Our $9 haul from the produce stand on Saturday:
Some of the items were for Brian to make his pico de gallo, which he made so frickin’ spicy, the house smelled like a Mexican restaurant for two days and I can’t smell it without my eyes watering, let alone eat it. Thanks, buddy.
That’s not the subject of this post; I just like taking pictures of veggies.
I knew going into this the Sunday “dinners” (to me it’s lunch, but that’s okay) at his parents’ house were going to be a weekly exercise in self-control. I’ve already discussed at length the many high fat and calorie aspects of Southern food, and his mother is the epitome of a Southern cook. She’s a wonderful cook. But as long as I’m counting calories, I have to be really mindful with portion control when eating her food. It’s a fine balance between eating enough to show my appreciation for her hard work and effing up my diet every week. I think I did a decent job this past week, but something happened that bugged Brian a little.
As we were getting ready to eat, Moms said, “Kee-yim, (that’s my name said with a Southern accent) there’s some Coke out in the garage fridge if you want one.” She’s known me a long time and therefore knows I’m a Coke and Diet Coke junkie, so nothing unusual about that. I said, “No thanks; I’ll just have water.” A few minutes went by and she mentioned the Coke again, that there was plenty of it. I politely declined again, and Brian said, “Kim’s trying to lose some weight, Mom; she’s not really drinking soda right now.” Later he told me it irritated him that after I’d said no the first time she brought it up again.
I hated to break it to him, but I had to: his mother is the classic food-pusher.
I’ve had enough experience with them to know right away when I’m dealing with one. I come from a family of Jewish people and though mine wasn’t the classic pushy Jewish grandmother, there were plenty of other women available to say it – “Eat, eat!” and take it as a personal insult if you didn’t eat enough to their specifications. You can substitute Italian for Jewish and get the same idea. Probably other ethnicities as well, but these two are who I’ve had the most experience with.
I think I understand a lot of what’s going on with it. The ladies I’m speaking of are older, maybe like my mother-in-law, retired from working and have a lot of time on their hands. While they’ve always enjoyed being the provider of food and comfort for the family, now they have more time than ever before to devote to it. I’ve noticed that with my MIL the past couple of years she’s gotten increasingly food-oriented. When she’s not cooking it, she’s shopping for it, comparing bargains for it, trying new recipes, etc. It’s not all she talks about, but it ranks pretty high up there. I get it; I saw something similar happen with my mom. I don’t think they’re doing it to be malicious at all and I don’t take offense to it. I just have to keep my guard up whenever I’m around it.
There’s another kind of food-pusher however, and I think there might be a little difference behind the motivation with them. I’m talking about the acquaintance, friend, co-worker or maybe even significant other who is well aware you’re being careful or on a weight loss program and it seems like all of a sudden their goal in life becomes to sabotage your plan. I haven’t run into this yet this time, but I have in the past. And I don’t think the person even consciously realizes they’re doing it. The things they say sound innocent enough: “Oh come on; you’ve been so good lately – you deserve a treat!” That kind of thing. You can’t accuse them of anything really; technically they’re encouraging you to do something “nice” for yourself. But there’s definitely something else working under the surface there.
In the situation I’m thinking of, I don’t think this person wanted me to fail, per se. I think maybe it was a matter of her not being entirely happy with herself at the moment, but not really doing anything about it. Is it a little harsh to put it in the category of “Misery loves company?” I don’t know, but that’s kind of how I saw it at the time.
I know we all deal with all different kinds of obstacles when working toward a goal like this. Hopefully if we can recognize them for what they are, we’ll be able to deal with them better when they pop up. I know what I’m up against almost every Sunday; mentally preparing myself against her fried chicken, rice and gravy, biscuits, chocolate cake, sweet Teat, etc., etc., etc. will not derail me.