Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My (somewhat) disturbing relationship with food

So as many have seen, I have struggled with my weight for the last several years.  I "liked" weight watchers on facebook, and they often have some interesting thing posted about a new recipe or a story or something.  Anyway, a few days ago they posted a link to this blog:
and the follow up:
Seriously?  It's like looking in a mirror!

If his story is really true (not exaggerated for media sake), it's a bit more extreme than mine.  But similar storyline.  And I will reiterate here first, I love my parents.  They have certainly raised 3 brilliant daughters, and I hold nothing against them.  But there were certain mistakes they made in the food department that really have affected the way I think about food!
1) Similar to his post, I rarely was allowed fast food growing up.  We ate out more than 5-10 times a year, but not by much.  Now?  I eat out in a heartbeat whenever I can!
2) Desserts abounded in our house.  Both my parents had a sweet tooth, so there was always ice cream or candy lying around.  We just weren't allowed to have it.  I think after I turned 15 and started complaining, then we got a dessert once a week after dinner.  I actually got caught when I was around 12 years old with a cup of raw sugar in my nightstand.  RAW sugar people.  I was so deprived of it, I had to eat plain sugar to satiate my craving!
3) My lunch was similar to his.  A plain sandwich on day-old bread my mom bought in the reduced price aisle, a peice of fruit and usually some sort of extra, like yogurt raisins or cheese & crackers.  I never had any treats I could trade.  I also always had juicy-juice or Motts 100% juice, not the favored Capri Sun that everyone "cool" had.  The difference is I got school lunch 2-3 times a week.  When I got to high school you were actually trusted with the money to spend in the cafeteria, and you could buy whatever you wanted.  I got $1.50 and I would spend $0.75 on a HUGE chocolate chip cookie and $0.75 on a soda.  Oh I loved those days I got away with that!
4) We were encouraged to clear our plates & not waste food.  Now that I have kids, I can see why - it's hard to get a toddler to eat!  BUT, that led to the need to see my plate empty, and when you eat at places like Claim Jumper, you often end up overeating unnecessarily!  It has taken a lot of internal will to change the way I think about food in this way.  Similarly, when we eat at home my husband doesn't like to eat leftovers so I find myself trying to finish things the night I make them lest they go to waste.
5) Similarly to him, I put on more than the "freshman 10".  I would say I gained around 30-40 pounds my first year.  Buffets 3x a day, with huge dessert carts, and sugary cereals I was previously not allowed to have! 
6) He doesn't mention soda.  Oh the soda!  Growing up, we got one soda a day only when we were on vacation.  So the other 357 days/year I spent glorifying and drooling over the soda I would one day have.  When I got old enough to babysit and have my own money, on our vacations (we drove in our motorhome 99% of the time on our vacations) my sisters & I would buy the enormous BIG GULP when we stopped for gas.  Good lord, looking back, that had to be 3 x the size of our stomachs!  But it was more than just the one 12 oz. can of soda!  We wouldn't even put any ice in the cup, lest we lose room for that soda.  Didn't matter if we stopped for gas at 9am!  And we spent the rest of the day taking dainty little sips of that soda to make it last as long as we could.

Anyway, let me reiterate my parents were great parents and they have raised three successful, confident daughters.  I don't think any parent is perfect and there's going to be something you inflict on your kids that you don't realize with affect them as much as it does.  I am probably inflicting terrible things on my kids right now and I don't even know it!

1 comment:

Erica said...

It's so interesting - I think almost all of us were raised to eat everything on our plates. But now that is definitely not encouraged. I'm sure though, as parents, we're doing stuff that messes our kids up no matter what!!