I love my family. I do not have issues getting along with anyone. I do not have a childhood trauma that I am trying to eat away. I do not have emotional baggage tied to my parents or siblings. BUT, my parents house is where I have the hardest time staying keto.
My parents are the grandparents of seven young children so the house is FULL and I mean FULL of carb-laden sweet and savory treats. Plus, this is where I grew up creating and ingraining my bad eating habits (many of those habits supported by the Food Pyramid, btw.) This defeats my main line of defense which is just not having food that tempts me around. Besides the random treats in easy reach, this visit was also a birthday party. We had a carry-in (aka pitch-in, potluck, etc.). I brought something keto, but guacamole does not a meal make. I did my best to keep it keto, but I am sure something got by because I did not ask for an ingredient breakdown of every dish. My guess is I met my carb requirement, but did not blow my progress to smithereens.
Then came the main event: dessert. The birthday girl/boy gets to pick the main course and dessert. My aunt chose what we call Buster Bar dessert. It is an Oreo crust covered in vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge and peanuts. It is so good and so not keto.
It was hard to pass up. I basically had to hide in another room until it was put away. The big thing that kept me honest was I rode with my sister and her husband to the party and I mentioned I was not eating sugar and cutting carbs big time. Knowing they would know I was cheating kept me honest. So why don’t I just tell everyone I am keto and explain my food restrictions and why?
This will sound weird from a blogger, but I am a private person. I don’t like answering a lot of personal questions or being put in the position of defending those choices especially in face-to-face. I get enough of that at work. I am much better at collecting my thoughts and articulating them in writing. There is also the naive part of me that thinks if I do not bring up my extra weight then maybe people won’t notice it. So I have never used the term keto around anyone I know except one co-worker who showed up as a mutual friend in a keto Facebook group. (Hi, Manna!) I know keto is about getting healthy, but I need some outside, aesthetic results before I feel comfortable preaching the gospel of keto to people I know. It’s oddly harder to take advice from people you know well. It can be easier to take strangers seriously.
Is that weird? It feels weird.
To make it even weirder, I have one relative who is lactose-intolerant, another with a gluten sensitivity, and a third who won’t even try to explain her food restrictions and eats before she arrives. Everyone does their best to bring things or put food aside before adding an offending ingredient, so it is not like I would be shunned or resented. But, my food restrictions are a choice. At this point, I feel like a huge burden if I threw my food parameters into the mix for others to deal with, too. * My hope is if this WOE does what it claims to do, then I can be an example to my family and they will make the keto choice too. I am just not there, yet. I am early enough in this journey that keto is still a fad diet I am trying out and I am mainly armed with anecdotal evidence I have heard from strangers, so it is too early for me to effectively convince those close to me this radical diet change is the way to go. Especially my dad. He is a diabetic who is two heart attacks in, so I cannot approach him as my obese, unhealthy self and say, “ignore your doctors, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and every nutrition expert and do what I say which is the opposite of what they tell you.” I do not have that authority or the body and test results to back it up, yet.
*Logically, I realize non-dairy, gluten-free is keto, but I am talking about feelings and logic has nothing to do with feelings.
So to sum up:
The good news is I survived my first big test of temptation. I also learned I may want to bring a little more food so I have more than a dip to choose from and prevent me for going for “close enough” choices.
The bad news is a big family means lots more temptation filled birthdays. Someday I hope to be able to take a keto break once or twice a year, but right now my control over my sugar addiction is too precarious to be trying going back and forth like that. As far as spreading the keto message to my loved ones, I am stuck on “yet.” As in “I’m not ready, yet,” “I’m not there, yet,”
“I am not comfortable enough in my body,”
On to week two.