Should you speak up?

Well! I’ve just returned from a whirlwind trip home to Montreal, which came at a truly horrendous time in terms of work, but was done in an effort to secure a future. And I think I’d like one of those, and so when the mountain beckoned, Mohammad went forth. What exactly was done is neither here nor there, ultimately, because it’s not related to healthy living, and this isn’t going to become a “what will I do when I grow up?” blog. 😀

I’ve slept in 4 beds in the last 7 days (not like that!), one of which was at my dad’s lake house. The last time I was there, I wrote about how lovely it was to be without the internet… no pressure to answer pings and look stuff up… but this time, it was hellacious. I had a lot of work to do, but I was also home and having family dinners (which is my point, bear with me), which meant I would work until 3am and do the best I could to balance being a sociable visitor and trying to keep it all together. I have to say, NOT locking myself into the bathroom kept my stress WAY more manageable. 😀

Family dinners gave me the chance to reflect on something… and since I live alone and am on my own about 97% of the time, I’m curious about what others’ approaches are on a particular point. We all develop our diets out of trial and error and what works for our bodies (if you’ll allow me to summarize on all our behalves in this little corner of the blogosphere)… but that’s not necessarily going to jive with our families. When I’m with my family, there is often pressure to “eat the same thing”. I know that’s what they prefer, and I don’t want to be difficult.

I REALLY didn’t want to be difficult, in fact, because I’m so fried overall that not having to generate thoughts about WHAT to eat at every meal was like a little piece of heaven. And: eating based on others’ desires did get me out of my “same old, same old”… but… but… but…

What do you do when you watch someone you love making some horrendous dietary decisions? Not just “that’s unideal” bad, but “this is going to shorten your life” bad—and trying to include you (so that it’s like we’re all in the same boat together)? Do you protest? Make kind suggestions? Sit silently and just let it go?

It’s a tough road to navigate. On the one hand, some little changes could make huge differences—and on the other hand, food is culture and there’s SURE to be resistance if one were to feel like he or she were being scrutinized and / or criticized. Well-meaning amounts to little when the defenses go up!

So how do you approach the sticky topic of food and diets with family? Do you speak up, or stay silent?