Am I being too sensitive? (long)
First let me say, after 5 long months of hard work cutting out carbs and sugar and eating primal, I lost 53 lbs! I've been maintaining since April. Very proud of myself. Went on a week long vacation last month with my dh, the kids and his mother where she saw just how I eat (how I don't eat sugar or starchy carbs now and for life.) I even gave her some recipes with gluten free, sugar free ingredients.
So it's Sunday. My birthday is coming up and my dh tells me his mother wants us to come over after church. (I was driving my car seperate to church so I could leave after service as he and the kids were staying for a meeting to talk about their upcoming field trip with the youth group.) Anyway, I figured I'd go to Kohl's with my Kohl's Birthday Cash and go shopping! So now the MIL wants us to go over there after church. She wants to give me a cake and ice cream for my birthday. (Sounds nice to someone who doesn't know I can't have cake or ice cream.) But they all know I can't eat cake and ice cream! It's so obvious she just wants to see the kids and feed them cake and ice cream. It's nothing to do with me! I told dh as much. I heard him talking to her on the phone and saying "you know she can't have cake or ice cream right?" He told her she could get me "no sugar added" ice cream. That would be something I could have. Of course, we get there and she's got this chocolatey frozen ice cream pie and regular ice cream. All of which, I can't have. Then she starts pressuring me to "cheat". Maybe I would've for someone else but it's the principal of the thing. Needless to say, I didn't eat any. Whatever... I was so depressed I almost cried.
Of course, dh won't hear me critisize his mother so there's no talking to him about it...
A little support would be nice. It's like my whole family still stuffs their faces with cookies and chips and snacks that the MIL brings over on a weekly basis. I'm the only one who eats primal and I feel very isolated...
Am I being too sensitive? Or is she being the insensitive one?
I don't think you're being too sensitive, but I also understand the situation somewhat. (I've been maintaining for 3 years.)
The way we eat isolates us from the general American public, and, unfortunately, your MIL is part of that public. They view us as 'weird' and 'obsessive'--and they don't believe that they are the problem at all. This is especially true for those of us in maintenance because they simply assume we should be eating 'normally' now--i.e., the standard American diet.
Personally, I am fortunate because I live alone, and the family members with whom I share holidays respect my food choices. I never ask anyone to prepare anything special for me, as I always know there will be a protein choice and veggies that I can manage. However, they also never pressure me to eat the starches and sweets.
My advice is to try to be firm in your own convictions. For example, I never say "I can't eat. . . " because that implies that I'm being controlled by some external force or factor. I always say that "I don't eat. . . . " because that implies I am making a free choice to eliminate that food from my diet.
Unfortunately, many, many people will 'diet' and then publicly go off plan, and your MIL may know people like that, so she may assume you don't mind. If you try to see the situation from her perspective, it may help you explain things to her in a way she'll understand. Or perhaps you can explain it to your husband and have him talk to her. You know the relationships involved best.
I have used the 'illness' metaphor in the past, and that helps people understand my WOE. I explain that if I were diabetic (I'm not), people would not encourage me to eat sweets or starchy carbs if they knew I was trying to manage my diabetes with diet. I have a type of 'illness' in being extremely carb sensitive, so cake is as harmful to me as to a diabetic.
Even if people don't understand the connection, when I take the issue beyond "weight loss" they are more likely to be supportive.
I agree with Leo ... the key is to stand by your new way of eating. I've been firm but gentle for a few years now as I maintain and at this point folks "know" ... even the folks trying to get me to cheat just this one time.
And I like your "I can't" versus "I don't" comment Leo :)
I certainly understand your point of view. It was YOUR birthday and the day should have been about you. You already had plans on how you wanted to spend YOUR day, and that should have been honored by all of your family members.
If your MIL had wanted to give a party for one of your children, that would have been different. The day is over now, but for next year, I'd make it clear ahead of time that you don't want to spend your birthday watching other people eat what you can't have.
BTW... Happy Birthday.
Thank you for your insight! Its good to look at things with a different perspective. I plan to utilize the words I don't. As in I don't eat wheat, sugar or starchy carbs anymore. I am the one who decides what i eat and i don't plan on ruining my health for anyone else.
And next year will definitely be different for my birthday. Thanks for the advice and birthday wishes!
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