11 August 2009

Why can't I eat like everyone else?

Such a question leads me to another question, "Who is the everyone else?" This is a question I get asked or hear people asking repeatedly when they are resistant about the idea of making healthy changes to their nutritional programs.

My children sometimes ask me a similar question, like the title of this blog. They need constant reminders as to why a diet of bagels slathered with butter, sausages, fried chicken and unlimited bowls of ice cream is not a good daily practice. For their simple minds and the fact that the "Bible" is a great compilation of spiritual stories that children seem to enjoy, I re-explain to them about what living was like back when Adam and Eve were first created. Trees and plants... that's it, fruit, fruit and more fruit!

Among all of us, we have those friends or family members that seemingly eat any and everything, that is deemed not healthy, and manage to be just fine. Well, I beg to differ that they are just fine, and perhaps they are just good at not showing that they are not completely fine, or perhaps behind closed doors when no one is looking, they are bingeing on extra spinach and flax seeds.... lol! Some people do hide their "healthy" habits. I know this firsthand!

My life, my health and my weight have been a work in progress all along. When I was a little girl growing up, I was considered "chubby," and I remember all the jokes my father used to make about my weight. I won't say that it did not bother me back then, and just how much, but I think his "fat" jokes (coming from a FAT man ~ imagine that) may have been all the motivation I needed to try to manage my weight. Who knows? I am no longer interested in trying to figure out my childhood "issues" since I feel good that I just deal with life today.

I came from a family of great cooks, and so this was very hard to do because every dinner was a tasty dinner, every Sunday was a feast of many tantalizing creations, and every birthday and holiday was like a "Last Supper" indeed. Hug each other, hold hands, bless the food, pile up the plate, finish it, pile it up again, get uncomfortable and smile with the stomach ache and heartburn. Food was the center of focus for our family gatherings, much like many other families. You could have all the animosity and dysfunction to make for a great episode of "Oprah" or "Dr. Phil," and still take that same wonderful group of family and get them to produce the best epicurean food festival for the next gathering. Food and gathering always seemed to momentarily squash whatever "issues" were looming. Food makes people happy?? Gosh, I did it again, a blog within a blog..... we have to save that topic for another blog, because that is indeed another HEAVY topic of discussion!

Let's get real though, and let's agree that you can't eat like that everyday and everyone "else" does not eat like that everyday. It's not conducive to managing your weight and your health to consume loads of fattening foods on a daily basis.

As I remember one young girl asking me that very question, "why can't I eat like everyone else?" I did indeed understand her frustration, but she needed to become a grown up and realize that it just was not realistic, particularly since she was very unhappy about her weight. You can not have it both ways. You can not lose weight, in a healthy manner, and maintain it while eating a diet filled with bad fats, sodas, sugars, salt, and processed foods. Those are the things she wanted to eat that she claimed "everyone else" was eating.

Moments in the mouth, all sorts of things give your taste buds amazing delight. I love how my mother, who embarked on a very healthy nutritional program in recent years, would criticize certain foods if they were around, saying things like, "Oh my goodness (practically screaming), that is toxic garbage, you should not be eating that!" -- referring to perhaps a slice of pizza.... lol! But here comes the kicker: She would taste it, and then keep eating it... now saying, "well, the only reason why I am eating it is because I don't want it to go to waste." LOL (again)! Her motivation to change her diet came about because she was sick and tired about feeling sick and tired. She is another "blog" discussion too!

I know my mother well though, and I can vouch for the fact that though she may have unwillingly indulged in a "toxic slice of pizza," she would not "re-indulge" again for a long, long time. That length of time could be months, years or even never again! She has trained herself to enjoy very healthy foods and this was not how life was when I was growing up.

There it is! The possibility of changing your eating habits is very DOABLE. Anyone can reassess their relationship with food. Just like when you are in a bad relationship and it's time to reasess the situation -- whether it be to build it up and strengthen it, or to walk away and look for something BETTER and HEALTHIER.


ladybug said...

Your right on!

Babzilicious said...

Just what I needed to read at the right time! Great entry, Jacquie!