I love my family. They are loud, they are embarrassing, and they like to eat.
A few weeks ago my classic-white-haired granny whipped up a Thanksgiving feast just for the hell of it on a Sunday afternoon. There was a baby involved, chatter about college applications, grandpa in the nursing home, and mashed potatoes. This was a standard family gathering for our little tribe of humans.
As we sat down to eat, chatter quickly turned to diet and health. My mom and uncle were comparing cholesterol meds, grandma talking about her arthritis, and my cousin about losing weight post baby.
Then someone said something that seemed funny to me. “Well, high cholesterol runs in the family”.
As I looked at the piles of buttery mashed potatoes spread before us I literally thought, “I think maybe those mashed potatoes run in our family”.
Don’t get me wrong, my mom and grandma make the best mashed potatoes outside The Meatball Shop and I generally enjoy a healthy portion when they are present. But let’s not get confused, I know those things aren’t promoting anybody’s healthy cholesterol ratios.
What bothered me more about it though, was the type of thinking, the ‘it runs in our family’ thinking. It’s incredibly disempowering. Sure, genetics definitely play a role in our health but, we absolutely have control of a large portion of it as well, cholesterol included.
So maybe next time you think that something runs in your family, reclaim some power. Ask yourself; what are the habits, foods, and lifestyles that run in our family? Could they be the cause instead? If the answer is yes, then how might you improve upon them?