A couple eating corndogs and french fries and watching T.V while on the couch.
A couple eating corndogs and french fries and watching T.V while on the couch. Credit: Shutterstock

A lot of our habits, lifestyle choices and character traits are a result of how we were raised (whether we like to admit that or not). And a lot of the arguments and tensions that arise in families happen when the kids become adults and want to find themselves, develop their own lifestyles, and diverge from their families’ traditions. You’ve probably experienced these types of growing pains within your family several times in your life, from your teens to college to full-blown adulthood. If you come from a family who doesn’t have the healthiest lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise, but you’ve learned a lot about those things since moving away from home, visiting your family can be tough. Not choosing to eat like them can feel like you aren’t choosing to be like them. Here are struggles only people who come from unhealthy families understand.

You bring your own food home

When you go home to visit your family, you have to sneak in your own healthy food because you know there won’t be any in the kitchen. You’ve even gone so far as to sneak a mini fridge in your suitcase that you plugged in in the guest room, so your mom didn’t know you snuck fresh fruits and veggies into the house.

You don’t eat all your mom’s cooking

Your parents make very rich meals. Since you don’t eat like that anymore, eating full portions of them would make you sick. You usually only eat a small amount of what your mother puts on your plate, which leaves her feeling offended. You’ve snuck some down to the dog or into your purse to avoid making your mom sad.

You’re an unwanted cook in the kitchen

You try to hang out in the kitchen while your family cooks to give them tips like, “Use olive oil instead of lard” or “Add more veggies to the pasta.” This just ends up annoying them, and they usually ask you to leave until dinner is ready.

People have to wait for you to exercise

Nobody in your family makes time to exercise. When you go home, if you want to go to the gym or go out for a run, your family just thinks you’re trying to avoid them, or you’re holding up their plans. They only see exercise as interference for the day.

Your family thinks you’re too skinny

Your family thinks you are alarmingly thin. You get tired of them trying to fatten you up when you know you’re actually just in healthy shape, but their perception is off. Of course, you can’t say that to them.

You have to bite your tongue a lot

You often have to bite your tongue. You have to do this when you see your mom put out a giant tub of sour cream dip and chips for people to eat when they’re just sitting down to watch a 30 minute TV show. You have to do this when you see your family down three breadbaskets before their salads arrive at the restaurant.

You worry about your family

Visiting your family is a very stressful time for you. You know of many changes they could make that could help them avoid health complications in the future, and prolong their life. But bringing these up only causes arguments, and you don’t seem to get through to them.

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