"Pork is the meat of my people, I refuse to be shamed!"  I said out loud to no one as I flipped sliced spam in a nonstick pan. In typical me fashion I over oiled a pan I did not necessarily need to lubricate to fry my processed meat product. The smell of smokey pork slabs filled the air.  I turned on the blower.  My mother used to call the fan the blower when we were kids.  At some point she started calling it a fan.  At some point she stopped calling power outages brown outs, stopped eating kamayan and started making cold pasta salads with celery in it.  At some point my parents became full American New Jersians.  

I liked a lot of the changes that occurred during this slow and subtle transformation. I liked pastas with cream sauces. I liked the italian style cakes from nearby bakeries.  I liked the inclusion of of all sorts of foods to our typical buffet of two kinds of pancit, lumpia, lechon and various forms of sticky rice based desserts. 

it's funny how food choices changing at home is how I recognize my parents acclimating to suburban life in the states. 

I don't think anyone in the family makes spam for breakfast (or any meal really) anymore. I think it may just be me.  I may have rogue cousins who consume it only when they are in Hawaii. I purchase 2 cans of it every couple of months and fill my kitchen with the smells of the weekend breakfasts of my childhood. i don't know if i'm glad or not that longanisa or tocino is not readily available in my neck of the woods in Portland.

I flipped my rectangular pieces of spam in olive oil one more time to make sure both sides were browned to my liking before turning off the burner and putting the pieces into a shallow tupperware container.  I scanned my brain to see how I felt about this. 

About 15% shame and 85% neutral.

Not bad considering last year the numbers would be reversed.  Or the year before that where I would only dare make spam in the house if jeff was away for work and no one was around.  Or the year before where I would never even buy it and only walk past it in the grocery store with deep longing inside for the comfort it brings me but unable to admit to anyone outside my inner circle how much I actually thought about processed meat products after being vegan for 6 years.

the vegan years weren't even the worst of my ED.  those times actually felt quite normal and my relationship with food was teetering on the edge of disordered but not the full blown meltdown that started in 2013 after my breast reduction surgery where i decided that now i've altered my body in this drastic way i was only one step away from having the body I always wanted to have.  my new breasts were small and manageable, no longer the swinging pendulums of a 38G but the rest of my body felt so disproportionate in so many ways.  my belly was out of control. now that i could see past my boobs all i saw was a belly that was standing in my way of looking like the person i always thought i should look like.

(to be continued)