Saturday, June 30, 2012
As some of you may know, I recently moved back home. This means I have three other people in my household, when I'm used to it just being me. Major transition! I'm still not all the way settled and my emotions are rattled constantly.
They're trying, bless their hearts, but it's making me feel alienated. The constant barrage of, 'Can you have this?', 'What kind of soda do you want?', 'You're not eating with us and I'm worried', is working my last nerve. I know they mean well, but I'm starting to feel like the bearded woman in a freak show.
So I've written the following letter:
Dear Family and Friends,
I understand that this transition of me from Chunky Shelby to 'I Have an Actual Waistline' Shelby may be difficult at times for you to deal with. I appreciate that you are trying to help me achieve my goals, but you need not worry about me.
I know you are proud of me for exercising. However, making a comment like, "Oh, you don't work out every day?" when I take a day off comes across as condescending, as if I shouldn't be allowed that luxury. In my heart, I know you mean it as more of a 'Wow, you've gotten those results without spending every second of your day sweating to the oldies?', but my weight loss can be a sensitive subject at times and I don't always comprehend your tone.
I appreciate that you want to buy more 'Shelby friendly' groceries at the store, but the constant, 'What can you eat?', 'Are you allowed to have this?', 'Do you drink anything besides water?' makes me feel like a weirdo. If you want to eat healthy for you, I'm happy to make suggestions, but justifying the bad things you eat on whether or not I'll eat them leaves me in a sour mood, since you're just gonna buy what you want anyway. I'll make a separate food run for 'my' things, thank you.
You've made it my decision to choose the restaurant based on what I can eat. I don't want it to be up to me. You choose. I can find something anywhere. Our evenings don't have to be based on what I have left in my calorie range for the day.
I'm still Shelby. Just in a smaller package. You don't have to worry. You don't have to coddle. While this may be uncharted territory and new to you, I'm doing this the right way. You don't have to schedule your meals around me. I'm the one changing, so be okay that I'll work around you. I'm going to throw some healthy dinners in the mix, but I'm not going to throw it in your face and get all preachy about it. I respectfully request the same courtesy when you are eating your unhealthy foods.
I may be smaller, but my emotions aren't. I feel the hurt. I feel the self-consciousness. I feel the hesitations in your voice. Just sort of back off, if at all possible. I beg of you. Let me be. Let me figure ME out. And we'll be good.
I love you.
PS - Thanks for putting up with me for all these years. I know it hasn't been easy. xoxo