that nothing could be done to make it any different so I tried to accept it.

Then my grandmother announced that she wanted to take the entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins etc) to a popular Chinese food buffet for dinner tonight.

I can’t don’t want to do that.

Chinese food buffets are almost impossible to make good choices at.  EVERYTHING is cooked in oil, not to mention that I’ve been struggling with binge eating lately.  The worst place I could think of going is an all-you-can-eat buffet.  I asked if we could maybe pick a different restaurant, one with a menu, or one that had some healthy choices available.  One that I could join them at, in other words.

There was a resounding silence from all three members of my family upon my request. 

So today my family geared up and went to visit my brother without me.  When I finished my shift at the bookstore, I went and grocery shopped.  I arrived home and attempted to clean up the messy kitchen and organize the fridge so my groceries could be put away.  My grandmother was the only one home and she mentioned that they were not going to the buffet because she was not feeling very well. 

Instead, my entire family arrived home from the visit with fast food rotisserie style chicken.  They sat and ate in our dining room while I finished putting the groceries away….alone.  I cooked my dinner and they had finished up and everyone had left with the exception of my mother.  I ate my food….alone and am now off to do the dishes….alone.

I’ve felt like this the entire time they’ve been here – every suggestion of activities I’ve made that do not involve food or eating have been either met with silence or shot down completely.  I even suggested going to the mall to shop and they weren’t interested.  Costco, yes.  Mall, no.  So I went to Costco.  Not really a big deal, except that it is a bit. 

However when I mentioned going for sushi or to a Thai restaurant I used to love, they jumped over themselves to say yes.

I don’t know what to do.  I guess I’ll just ride it out and they’ll leave on Friday and everything will go back to normal.  Except that I’m feeling sad about how isolated I am and how left out of everything I am and I’m sitting here crying and typing.

I guess the good news is that I’m sitting here crying and typing as opposed to rummaging through the fridge, attempting to feel better by shoving junk in my mouth.

I guess I’ll take my victories where I can find them.

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8 Responses to “Isolation”

  1. Nicole Says:

    I’m sorry, that’s miserable. <>
    For what it’s worth, the way you are handling it is really admirable.

  2. “I guess the good news is that I’m sitting here crying and typing as opposed to rummaging through the fridge, attempting to feel better by shoving junk in my mouth.

    “I guess I’ll take my victories where I can find them.”

    DUDE. This IS victory. And YES it sucks to feel left out by not participating in food-related stuff with your family. But it is SO MUCH BETTER than the way things were before, right?

    It will take TIME to train your family not to expect the Food Olympics every time you’re together. How many years did you do things the old way? How long have you been doing it the new way? Hang in there, and things will get better.

    In the meantime, why can’t you go to a Chinese buffet and make a small plate of less-than-perfectly-healthy food? Or even just go, but eat beforehand? I’ve been learning to do things like that; to realize that I don’t really care about participating in the food (especially overeating) part of social gatherings, but I don’t want to miss the gatherings altogether, so I come up with a plan that allows me to go, enjoy my friends/family, and still stay committed to my health goals.

    Just a few thoughts. Hugs!

  3. bonnie godzich Says:

    See what society has programed us to do. So many of us celebrate all occasions with food, and somehow it does not mean salads. Just maybe they will learn from you and your good example. Could they be a little jealous of your transformation? Could you not join them at the table with your healthy meal? Love the idea of eating your healthy meal before going out to eat with them, you could then order a bowl of soup or the broccoli/beef entre.
    You wait so long to be together and have such high expectations of the visit of course you are going to be disappointed but in the long run how proud of yourself you should be. You did great!

  4. Chibi Jeebs Says:

    Oh, dear heart. 😦 I’m so, so sorry this visit isn’t going as planned (and after reading about the last visit, I’m SO sorry you had to endure that).

    I was wondering what Bonnie has already voiced: is it possible that they’re jealous or intimidated by the changes you’ve made and the hard work you’ve done? I know it doesn’t ease the situation, but…

    If we were closer, I’d totally go for Thai with you. But not sushi. Because I’m a chicken. 😉 *hugs*

  5. Janet Says:

    Hang in there. There’s nothing like family to bring one’s issues to the forefront and to stifle one’s plans for change! It sounds to me like you’re doing an awesome job. It’s not forever, and even if they pull you down a bit, you can get right back up after they leave.

  6. Cheryl Says:

    It’s not the food so much that’s the problem, it’s the emotional aftermath of visits like this that really pose a problem. Lot’s of “stuff” to sort out following the visit especially with so much pressure to “conform” to their norm.

  7. Astrid Says:

    It’s awful how they treat food and other activities. I’m really proud of you for sticking to your guns and doing what you know is best for you. It’s especially great how you’re typing out how you feel instead of eating. That IS a fantastic victory and you should be proud of yourself. I still struggle badly with emotional eating, it’s something that I share with my sisters, and it makes me happy to see other people overcoming that. It means I can, too. And that means you’re a huge inspiration to not only me, but a lot of other people out there that struggle with the same issues.

  8. Pam Says:

    So sorry to hear of your struggle during your mother’s recent visit. I am a little surprised at her lack of support for your new lifestyle. Do you think she is jealous of you and trying to sabotage your efforts? If so, that is very sad. My life too, seems to revolve around food, all activities seem to involve food–going out to eat, having family over for dinner, them having us over for dinner. Always food. It’s important to be able to enjoy the food without over-doing. This is what I’m trying to do, but the Chinese buffets–impossible. You just have to avoid them. Tough choices, but you’re making them, and you will be better for it! You are the winner in this contest.


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