It’s true that I don’t get out much, but Sunday was special. A friend’s son graduated from high school, and he’s been a favorite since I met him 15 years ago. At the age of 5, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and endured the chemotherapy. And now that he’s graduated from high school, it was time for a lovely celebration.
Both sides of his family were there. For as long as I’ve known these people, they’ve all welcomed me with open arms, and full plates of food. They knew me when I weighed 500 pounds, and they’ve been astonished at the weight loss and maintenance as they’ve stood by me over the past few years. They have been wonderful, loving supportive friends.
So there we all were at the restaurant, a lovely sit-down luncheon, and out came huge platters of food, with more than enough for everyone to have seconds on the appetizers alone. One of the family members – a matriarch on one side of the family – was kind enough to serve me. I thanked her after she put a taste of this, and a taste of that on my plate. She didn’t believe me. I told her again [politely, honest!]. She still insisted.
Finally, I grabbed her arm and said, ‘Stop this. I have everything I need. I can’t eat any more. We don’t want me to weigh 500 pounds again, do we?’
That seemed to shake her up, and she put down the serving spoon [thank goodness!]. But what surprised me the most was that she seemed to come out of some sort of trance! She was in ‘serving food’ mode, and nothing was going to get in her way!
What is this about hosting and serving? Why don’t we back down when someone indicates that they have been adequately served, that they have what they want? Why do we insist that they take more?
In the pre-surgery days, I truly equated food with love, and if people around me weren’t well fed or even overfed, I wasn’t showing my love. If there were leftovers, I didn’t feel offended – exactly – but I wondered if they like the food. Even though I mentally went through serving sizes – 3-4 oz of protein per serving total, including the appetizers, etc – I always added extra, and wanted people to eat it. But these days, when someone I’m serving indicates that they have enough, I say something like ‘are you sure?’ and their answer ends the discussion, whether they want a bit more or not.
The fact that I was seated next to this kind, warm woman, and across from her niece, one of my best friends, was quite enough love for me. The broiled shrimp appetizer was just a bonus.
As an interesting postscript, the appetizer platters at my end of the table were not entirely eaten. But from the other end of the table, the other side of the family cleaned off their platters, and got up and snagged the others! Guess which side of the family has the major weight issues?