Monday, April 5, 2010

Starving kids in Africa

When I was younger I was a slow finishing my meal (because I was full) my Mom would lose her patience with me for not eating everything on my plate. I still remember her saying "You should be grateful you have food! There are children starving in Africa because they don't have any!" My Mom was the most kind hearted soul on this earth. She would never intentionally hurt another person, much less her children. But the fact that I can remember this from such a very young age proves the impact those words and actions still have on me as an adult today. I am 51 years old and still have trouble pushing food away even when I know that I am full and don't need to eat anymore. I get this guilty feeling deep in my heart, whenever I throw food away, like my Mom is looking down from heaven with disapproval.

My daughter has never had to diet, she is still a size 0 after having 2 children, the same with my youngest granddaughter Paige. They can eat anything and everything and never gain an ounce (from my husbands side). Brooke, however, (took after my side of the family) and unfortunately has the potential to gain weight like me. I walk on a tightrope around her whenever I try to teach her about nutrition. It's difficult to guide her in the right direction while not across as thinking she is fat, she is already very touchy about her weight at 11 yrs old. As a woman who has battled weight my whole life, I certainly do not have the all the answers that she needs. I eat veggies for dinner and try to make them sound as appetizing as possible. I try to encourage her to grab a bottle of water instead of soda. I try not to harp on how much she eats but she does eat larger portions than she should.

Children learn from our actions and I wish my granddaughter had someone who was better at this than I am right now. It certainly is a reason for me to try harder, maybe she will follow me along a healthier path. Instead of living the life that I had to live, as an obese woman in this world of anorexic role models.

3 comments:

  1. Dee - it's so hard with kids because you don't want to focus on it too much and make them feel bad,but it's important to influence them young. I feel the same about my daughter, she's not chubby, but I can see she could be see I try to emphasize exercise (something I didn't get much).

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  2. Is there anything harder than trying to guide kids toward healthier eating habits without damaging their self-esteem or creating unhealthy relationships with food? It's incredibly difficult, and we're all trying so hard to help our kids (and grandkids) without being overbearing. Hang in there.

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  3. All of my daughters struggle in varying degrees from overweight issues. The three oldest got a really bad example in me but the one good thing that this band has brought is that we all talk about what we should do about weight and weight loss and I am setting a much better example than I ever was before.

    My youngest daughter who is 8 was having another girl at school call her fat. She really worried about it and began to dread school. She is 8!! We talked about my issues with what I chose to eat pre-band and how I didn't exercise. We talked about how at her age she was still growing and that very likely she was plumping up before a growth spurt. My daughter worked on getting on her bike and she and I ride together periodically. She is trying to eat more fruits and vegetables not less food.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that growing up worrying about being fat is just as bad as actually growing up fat. It is the small and overall healthy changes that seem to me to be more important than thinking about dieting or even starting down that road. I do not know if this one event will help in the long run but I hope so.

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