There are moments in your life that change your outlook on the future, and I've had one.
My family has always been very close, and we've all gotten along for the most part, sure everyone has there little arguments here and there, but we've all always gotten along really well. I have always felt very fortunate that there has not been a span of time where someone is not talking to another because of a large argument, like most families that I have known. But even with all that getting along, my older brother (whom I love very much) and I have not seen eye to eye for the past few years. We have had our normal ups and downs, but over the years a strain had been put on the relationship. I'm not sure where it started, or when exactly, but it's been uncomfortable, and I don't like it. I decided that the birth of my niece was a good reason to "work" on the relationship and get close again. Family has always been very important to me, and I want to be an important part to my niece's life. Some of my fondest memories growing up involves spending time with my aunts and they have helped shaped me into who I am.
So when it was time to go visit my brother and his family a few weeks ago in California, I made the mental decision to relax and try my hardest to be myself and comfortable around my brother and sister-in-law. I think the largest "elephant in the room" has been my ballooning weight over the past few years (no pun intended). My brother is a very avid health-nut and is a personal trainer for two motocross racers. He has always been interested in health and fitness and has made it a huge part of his everyday life. His wife, Danielle, is also into fitness (though not quite as neurotic as Jed). Danielle was my roommate in college for a few semesters, (that's how they met-can I get an "awww...") and taught spin and pi-yo classes at the university rec center, and now teaches a spinning class at her gym in southern California also. I can imagine that since health is such a large part of Jed and Danielle's life, my life style of being health conscious only when convenient, would be difficult for them. I hadn't spoken to my brother at all about taking charge of my health and working on better habits, and in the past I had taken my weight and health "off the table" in our conversations because it always ended in a battle. I always felt personally attacked, even though I knew it was because he cared about me that he wanted me to change.
My trip to California was the first time I had seen my brother since last summer (or maybe even before- I know it had been far too long) and I was excited to see him again. I was nervous about my size and weight though because it had been an issue in the past, and I was determined to have a good visit. My brother was a trooper. My size and weight did not come up at all during the trip, and I thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed my time.
My mom just returned from visiting Jed, Danielle, and Joie last week and we went to lunch today. My mom was telling me about her trip and how much fun she had and told me that my brother went on and on about how proud of me he was. I was shocked! She said that he pointed out how one night they had ice cream for dessert and that I hadn't had any (I had no idea he had noticed!) and that he could tell that I was taking my health seriously. It makes me feel so good to know that he noticed, but didn't make a big deal of it to me and respected me enough to keep my weight "off the table".
I called my brother this afternoon for work out tips. I think its time I make more of an effort to maintain our relationship and let him be a part of this important aspect in my life.