The Family Jerk

Voice in my head: “Can’t you see what I want to share with you here is your company? Why do I have to eat what you eat? Why can’t I celebrate listening to my body and what I want to eat, what I know my body feels good on? Ok, the awesome veggies and tropical fruits are there... What?! How do I turn down the bread, the potatoes, the processed ham and sausages with nitrates and MSG, the rice and the empanadas when they come my way without coming across as the big family jerk? The clean-eating, family-ritual-disrupting jerk. $#*t… what am I gonna do they’re coming!”

Stepmom: “Have some, they’re divine. Have some more, when else are you gonna have these!”

Me: “Yummm, they smell delicious.”

Voice in my head: “Control your inner monster it’s ok, you don’t need to eat a ton of this, just try a little. And don’t be a jerk alright?”

Aunt: “Save some appetite for dessert, I made the cake you love so much. The one with syrup and cream on top.”

Voice in my head: “Yeah, laced with sugar, margarine, wheat, gluten, evil chocolate laden with mycotoxins, surely not single origin, surely not heritage cacao. I want to accept it all and receive my family love with genuine gratitude but just the idea of eating all that repeatedly for about 2 weeks makes me sick. I’m swelling, I’m swelling!”

Me: “Thanks auntie, love you, you’re always so sweet.”

Dad: “You know, I eat everything. I just eat little of it, and I take at least 30 minutes to go through my meal. I also play tennis 3 times a week and go for long walks up and down hill.”

Voice in my head: “I know dad! You can eat everything. Even evil candy laced with corn syrup and  artificial flavors such as beaver butt strawberry gland and other delicacies.. Hahaha. How do you do it and stay so strong and balanced?! ” Ok I’m going insane, I’m just going to relax, try to control myself, be mindful, loving and share the food and not only the company.

30 min later, post-lunch conversation packed with jokes and good stories.

Me: “Wow. Everything was delicious, thanks guys! Gonna go take a quick nap in the hammock, be right back.”

Voice in my head: “I feel 2 lbs heavier already. Gut swollen. Hello family love, hello inflammation.”

One week later, eye-bags show up, eyes are puffier, gut bloated but loving the family time. Always call in sport to balance it all out. I’ve been playing tennis, swimming in the ocean and trying to keep the fire burning as strong as possible.

Am I the family jerk by honoring my body?
Am I the family jerk by not wanting to accept chronic inflammation via the easiest way possible: food??
Am I stressing or am I just asking myself important questions?

Is my family the actual family jerk by offering me all this inflammatory food?
Is my family the family jerk by not seeing that it hurts our bodies to get all this gluten, all this feed-lot meat and farmed fish in our system?

Am I the family jerk by sharing stories of eating natural, whole foods and feeling amazing both physically and mentally?

Is what I imagine my family is expecting from me, the real family jerk?

HELP! I’m trying to avoid self-deception here! And trying to avoid being a jerk!

How can you be loving, receive and give love without hurting your body or hurting your relative’s feelings your own for that matter? Constant give and take, constant subtle exchange.

I put it out there as best as I could, with love, sharing my thoughts and impressions, receiving their feedback, judging not. Especially not judging them or judging myself.

Now I know what it feels to be a vegetarian, or a vegan. How many years without vegetarian/vegan options on menus worldwide? You become different, separated for a while, until others do the same, and then everyone's different. Kinda like a dinner party in LA or NY. Except this was at home.

By putting my thoughts out there and sharing them with the family we could all look at the apparent problem from the distance. The “problem” was no longer inside each one of us. Instead, we were detached from it, we were no longer the problem. And we did the best we could. We all have our opinions, and I still put on 2 or 3 x-mas pounds. It's good to share thoughts.

Consciousness is a dynamic flow. In relation to me, in relation to others. What happens when I put this thought out there? What is possible?

Displace judgment with curiosity. It's not that hard.

"I'm not testing you, Obi-Wan. Life tests you! Every day it brings you new chances for triumph or defeat. And if you pass the test, it doesn't make you a Jedi. It makes you human."
―Qui-Gon Jinn, to Obi-Wan Kenobi