“Do as I say, not as I do.” – Mom
Has your mom every told you that or have you ever told your children that? I remember hearing my mother say that on a number of occasions, mostly about her style of driving, but as I look back, it had an impact on other areas of my life. We recently had a discussion where she observed a co-worker’s daily eating habits which consisted of a fresh green salad, fruits, nuts and such. She went on to explain that when she asked her co-worker how long she had been eating that way, the young lady responded, “I have always eaten this way; that’s how my mom eats.” My mother was noticibly upset and apologized for not teaching me better eating habits.
I think my mom did the best she could with the information she had at the time. After all, she was the one who stopped cooking everything with lard and pork and switched to smoked turkey meat, so I picked up that good habit. Being from the South, that’s how my great-grandparents and grandparents cooked. You can’t cook “Soul Food” without pork, right? Now, there is a plethora of information regarding healthy eating and so many great blogs with recipes that there is no excuse, right?
With the obesity epidemic now reaching our children, it is important that those who have little ones realize the power of your habits and your lifestyle. Your child’s life depends on it. Each and every child deserves to have the strength and mobility to play unrestricted by excess weight. So how do we help correct the problem? We have to start working on ourselves.
It has been my experience that until we realize that we are influenced by our upbringing and make a conscious choice to live and eat differently everyday, we will always be trapped by self-limiting thoughts like “I don’t know how to eat healthy” “The good food is always so bad for you.” Who says food that gives you life instead of takes it aways has to taste bad? It’s all about the way you think and if you are willing to suspend disbelief just long enough to give it a try and keeping trying until you find what works for you.
So Mom, I want to thank you for doing the best you could and for being open to trying new things with me so we can break to cycle of poor health and obesity in our family. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women out there doing the best they can. It starts with you. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need help creating new habits to pass on to your children.