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I Am Who I Am

Do you ever have people comment about choices you're making in your life and you just want to reply, "Dude, it's my life! I am going to live it the way I please"? Ive been a witness to this a lot recently, and it just really has got me thinking: What right do people have in thinking that they have a say in how we conduct things?

The other day I was talking to a family member on the phone and she said, "You're getting too thin." Now, I don't really think she meant "too thin," I think she meant I was thinner than I used to be, but it blew me away. I was surprised because many years ago I was always hearing comments about how heavy I was- "sit in the front seat of the taxi because we won't all fit back here...and you're the one who's.... {heaviest}" or "you've put on...." I also must add that some of this is cultural because I also hear other women described as being "healthy" in their country and that's another word for rounder in their eyes. I know family is going to always have their say, but the first reaction to this comment about being "too thin" I wanted to say was "No, I'm not! I am exactly where I want to be going...I'm feeling energized, my digestion is out of this world, and my kids think I am more fun." I didn't bother going there because I reminded myself that she wasn't really trying to control me, she's just commenting and is allowed to have her own point of view.

What about people who are making remarks on the number of children you have? A woman shared with me the other day that she had someone ask her if she was having another child and it's good she isn't because 5 boys is enough. That is a lot of energy in the house, but gosh dang it, that's her choice as to how much energy she wants to have. She rocks being a boy mom and think of how fortunate they are to be able to have a large family like that. Some would love to be able to have even a third of those blessings.

Don't even get me started on food pushers! I grew up with that in every turn I made. When we had family gatherings, I would politely turn down food because I was counting points and didn't want my entire weekend's points to be spent on one meal, but that was not a good enough excuse to get out of eating puris (fried Indian bread), samosas (more fried goodies), rice, curry, naan, desserts, etc. If you were going to someone else's house, you can forget about being on any diet. It's rude if you don't take a bite of their food, or have tea and sweets because it's like you're saying their food isn't good enough. You can be as full as a tick and no one cares in Indian culture...ya better eat more! Even if you're doing a food sensitivity diet, doesn't matter- if the people around you are eating something, don't forget to join in.

I get a bit heated about this topic because so many of us for years have put others first. Heaven forbid we step on someone's else's toes for our own happiness and I will bet, that's why we've had food struggles to begin with. People don't even have to say anything to us, it's just what's expected, it's the look in their eyes, or it's even just in our own heads as to what we think is expected because it's been that way for so many years.

It's time we put on some thicker skin and start putting our own needs first. It's not rude, it's taking care of us. And I think we can even explain it as that when we kindly say no to the pink box of donuts heading our way at work, "Thanks, but I am realizing if I have 1 of those it's a roller coaster effect and the rest of the day is a wash, but they look great!" You can even enter the social situation and explain that you won't be partaking in ____ because you're starting to eat in a wholesome way that's finally working for you.

Let the comments come out after you say your explanation and if they aren't supportive comments, well there ya have it- time to really ask yourself if these people are worth it to you. Most will get it and even praise what you're doing, but there's always a few who need a reality check.

Don't be afraid to speak up for what you need or want. That's one thing I learned in my food journey this year because I knew that this is the final time I am going to work on making peace with food. It's so much more now than just a number on the scale or pant size.

Recently I have been having some gut struggles and I am trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together as to what's the cause of it. I am thankful though for the viewpoint it's given me- if we don't step it up and take care of our own selves, nobody else is going to do it for us. Others, including our own physicians, aren't going to give a rat's behind as to truly what's going on in our health- especially if basic health panels don't show anything. We have to be our own advocate and stop living to please. Being aware of what's going into your mouth is so much more than just "healthy" or "non-healthy." It's about how we feel on the inside as well.

So the next time someone asks you questions that you feel is none of their business, compares you, or is a food pusher to you, don't be afraid to stick to your guns. You're not on another diet, you're not too ____ or _____, and it doesn't matter how many offspring you do or don't bring into the world. It's your beautiful life and that's all you're doing right now, making it what you dream it to be.

Cheers to you for living the life you want!


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