For nearly 15 years I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until my plate was cleared. Sometimes it’s good to look back so we can understand where food issues come from. Everyone has their own way of parenting and it’s up to the individual how this goes. But in recognising our history we remake the future.
“If you eat your meal, you can have a treat.” “We’ll go to this place for a treat meal.” “Be good and you can have a treat.” Those ‘treats’ sat on my thighs for 30 years. My family meal time involved us all originally sitting around the table and eating together. I had no control over what went on my plate. If I liked it or not, it HAD to be eaten. I remember frequently distracting my Dad to leave the room so we could hide food we didn’t want to eat. As the years rolled on we sat in the living room, the TV was on and I started an unhealthy relationship with food.
These days I feel comfortable without weighing and counting calories because I learned my macros. I know the quality of what I eat and I’m happy to eat foods I know nourish me. I understand that’s not everyone’s way of life but here’s the truth. Life is so much easier! It’s like if someone said, take this one pill a day and never worry about your weight again. Problem solved and with it goes the critical scrutiny over everything I eat, the pain of overeating and the food guilt. I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food until now. I was kidding myself years ago that a salad covered in mayo, croutons, fried onion, grated cheese and 3 kinds of processed meat was good for me. But you live, you learn.
The main point is I don’t fall under the trap of doing what everyone else does anymore. You have to step out and work out what’s best for you. I eat good protein to rebuild my body, I eat a range of fresh fruit and veg to keep my body healthly, I eat complex carbohydrates to ease my digestion process and great fats that keep my immune system topped up.
What you put in your hand in the supermarket will fuel you or cause you pain. It’s not one meal, it’s the little choices every day. It’s that bigger portion of lasagne or those extra toppings on the pizza. I cannot tell you how many times I would put extra cheese and meats on a pizza that was perfectly portioned.
Learning the best portion sizes for you and your family means you don’t have to think about the negatives anymore. If you’re eating good foods and it’s what you need there no guilt in that. If your plate looks appetising and you’re full of energy what more could you want? You don’t add a pint of dirt in when you fill up your car because you know it will break down, so why consciously do it to your body knowing what serious illness could lie ahead.
What scared me into learning about nutrition was the idea of my son looking after his overweight Mum on her deathbed. Really being faced with the truth of that and taking responsibility means our whole wolf changed. Our salads come from the garden, our choices come from the fresh food markets. Our meal times are to be enjoyed in each other’s company and when stop eating when we feel we’ve had enough. My love of lasagne is still a struggle sometimes but I’m good at swapping pasta for veg!
Trial it for three days and see how it makes you feel. Best of luck!