Life was supposed to be easy now that we've finally changed for the better. That’s what you’d expect to happen, based on prior interactions with my family members who’d always condemned my obesity.
Throughout my first year of dieting, I’d sometimes sit alone in my room and laugh at the thought of showing up to a family reunion, seeing their faces and hearing what they’d say. By that point, I had lost over 100 pounds; enough to make a noticeable difference.
Reality is much harsher than I imagined.
Walking into their house after being gone a year for college got mixed reactions. Some were pleased that I had lost so much weight, and complimented me. Others claimed that I had simply replaced one set of self-destructive eating habits with another.
These people were insatiable. I’d claim my diet was healthy, they’d doubt my claim. I’d show them the test results from my physical, they’d claim the doctor was wrong. I’d show signs of a common cold and they’d claim that I was dying of starvation. Instead of family telling me to put down the fork, they’d bring me additional plates and tell me to pick it back up.
Despite having done this for myself because of my father, these people were getting to me. I didn't have any issue with ignoring their criticism while I was obese. It didn't matter back then. What changed? What made me bite my tongue throughout these interactions?
My "supportive" family members. That’s what changed.
Those supportive of my diet are the same few who supported me before the diet, though they now felt that because I had lost weight, they were allowed to retroactively insult my former weight.
Many who claimed there was no issue changed their tune and said they saw me as a lost cause. They said they were sad that I was going to die in my mid-twenties of a heart attack, that I was my father’s legacy, and other similar claims.
Excuse me? Having thoughts at the back of your mind is perfectly fine. My semi-paranoid self assumes everyone is heavily judgmental, and to have it confirmed was no surprise, but having changed doesn't mean that I want you to retroactively tear me to pieces. Despite having lost more than one person’s worth of weight, I’m the same person, and that still hurts.
You can’t choose family, though. Whether or not they’re judgmental, they’re bound by blood.
That's why I've still got my friends, they'd stick through thick and thin, right?
This week, I'll be linking various articles on the subject which I found interesting reads, hopefully they'll entertain you or provide some insight: Weight Loss: 7 Ways to Get Your Family's Support, Are Your Relationships Making You Fat?, Is Your Family Hampering Your Weight Loss?.