Growing up. I didn’t have the best food role model. I don’t judge my mom at all for it, because I think most women of the late 70s/early 80s who wanted to lose weight ate similarly…cut calories to really little, all diet foods, nibble instead of actually eating a meal. It was just what was thought to be the way. (And there are a few benefits…I never really had full fat foods like ice cream, so I never got used to them. I prefer ice milk/frozen yogurt and can’t even take whole milk in my coffee.) And it was always a topic of conversation…I feel fat, I need to lose weight, I can’t eat that.
So, how do I want my daughter to see me eating? What impression do I want her to have? This is a constant struggle, and I’m sure she’ll look back and think I messed it all up. But what it comes down to are that I have some options…
- Go food crazy. Eat entirely healthy all the time so she knows that this is what you should eat and other food is bad for you.
- Go for middle of the road…healthy base with enjoying good food some of the time and not making a big deal about that.
- Go easy. Just eat and try for a good mix of super healthy with some day-to-day indulgences.
I’m trying for 2…I feel like 3 is a slippery slope and 1 makes everyone crazy. I think more than this is how we talk about food and our health/bodies. I refuse to say fat. I may say that I ate poorly and don’t feel great, adding that it’s a reminder of why we try to stick to foods that make us feel good. I also refuse to avoid all unhealthy foods. But I can set the example that these are not everyday choices without even saying that. Being a good example is definitely a big part of my motivation and one of the things I keep in mind as a reason to continue on my healthy path. Because it can be difficult! I would love to eat all of the Halloween candy that’s still talking to me. But is it worth setting that example? I remind myself that it isn’t daily.
But, with our birthday coming up, will I eat dessert that day? Yes! I will have cake because though life’s too short to be unhealthy, it’s also too short to not enjoy cake with my daughter. We will also do things to celebrate that don’t involve food!
In the end, it’s all about balance, right? I know this post may strike a chord with some, and I’d love to hear other opinions!