When trying to lose weight, it is often suggested to remove junk food from your home to remove temptation. Let’s face it, if we had strength in our willpower, then most of us wouldn’t be trying to lose weight, we’d be succeeding. I will not do a full elimination of junk foods in my house for two reasons…
1. I’m a mom. Part of my responsibilities as a mother is to teach my child. Yes, you can eliminate all “bad” choices from your child’s options, but if you are always doing that, then how do they learn to make decisions on their own? How do they learn to moderate?
2. If you remove something from someone’s life, or tell them (either in words or by demonstration) that they can’t have something, what do they do? They want it. The child that is not allowed chips finds themselves with their own spending money and they want a snack. If they are unattended, what do you think they will get? You decide to start a diet that removes processed carbs, what do you suddenly crave all the time?
I was raised with the food issues of my parents. It is one of those things that inadvertently gets passed on. Feeling sad? Have some ice cream. Angry? Ice cream. Happy? Let’s celebrate with ice cream. Confused? Nachos. We can’t eat ice cream all the time after all. Did I mention that my mom worked at a creamery? On the other side, my father would rather buy me a new wardrobe than buy food for the house. It creates a horrible cycle of binging. I would stuff myself silly when I could. Then get depressed, because you have to crash sometime. And when depressed, what do we do? That’s right! Have a bowl of ice cream.
I am so very determined to not pass along my food issues to my daughter. I allow her a variety of foods, and yes, junk foods are in the mix. I teach her about nutrition and what our bodies require. When my darling sister let her eat as much candy as she liked on Halloween and her tummy hurt, I let her know why. When she ate almost an entire bag of grapes and got a tummy ache, I let her know why. As a result, at a tender age of 9 she has learned what a portion looks like. She will leave a slice of cake at a birthday party half eaten because she knows it will be too much. She will choose a peach for dessert. If she knows that she wants ice cream after dinner, she’ll skip out on a danish offered to her earlier in the day. She loves her crackers, but she knows that she needs something else with more substance to it to call it a meal.
Cravings are telling us that we’re missing something in our diet. You don’t ever want to remove an entire food group from your plates. We need all of them. We also need to learn how to moderate all of them. We even need fat. I’m not going out and eating a tub of lard, but eating all fat free items isn’t healthy either. A big step in my move to a healthy lifestyle includes preparing more fresh foods. I try more and more often to have my foods not come from a package. I am, hopefully, passing this along to my daughter as well. She loves helping in the kitchen and reading along with a recipe. I’m showing her how to pick out fruits and veggies. Which ones are ripe, which should definitely be purchased organic. Hopefully I’ll pass along some good nuggets of information that she’ll hear in the back of her head just when she needs it.