Sunday, May 17, 2009


This May long weekend I have family visiting. Family: well meaning, well intentioned individuals related by blood or marriage who don't understand me, CRON, or what their scales are trying to tell them.

It is always good to see family and I do love them lots. However, you don't realize how much mental preparation and support CRON takes until you are in a close knit group of people who know you well but don't "get" CRON and therefore have trouble being supportive of this change. I was asked "is this is a long term thing or is it just a passing phase?".

So far this weekend it has been easy enough to stay more or less on CRON. However, the discussion always comes up as to "what will I eat again?" and "will I have a piece of that special dish I used to love so much?" it wears away at you when you have your guard let down. Or at least, it wears on you when and where you most want to let your guard down: with family.

Groups, including family, survive due to some homogeneity. Their interests, values, or goals need to overlap if they are going to survive. In some ways, family meals are an important part of family. Then with my new approach to eating I am seen as a deviant in a small way for pulling away from or at least altering the established norm for family meals.

I no longer share in the pancake eating contest or brag about who ate more plates of dinner or dessert. I am very subtly a bit withdrawn from the family. It is not about leaving that group as I really can't. However, instead, I am treated like I am sick and not myself. That one day I may come back to my former self. It's like the rest of the family is grieving the loss of the old me. Either way, my new CRON practice has to overcome this gravity from my family history to become a lifelong practice.

It is what it is. Human nature. Group dynamics. Change.

Change isn't always comfortable. I've always wanted to decide who I am instead of letting groups, society, or the media dictate to me what is normal or acceptable. There is no place that the slight lack of acceptance and the floundering of not knowing how to fully support a new CRON practice is more magnified and difficult than within the family.

My family visit this weekend has been great so far. However, my CRON practice has bent and so has my family. Truly, when you change yourself you change your whole world. Notice the changes. Accept the changes. There is nothing you can do. Different isn't necessarily bad; it's just different. Be who you need to be.


  1. I've been there before, and have had family members including cousins wish that I would go back to my old self. My mother wishes I would eat foods that the whole family eats (which is usually junk). People that don't know me and who I meet for the first time tend to accept me, it's just those that knew me before find it harder.

    They tend to say to me "You can't have this can you" or "look at this food, you don't know what you're missing out" (err yes I do, diabetes and a heart attack). I tell them I can eat whatever I want. And soemtimes I do! But usually I'm totally happy with the foods that I eat. I think they don't realize just how much better I enjoy food now than I ever have in the past. I don't think of it as a loss, but I've gained so much. I eat more variety now than ever.

    However attitudes change and after many years they begin to accept you again. Although it might come up occasionally, the majority of the time things are just fine.

    I can show them all the blood tests, and physical results in the world that prove I'm for the most part pretty healthy, it's doesn't change a thing. The average person sees overweight as the new 'normal'. This perception has to change. I'm even more skinny now to people that I would have appeared say 40 years ago.

    What they are starting to notice now however is that I'm clearly not aging like everyone else. I'm almost 25 now and can get away with being only being 16 easily, my much younger cousins are upto 8 years younger are now either catching upto me or looking the same age as me. My friends are all looking older than me. My old high school mates I see around on FB or whatever have started looking rough, lined, receeding hair (already!) and just generally older.

    In another 10 - 20 years time for me, acceptance will likely come much easier because they'll see the result of the experiment right in front of them. A much fitter and younger looking 45 year old than they've come across before.

  2. Great post! It took several years for me (Michael Rae's mother) to understand and accept his CR practice. We thought he was nuts and damaging his health. It really wasn't until he got all the test results back from his time with Dr. Fontana that I finally believed he was truly healthy and that CR was a good thing. Even the fact that he never got sick hadn't convinced me. The rest of the family still doesn't understand, nor have they made any attempt to do so. While I wouldn't want to do actual CR, I've adopted many of Michael & April's attitudes toward food, use CRON-o-Meter fairly consistently and use many of April's recipes on a regular basis. As a result, I've lost 51 lbs over 3.5 years, look great and am measurably healthier than I've ever been. Family visits can be difficult, whether you're on CR, vote for a different political party or just go to a different church! Blog on! MoMR

  3. BTW, where do you live? We're just outside of Calgary, AB. MoMR

  4. Thank you both for the wonderful comments. I live in Edmonton, AB. Did Michael grow up in Calgary too? I am quite a fan of his.