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I don't really know how to deal with my dad's attitude about my new lifestyle

Monday, December 31, 2012

Lately, my dad has gotten really into cooking. He never was before. But he's started DVRing cooking shows, he wanted all kinds of kitchen stuff for Christmas...he's just so interested.

But he wants to make the kinds of meals he sees on TV - not healthed-up versions. Which is fine, in moderate amounts, of course.

I don't know if this has made him feel weird about my own dietary choices though, or something, because he's been odd to deal with the last couple times I've been home to visit for holidays.

For instance, over Christmas we had some veggie soup. My dad was sitting next to me, and as I got more helpings of soup, he kept egging me on. "That's it, take some more! Oh come on, you can take some more!" I finally had to say irritably, "No, daddy, I'm DONE."

Then last night, we were just arriving at my parents' house after having had dinner at my in-laws'. My parents knew this. They saved me some glazed salmon they'd had for dinner because they know I love it, but they knew I would have already eaten dinner. So I'm just walking in the door. Literally, I have taken no more than two steps into my parents' house, I'm still carrying all our luggage, and my dad comes rushing over to me with a pot of the soy/brown sugar glaze he prepared for the salmon and he wants me to try it. RIGHT then. And I'm like, "No, daddy, I already had dinner." "But just try some!" "No, daddy, I don't want any, I already ate!" I really wasn't in the mood for more food right then, even just a taste. I hadn't realized at the time that he was just being proud of his glaze and wanted to show off, but...dude, don't be a food-pusher! Then a little while later, I went to clear the kitchen table so I could work on stuff too, so I pick up the bowl of green beans that's still sitting out, and my dad says in a very accusatory voice, "I thought you already HAD dinner." I'm like, I'm just putting food away!

So then later he's making an eclair cake, a layered thing with creamy pudding and graham crackers and melted chocolate. I'm out in the kitchen doing something or other at the same time, and he says "Now, this is a diet cake, of course, so you can have some." Just kidding, but it still bothered me. I told him, "I don't eat diet food, I eat healthy food." So he said "Well you don't want to know what's in this." I said probably not, but if I didn't know, I probably wouldn't eat it. (I don't like eating stuff if I don't know what's in it! Is that so bad?) So he said well it's heavy cream, and so on....and then he said, all passive-aggressively, "So I guess you're not having any." Like he was all offended that I wouldn't want to eat his cake. I told him that wasn't the case at all - I just wanted to know what was in it, because then that would tell me how much I could try. I wanted to try it, but knowing that it's full of heavy cream makes me realize that I need to just take a small sample, you know?

It was just a weirdly aggressive conversation.

And finally I did some exercising this morning. Nothing major, just riding a very easy stationary bike (their bike has pretty much no resistance, it did absolutely nothing for me in terms of cardio) and some weight-lifting with my dad's machine thing, and some dancing to a Kinect game. I finish, and I'm looking over the Christmas candy and cookies and stuff in front of the fireplace/stockings, just seeing what's left. Not eating any. Not planning to eat any. I just like window-shopping desserts. I like to look. But he says "You can't have any!! Nope, no candy for you! You just finished exercising, you can't have any candy now or you'll have to work it off again!" Again, I know he was just kind of joking, but it was really odd. My mother happened to overhear, and she comes into the room and says "NO, she's supposed to be eating more. She's not eating enough. Don't say things like that." Thank you, mom!! She's right. I haven't been eating enough lately, and I am supposed to be gaining weight. My dad doesn't understand that even joking around can mess with my head. But the bigger issue to me was why he was acting so weird about me and food. I don't understand why he keeps feeling the need to comment or make little jokes that come across as more passive-aggressive than good-humored. Does he feel guilty for not eating as healthy as me? Does he think I'm being too extreme? I just don't quite know how to deal with his weird attitude lately.

I'll have to ask my mother about it. My father is not the kind of person you have perfectly open and un-hostile conversations with. I love him and he loves me, but you just can't have that kind of a discussion with him without him feeling attacked or something.

Anyways. On to happier things -

I am bringing a veggie tray to the family New Year's Eve party this evening, with plenty of fresh healthy veggies! I've also got some sweet potato tortilla chips for those who want something chippier. But I made myself a very healthy eggplant dip from SparkRecipes (Spicy Eggplant Dip), and I got Greek yogurt to mix with a powdered bean dip mix for those who want something creamier/saltier. It calls for mixing with sour cream, but I just refuse to use sour cream, like ever. Why use sour cream when you could use fat free Greek yogurt?? :) My mother is bringing a fruit salad made with vanilla Greek yogurt, because she knows I want fruit stuff that is healthy and low in sodium. Bless her. :) So I should have some good healthy options for myself while everyone else is eating pizza and cakes. Not that I won't sample the cakes, of course, but there's no point in eating the pizza - it's just cheap pizza from one of the national chains. I've had it before. It's not that great. I don't need it.

So I'm feeling okay about the party, I think. Hopefully I can make it through this holiday without the 10 pounds of fluid retention I ended up with post-Christmas...

Happy New Year, everyone!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Perhaps he just doesn't quite feel as though he knows who you are exactly anymore. To get to the changes in your appearance and health that you have, your personality, habits, etc. had to change. He knew you one way for years and years. Now you are 'someone' else. It's probably as difficult for him as it is for you. Trying to be supportive but not knowing how to be. What should he say? What should he do? Difficult on both ends, I am sure.
    1940 days ago
    It sounds like your mom is supportive, so maybe having a conversation with her about your dad's attitude could help shed some light on what's going on with him. It almost sounds like he feels rejected somehow? Or maybe he feels uncomfortable with the whole idea of eating healthy and exercising (although he has some workout equipment, so it can't be an entirely foreign idea). I'm glad your mom has your back.

    Enjoy your family party; your healthy food options sound yummy! HAppy New Year!

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    1941 days ago
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