Monday, July 21, 2008

My relationship with food

As a few of you correctly surmised, these food choices that I make for my daughters (right now, but not forever, obviously) are related to my own, long-standing food issues.

I am a big girl. I have been a big girl for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I pretend I am big because I have a slow metabolism. Sometimes I joke that I am evolutionarily adaptive - because, yo, if we were cavemen, I would *SO* outlast the skinny-ass girls. But the fact of the matter is I eat.a.lot.of.crap.

There I said it. I crave sugar and fried foods, and I have for as long as I can remember. I am probably the pickiest adult eater you will ever meet. Sometimes I drive PB crazy with my ridiculously constrained meal choices.

I can't help but think that some of that is related to the fact that I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted when I was little, and I was offered lots of sweets and fried foods. My mom, bless her, would cook two or three meals to keep all of us happy, and she never pushed me to eat anything I didn't want to, which I totally loved at the time. But this eating thing is the one thing that I want to do differently than my parents - really, I think they got pretty much everything else right, and in the scheme of things, overindulging your child is probably better than being mean or emotionally distant or any number of other things.

I am a big girl now and I take full responsibility for my current poor eating habits, and my relationship with food thing may not be related to what they did or didn't do when I was younger. I don't know. But I do know that if it might be related then I don't want to walk down the same path with my daughters. I don't want them to worry about it and be stressed about being thin, I'm not trying to create perfect skinny little girls. I want them to be able to maintain a healthy weight because they like tons of different stuff, and I don't want it to ever even be an issue for them. Even though I know it will (sigh) even if they are tiny little things.

Plus, it's about healthy food in general, like I said. We put so many nasty chemicals in our bodies, it's amazing that any of us are still functioning properly. I'm going to do whatever I can to hold that off as long as possible for my girls.

And as Barb said, I'm off my soapbox. At least for now :-)


Deborah said...

Hmm. This is a difficult issue, and it's so tempting to try to fix everything our parents did wrong (even if, as you say, they weren't the worst offenses out there). Being a lover of junk food myself, I see where you're coming from and I always wish I could get genuinely excited about carrots. However... being too restrictive can also lead to your kids overindulging when you're not around. When they get older, not now of course. Even today I eat worse when nobody is watching, and I think partly it's because my mom was always forcing me to eat healthy (I remember one year in middle or high school being told I couldn't have seconds of my own birthday cake).

So I think the general idea of offering a lot of choices, most of which are healthy, but also letting your kids try junk food (when they're not babies) is probably a good plan. Of course, the best thing is for your kids to see you enjoying healthy food, but there may not be that much you can do about that!

Amy said...

1st off - you don't have to explain your rules to anyone. They're your kids and 'because I said so' is a good enough reason.

Ava doesn't get sweets or much sugar mainly because it's not something we buy and keep in our house. We don't eat a lot of overly processed or sweet things anyway so there's very little junk food that I buy. When I do it's the 100 calorie packs for portion control. We do eat lots of veggies and (my downfall) carbs. So far she doesn't really like sweet things anyway - she does like spicy, though. I gave her a bit of Nutella (mmmm, heaven) on toast the other day and she made a horrid face and spit it right out.

I know she'll have junk food someday and that's ok with me - but not now. She's a toddler and every bite of food that she eats needs to have nutritional value especially since she eats so little sometimes. The soda question is not up for discussion either. We mostly drink water and milk in our house - a soda is an occasional treat only.

Besides, I have a personal case study to share and it solidified my position more than anything else. My sister has 2 kids. Oldest never ate sweets when he was little and now, at 30 years old, still has no interest. Youngest was fed melted Hershey kisses (by the grandparents) from the time she was a baby - she has a wicked sweet tooth and a weight problem (and, self-admittedly, no self control) to match at 28 years old.

Sorry I took over your comments :). This is a great discussion!

Steph said...

I was deprived of sweets as a child so my brother and I both went totally overboard whenever possible. We even made friends with another brother sister who were really fat and had nothing but candy in their house.... just so we could go over there and binge!
But this wasn't just a limiting your crap intake for your health, we only got one piece of halloween candy a night. So it was totally overboard from my mom.

I struggle with a middle ground. I have a sweet tooth, a carb tooth, a taco bell tooth, and a mouthfull of other teeth that have led to my overweightedness... and hubby's. He's got a 'let's eat at 11PM tooth'.

It's hard to find the balance with convenience and healthy. Fast food is cheap and quick, healthy not so much.
But i agree with momma said so being good enough for now; and for a while to come.

JUST A MOM said...

ok short and sweet,,, you do not have to explane to any one about anything.

enjoy those babies