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Defending my eating habits to a "normal" person isn't easy...


Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Friday. I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I feel GREAT in general today, but I am still a little torn about how to feel about how other people think of me when it comes to my strict diet. Here comes a long blog with some food struggles I am dealing with right now. If you donít want to hear about it, donít keep reading! It starts a bit negative, but I think it ends on a positive note!

It is hard expressing my struggles to people when they aren't experiencing the same as me. Thank you to everyone at Spark for their continued support. I appreciate it more than you know! We are all here to better ourselves, and I know we can all reach our goals. We will take our own paths, but each one is special, unique and important!

My food choices are in no way normal. I am sure most of you know where I am coming from when I say that! I don't get cheeseburgers from fast food joints. Somehow, this still shocks people! When I make good food choices for me, other people still don't understand WHY. I lost 94 pounds by making drastic changes to what I normally eat. I did gain back a few pounds, but I am still making healthy choices. I CANNOT stop eating the way I do, or I will gain the weight back. I also stopped eating certain foods because they upset my stomach. Even if I decided to start eating "bad" again, my stomach would not tolerate most of the food. There is no way I will give up feeling good just because it is easier to eat any food whenever I wanted!

My meals used to include items such as cheesesteaks with extra cheese, mozz sticks, crispy chicken sandwiches with mayo, 5 slices of pizza, fast food tacos, calzones, etc... Now I eat grilled chicken, ground turkey, hummus, and protein bars! If I had a perfect world, I would have a fridge full of fresh veggies, lots of grains and herbs, and hours to prepare whatever meal I wanted. Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of having that in my life! It is even harder to deal with what I eat when other people pick at me all of the time.

I don't eat red meat, fried foods, butter, dairy and many other things. Part of why I have a strict diet is because it upsets my stomach. The other part is because it is easier for me to keep the weight off & I feel it is healthier for me. It is very hard for me to eat when I go over the home of someone else. It is a pain to try to find out what they are going to have to eat. I need to know if I should eat first? or if there is any way I can ask them to alter what they are making? I feel bad about it. I donít get embarrassed about it anymore, but I still feel bad about it. Conflict makes me so upset. Even the thought of conflict makes me anxious. Lately my boyfriend's parents have been saying a lot about what I eat. We go over there for dinner every Sunday night. His Mom tries to make food to cater to me, but I know it isn't easy for her. His Mom and Dad make comments a lot more than I wished they would. His Dad keeps telling me to eat normal again & keeps saying my diet is too strict. His step Mom is much nicer about my choices, but she keeps asking me what I can have and what I can't have. It makes me feel bad that she is altering their whole meal because of me. I told her my own parents don't even make food for me any more - I think it is actually easier that way! My parents know my diet is strange, and I am fine with that because I make my own food at home. I told my boyfriend's parents that I am happy making my own food, but his Mom keeps saying no. But then they make comments that all I eat is chicken (not true). and it has really been bugging me lately. I have been working on my boyfriend's costume at their house & I was over there 4 nights this week. I keep hearing comments about my food. It is hard enough for me to deal with it on my own, but they keep bringing it up all the time. Sometimes I will cook for them, and they like what I make. They understand I DO eat normal food. I just make a lot of adjustments so I can eat it. Yet, they still make comments. Iíve tried talking to them, but people still say things.

We had an office breakfast meeting this morning at work. There was muffins, bagels, and fruit. Thank goodness the office manager knows I won't eat muffins or bagels and gets the fruit basically just for me. I appreciate her realizing how hard it is for me to say NO to those items. Other times, I still get grief for what I eat. My other co-workers ask me if I want some chocolate almost every day. The girl I share an office with kind of understands why I eat what I do and why I say NO to many foods. However, at least once a week she still says something like "oh you can have it, chocolate is good for you". I have to say the same thing to her every - single - time she mentions it. Some co-workers joke saying all I eat it lettuce and weird foods. Others always poke fun that I barely ate anything for lunch and how can I survive on salad. I donít even eat salad every day! They just like to assume things even though I explain them over and overÖ. Yes, I eat ďweirdĒ foods and I struggle with my weight. Canít people just get over it!!?! Even right now - someone just said to me "Why didn't you have a bagel? Do you even eat them? Why can't you have a bagel with cream cheese?". Sigh!

I actually think it was easier for me to explain myself when I still had a lot of weight to lose. Now, I am "skinnier" and I don't look overweight.

People keep testing me without realizing it. I have to keep being STRONG, but it isnít easy. I know people are glad I lost weight, but they donít realize how much I struggle with keeping it off. It is hard to keep pushing forward when I keep hearing the same thing over and over and over again. It is hard enough for me to commit to this lifestyle. People keep questioning it & it is harder! I wish I could brush off every comment, but eventually it breaks me down a bit and I start to question if I am making the right choice. I know eating better is the smart choice, but it isnít the easy choice.

People judge no matter what the situation is. People always have an opinion and it normally clashes with what the next person has to say. I try to not care what other people think, but this past week it has been really eating away at me. Maybe the other stress in my life just broke through a layer of my toughness? I don't know, but I am feeling a little upset about what I eat! When I feel upset about what I eat I think Ė WHY ME? Why canít I eat pancakes, sausage, and eggs for breakfast and a grilled cheese with chips for lunch and loaded French fries with a cheeseburger for lunch and a sundae for dessert and not gain weight?! I swear when I look at food I gain weight!

Lately I have been struggling with my whole healthy lifestyle. I want to lose more weight, but I Don't want to starve myself. I want to continue to be healthy AND happy. It is extremely tough to balance those two things. Sometimes choosing food really stresses me out. Stress causes me to be unhappy & then I make bad food decisions! I have to make meal choices every day - 3 choices every day! Plus I have to make snack choices too! As all of you know, it is so hard deciding what to eat and it is tough actually following through with what you know you should be eating. I try to plan the best I can, but it isn't easy. Sometimes I make a sandwich, and I really just don't want to eat it! I get frustrated because I wish I could go out and get whatever I wanted to eat. Unfortunately, if I start making bad choices, I will gain the weight back so fast.

It took me 2 years to get where I am at now. When I eat poorly over a weekend, I will gain 2-3 pounds back. What if I started eating poorly every day? I will gain the weight back SO fast it would be so depressing. I would be unhealthy and I would have high blood pressure again. Even though the food struggle occurs every day, it is worth it. I have to keep reminding myself how important it is to keep doing what is best for me. When other people question and criticize even though I told them the same thing 100 times... I just have to get over it. I just really hope I don't freak out at some point. I just need to realize that people will always have something to say! They aren't trying to be mean with their words & I just need to push it aside and keep doing what I feel is best for me.

Anyways, sorry for the vent. Life is tough. I need to continue on MY path. Conflict will occur, and I need to stay strong. Even though I wish other people would stop nagging me, I just need to keep on pushing forward! My 5K is tomorrow. I have a Halloween party tomorrow night. I just need to keep living my life the best way I can!

Hopefully everyone has a great weekend. I will do my best to stay positive for the rest of the day! Keep Sparking!


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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
REBELBLITZ 11/8/2013 12:45PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss!

I understand what you mean about eating certain foods. My husband and I became vegan around 2007 and have not looked back. We come from a tradition of Southern food. Can I say butter, meat, fried chicken? Well, I wanted to eat a more healthier way and continued researching and found this is best for us. The China Study by Joseph Campbell was most influential in our journey to being healthy. My husbands blood pressure went down 30 points in 2 short weeks of eating plant based diet. I do not take any meds and my husband's is working in getting off his bp meds by eating healthy.

When we go to eat at our families home, we too get some remarks similar to yours. I like to cook so I bring plant friendly foods and they are always surprised at how nutritious and healthy the food is. Plants have no cholesterol and low in fat. Almost every plant has protein, hence we always eat plenty of protein. We get calcium from plants. Where do cows get calcium? Plants of course. We just cut out the middle man and go straight to the source of healthy eating.

Again, congratulations on getting health!

Cheryl

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THINFITFEMINIST 10/27/2013 7:54AM

    My diet consists of raw organic fruits, vegetables and greens. So, yes, I can relate.

The world is a representation of our inner thoughts projected out. The more I see this the easier it is for me to learn about myself, my judgements on myself and to heal by simply looking and judging not.

I think you are fearful of losing others in your life because you are doing what is in your best interests to do. Well people come, people go. Such is life.

Pull your big panties up and realize that life has tons of challenges and your world does indeed revolve around you. And simply smile and go on.

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KONRAD695 10/26/2013 11:36PM

    My favorite at work is "are you a cat, a bird, or a rabbit". This usually referred to a large salad with tuna and a nut/berry mix I make. No cheese and no dressing. I really needed the cleaner calories and proteins from this mixture when I was running a lot. It wasn't about weight, it was about how I felt. Got away from this style and now my stomach and scale a letting me know.

That's my little story to go with your story.

I'm going to get back at it, and the only though in my head when people say something is- "you poor f@@@@@@s, I am so far ahead of you, and you don't even know it. well, one day you'll figure it out, and tell your friends about this guy /girl you knew. and how they wish they knew what happened to you, because you've got to be doing great".

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JAXMOMMY 10/26/2013 12:04PM

    It is a plain shame we have to defend what we wear, who we date, where we work, and what we eat to anyone! For being free, we are always judged by family and friends! But, you have to do what is right for you! We need to come up with something for you to say that wil just shut people up! I can't have children and got so tired of explaining why to people that I just tell them I hate children. That usually shuts them right up! They don't know what to say. It is not true, but it saves endless explanations! Maybe if you tell people if I eat that I'll hurl right in your lap they will leave you alone! Be proud of those 94 pounds that are gone, gone, gone! You don't want them ever to come back! Always, do what is right and healthy for you! HOpe your race is going well! I wish you success!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 10/26/2013 10:40AM

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SLEEPERELLA 10/26/2013 10:24AM

    Stick to your guns my friend!!!

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POOKASLUAGH 10/26/2013 8:50AM

    Aw, I'm so sorry things have been tough and people have been trying about it. Honestly, I know I've lost friendships along the way, because I won't go meet someone for lunch at a fast food restaurant or something, but I have other friends who, while they don't necessarily understand, are supportive. I have one friend who for years would try to get me to meet her for lunch, and now she tries to get me to meet her for a picnic lunch and a walk, which is much nicer, especially now that my food issues are less about weight and more about my body being in pain if I get even a lick of gluten! I get where you're coming from, though. Ever since I gave up fast food and most processed food a bit over two years ago, I've struggled with this same thing. Honestly, it's now easier in a way because I can rule out an entire class of junk food because of the gluten allergy, and people seem to respect that after I explain I'm not eating this way because it's a fad. At least I no longer have to justify why I don't eat doughnuts and cookies and cake. :/

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OKIE2006 10/26/2013 2:05AM

    I think you have worked super hard to get the weight off and should be proud of all of your accomplishments.
It is hard dealing when people pressure you to eat a certain way (school for me) but I always am proud of myself when I stick to my guns. Lately I will just smile and say - I'm not hungry right now - or I just ate - why don't 'you have another piece?



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NIELSENSLADY 10/26/2013 1:50AM

    This may not be everyone's first choice but maybe tell a little white lie. Say you are gluten intoerant or have celiacs or you're lactose intolerant. Some of it could be true right? If they believe your white lie, which is defined as basically killing yourself by eating bread, then maybe they will shut up about it. LOL.

Either way I'm sorry its been bothering you today. I know some folks fit in one cheat meal per week as just a restart and something to look forward to and they still lose.

Good luck! Keep fighting.

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CHRISGORGME 10/26/2013 1:17AM

    Keep strong and remember only you know what's best for you! Blog your ears, say "no thank you" and turn the other way. You are tougher than what you think, you lost all that weight.
Hope you have a great weekend!
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Christina

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/26/2013 12:36AM

    No matter what you do people will always have comment. If you ate the bagel with cream cheese, they would make a comment like I thought you didn't eat that stuff. I cut my hair really short, I mean army haircut. I love it, others hate it and everytime I see certain people they tell me let your hair grow. I just say no I like it like this. They will make comments on your outfits or anything, that is just what people do. Ignore them. I usually tell them I am a big girl and don't need anyone telling me what to do, emoticon for your opinion though, but I didn't ask for it.

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LIVINGFREE19 10/26/2013 12:04AM

    Stay strong and do what is right for you!

People will talk no matter what, let them talk!

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KAPELAKIN 10/25/2013 11:23PM

    I'm sorry people in your life aren't learning to just accept the way you eat. It is probably more about them and their unspoken guilt for feeling like they're eating unhealthily while you are making better choices. You're not the one who eats weird. It is not normal to eat gobs of wheat and dairy for every meal, nor is it healthy. Now if they want to see weird, they can come to my office and watch me snack on seaweed, canned herring and kim chi! Keep it up, and hopefully they'll eventually learn to mind their own diet business and get tired of making comments.

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2HAMSDIET 10/25/2013 11:14PM

    what is normal? I had a always skinny friend that her whole life loved to eat healthy and just says this is what I eat. My older sister use to rub it in that she could eat any thing she liked. From grade school on that is all I heard. I was on my first diet by then. Well mid life hit and she ballooned and now after a couple of years of "cutting back" says she doesn't care. I had another friend tell me she was shocked to find that someone she thought was always skinny is always watching what she eats.
Time for all of us that want to be healthy to just say this is what we eat. I realize when I go out maybe there may not be what I need to eat at the wedding, restaurant or party. I don't feel bad I go out to socialize and I might just have a drink as I will not die from skipping a meal. Next time someone brings up eating normal put your foot down and tell my you want to better then normal. You would think our eating was a bad example of kids or something. Strange world we live in where we let the media rule our lives and happiness. I guess I needed to vent too. Have a great weekend. emoticon

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DANIRAE20 10/25/2013 11:03PM

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DALID414 10/25/2013 10:06PM

    It is tough and gets old and annoying explaining yourself everyday. My own sister makes comments like: I would offer you a cookie/cake/food but you don't eat junk food. It's tough to bite your tongue and not reply with something mean.
Have you thought about bringing it up with HR? Your co-workers are clearly causing you distress, which means harassment in HR terms.

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BECKY0111 10/25/2013 9:54PM

    You don't owe anyone an explanation. When offered something you don't want, a simple "no, thank you" will do.
Fast food may be convenient, but it isn't really food. You know what works for you, keep doing it.
Good luck with your 5K tomorrow! Have fun at your party.

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Have a great weekend!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 10/25/2013 8:31PM

    It's a shame others are so focused on what you eat and are trying so hard to sabotage you.
Maybe they are feeling guilty about their own food choices and projecting on to you?

Stay strong!

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ARW715 10/25/2013 5:26PM

    Thanks for writing this.

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SUEPERWOMAN 10/25/2013 4:42PM

 

I can understand how overwhelming it must be for you. My goodness, it seems like EVERYONE wants you to do something other than what you want to do!

I offer you just a few things, even though I hear that you're only venting and not looking for advice. Start bringing over food to your boyfriend's house regardless of his step mom telling you not to. When people comment about your food choices, you can simply say something like, "thanks for your concern" and then leave it at that. It feels to me that people are really invading your boundaries, and that can almost make a person want to eat a certain way, just for spite!
Just be cautious. I hear that you still want to lose weight. I want you to be healthy and happy. Make sure that the desire to lose more weight is a true, PURE desire and NEED for your body, or if maybe unconsciously this is your way, now, of claiming ownership of yourself, and rebelling.

Love you, honey, Ginger

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SKIRNIR 10/25/2013 4:18PM

    I have to say my phrase is I lost 50 pounds about two years ago and I intend to keep it off. Most often people don't say anything after that. I don't tend to go to others houses though to eat meals. That can be tough. I am sure your boyfriend's parents like having you over, especially as they want him and you as part of their lives, but it isn't easy for them. Maybe you have some dinner ideas that you can give them? I do wonder if your diet is a tad too strict, and no, I don't mean cheeseburgers and stuff, etc. But is your diet something you can do for life? Maintenance is for life, not the short term, so hopefully your diet is something you can do longterm and not feel overly deprived. Lately, I have felt a little deprived but I am trying to get those 6 to 7 pounds I gained this past year, back off.

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JUST_BRENDA 10/25/2013 4:04PM

    You are doing so very well at managing your food choices and advocating for yourself. Unfortunately, many people "just don't get it" and you'll need to repeat the same explanation over and over again.... or perhaps come up with another line like "I don't eat it because it gives me the runs and I'm on my last pair of clean underwear" emoticon

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CARLYG8 10/25/2013 4:00PM

    Oh, I can so relate to the struggles you are going through. I am a vegetarian , living in the heart of world class BBQ country. Everybody hunts and has big cook outs, smoking meats, and here I am...alone and misunderstood....eating my lettuce...

I use to feel the same way about my "weird" diet until it dawned on me that there was nothing "weird" about it. That was a word that they--the meateaters of the world-- called my diet because it was DIFFERENT than their diets. Different is not weird. Weird is only eating locusts and sea kelp (...laughs...you aren't, are you?) three times a day, seven days a week.

Your diet has to fit you. To you it is not weird. And, in the beginning it was different even for you, right? But now that it is normal routine, it is just that...normal and routine. That is a good thing. People will eventually get used to it, and it will still be "different" than what others eat, but it will become their normal, too. At least it has for me. People don't feel the need to comment on my diet anymore. They don't make jokes about it anymore. It will all be ok, just stay positive and hold to your convictions!

Hang tough sweetie! You so got this!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 10/25/2013 3:44PM

    It sounds like your boyfriend's mom is trying to make accommodations, and as another person said- let her! It sounds like she is trying, even if it may take her a while to get there.

I encounter the ignorance and insensitivity as well. If it were as easy as 'moderation of desserts' we wouldn't be where we were before we lost the weight. And I'm talking about those of us who were 100 lbs + overweight. Maybe for some people with a smaller amount of weight to lose they can just moderate their desserts or add a little more activity in and they can lose weight. Those of us with 100 lbs + to go/have lost know it takes us way more than that. And we may never truly be able to eat 'normally' again. This is HARD WORK. What may be normal eating to them may not be normal to us.

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KAMINEKO 10/25/2013 2:49PM

    Vent away! I get this. I get in "panic mode" about food. So bad, in fact, that as soon as I finish my dinner and track my stuff for the day, there is a feeling of huge relief. It feels as though I've been racing a clock all day and trying to get through without making a mistake. As you can relate, bad mistake can lead to weight gain. And when I'm hungry, rational thought flies out the window! Forethought and planning really go a long way for us, right?

As far as other people go, I frequently experience a feeling of judgment. Part of me knows it's because of ignorance on their part, but another feels as though there's attempt at sabotaging my efforts out of guilt that they themselves aren't eating healthier.

Take heart and keep strong! You're doing so well. Besides, you have us here at Spark. We understand. That's why this site is amazing. It provides the social support one needs to make lasting change.

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DRROON 10/25/2013 2:48PM

    People can be insensitive boors -- I know, I've been one of them from time to time! It's hard not to get "frustrated" with people who just don't get it. However, that's THEIR problem, and not yours. You're a strong woman to have gotten this far. And in the final analysis, you're the one who has to be happy with YOU.
PS: Maybe ask your boyfriend to talk to his parents?? Run a little interference for you? Just a thought.

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SUZIPAM1 10/25/2013 2:19PM

    you know people dont understand. i used to weigh 115kg and in 2 years i was down to 65kg - only as i was responsible for my own food. i realised i was an addict - like any other addict it was me saying what i was and changing it. i managed to keep it off for 10 years and then i have had two years of very hard work and stress at work. i was so unhappy that i put on 30 kg - i hate it so much and i really loved wearing anything and not having to stay home as i was shy of me. so what i have done is take back the power and one kg at a time i will lose this and it requires me to say "no" and if they dont respect that - its fine - but im an addict, they would not offer me alcohol if i was an alcoholic or drugs if i was addicted to that. so why then do this to me??? really - so if it takes fruit when they eating muffins, and if they say you only eat chicken - then thats fine as it makes me a better person when you incontrol of your body and you more confident. they really should be proud of you and not making you have stress. it makes me mad to think they make you feel bad. i support you - and i am sure loads of others do. they dont realise how easy we put on weight and that it is so hard to maintain it when it is off. Good on you for what you have done - keep it up and those that dont like it - really we dont care. hope you have a better day - poor you xx

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BBORDEN86 10/25/2013 2:11PM

    I recently gained the weight I lost back plus more, so I definitely know how fast the weight can creep back on. It's been extremely tough, and slow going getting back on the right track and essentially learning everything I once knew all over again. While I know you are probably frustrated with all the comments, etc., DON'T GIVE UP on YOU!

I don't think your boyfriend's mom is doing things/asking things to defeat you or piss you off. I think she's trying to maybe take some of that stress off you so that you can enjoy a meal without having to think about what to eat all the time. Let her!

However, for everyone else just tune them out. I know it's easier said than done but they don't have to deal with the consequences of eating something bad, you do!

You are doing so good! You've come along way, and like you said everyone has their way of getting to the same place in life... healthy! Keep it up!!

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BATCHICK 10/25/2013 2:08PM

    Feel free to vent anytime! I feel like that's what SP is for sometimes.
I also hate having to constantly justify my choices to people. I hate how our culture revolves around food in a lot of ways, so you can never just do what you want in private.

I think you are doing great, and you're making choices that will benefit you long term! You will always have my support, eat what makes you feel good!

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ROCKPORT9 10/25/2013 2:06PM

    You have been through a tough journey and have been successful with it. I am sorry that people around you connect you and food. Give them time and continue making your good choices. You are worth it! Hugs, Laurel

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A_SIZE6 10/25/2013 2:04PM

    thank you for sharing about your struggles and your eating habits. I relate to being picked on for how I eat too. I do need to learn to make wiser choices. You've inspired me to really think about. for me the best is for me to put me back on the Maker's diet that is what works best for me. last time I was on it I was feeling much better and dropped 40 pounds. I get picked on for not eating any pork a lot but the truth be told my mom and I both get really sick from pork and we can't eat it. my lifestyle plan I have to eat 2-3 meals a day and a few snacks spread every few hours. I had learned when I first started on my weight loss I was not eating enough and was shocked to learn I was only eating 900 calories!! I understand people have different eating habits each person has a reason for how they eat or why. I don't judge anyone for how they eat. I figure they know what is best for them and for their body. Just like I know what is best for me and my body. There really isn't a one size fits all eating plan. you do what works best for you. don't worry about what others think. thank you for making me realize the one eating plan that's always worked for me and inspiring me to go back on it. make changes. emoticon

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ALICIALYNNE 10/25/2013 2:02PM

    Well, you are certainly among friends here! I think most Sparkers have felt the same as you do at some point or another - this journey to a healthy life is HARD. If it weren't HARD, then we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic. We wouldn't have such horrible rates of diabetes and heart disease. However, there are some of us who are willing to deal with the hard decisions every.single.day. in order to have a better life. Other people who are content with the way things are look at people like us and can have a variety of emotions - jealousy over the results of our hard work, resentment that we have more self-control over our diets, etc. When those people try to tear you down about your diet, just remember that in 10 years, out of the two of you, there is going to be one person who is significantly more healthy than the other. Guess which person that will be?

A cold, hard fact is that a huge portion of people who lose significant amounts of weight tend to regain it. If we want to stay trim and healthy, we have to continue the wonderful habits that got us to that new body... forever. Yes, forever. Because if we don't, we will regain all of it and go back to being miserable in our own skin. Who on Earth would want that?

Sorry that your boyfriend's dad is a butt. Don't feel bad about his step-mom making accommodations for you. If she didn't want you to be happy eating over there, you would no longer be invited over and she certainly wouldn't be trying to fit your healthy alternatives into their Sunday dinner. Take it as the major compliment that it is, that she is eager to make you feel better about the situation.



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