LDRICHEL   49,637
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The Natives are Revolting

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When I began my health journey anew a little over a month ago, I did so not wanting to be the "health police" in my house, but simply desiring to change things about myself in order to increase my overall sense of well-being and self-confidence. I knew that if I nagged my husband and kids about every calorie or forced them to work out with me, it would only serve to stir up rebellion and wouldn't necessarily give them the desire to do the things I was doing. If there is one thing I've learned with my struggles with food and overeating, it's that no one will force you to make changes toward health. It has to be a desire that comes from within and there has to be a moment when you realize that the only thing harder than changing is staying the same.

Still, the family is always watching. Especially kids! My house has long been a Dinner Warzone. Even when I wasn't cooking "healthy", my kids were ridiculously picky and, for pretty much always, I have been cooking nice dinners for myself and my husband and in-laws (they live in their own separate apartment in the basement of our home) and my kids would have no part of it. Most of the time, they won't even try the things I make. My solution to this has been either:

A) Make them a separate dinner (but only something easy like mac n cheese or Ramen noodles or something they will eat)

B) Tell them to fend for themselves and have cereal or something I don't have to cook.

You would be shocked at how many nights my kids have cereal for dinner. I don't feel guilty about that. There IS food available if they want a delicious meal. They won't eat it. This is their loss.

Something is subtly changing in our house, though. You see, for the entire school year, my kids have always asked to have their lunches packed. They just don't like school lunch. I don't understand why because it's so much easier (for me!) if they just get lunch at school, but as the school cafeteria has come under scrutiny the past couple years, I suppose I should be thankful that my kids naturally want me to make their lunches.

But, I've been busy. What can I say? I'm a full-time working mom. All year, my father-in-law has packed their lunches. And I was always so thankful for that. The only problem is...my father-in-law is a certified junk food junkie. I'm not even kidding. If my mother-in-law and I never cooked for the rest of the household, these people (including hubby) would all be morbidly obese within a year. The ONLY food they make is Pizza Rolls, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, cookies, cakes, pies, JUNK!

So, as my health awareness has increased, I've noticed what he is putting in my kids lunches. Here is a sample lunch from two weeks ago:

Pringles (at least 2 servings worth)
Oreo Cookies (2)
Jello Pudding Cup
String Cheese
Capri Sun

At first, I said nothing. Because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. He tries so hard to help me out in the mornings and puts up with so many tantrums from the kids every day. He gets them on the bus every morning and he's such a sweetheart and a great grandpa.

But, about two weeks ago, I thought, "Enough is enough. I can't allow this anymore. I am their mom and I HAVE to take care of them! They can't learn that this is OK!"

Well, it just so happened that my little ladies came home from school around this time absolutely appalled because there were rumors flying all over school about the fact that the cafeteria uses "pink slime" in their food. This reinforced their desire to pack their own lunches even more. And, I seized my opportunity. Yes, I did.

I woke up last Monday and rushed down to the kitchen BEFORE my father-in-law was even awake. I assembled two HEALTHY lunches, which included a fruit, vegetable, protein and a whole grain. NO dessert. Fruit should be considered a dessert, in my opinion! It wasn't gross stuff....it was GOOD food! Finally!

Father-in-law made his way upstairs and was pleasantly surprised that he didn't have to figure out what to pack in their lunches because I had already done it.

"Oh, well, thank you so much, Leah!"

I have done this every single day for the past two weeks and father-in-law has realized that, without any discussion at all, I have now claimed responsibility over the lunchboxes in the morning. He no longer tries to pack them because one day, I caught him putting Pringles in a box and I said, "Hey. That's OK, but you better cut that serving size in half!" He was OK with it...because he's generally pretty agreeable to conceding to the fact that we are the parents and he is the grandparent and we make the ultimate decisions for what's best for our kids.

A couple days ago, my mother-in-law came to me and told me about a conversation she'd had with my 9 year old that day:

MIL: Anika came to me today and said, "Grandma, my lunches lately have been crappy." And I told her, "Don't tell Papa that...he tries so hard to pack things you'll like." Then, I asked Don what he was packing in their lunches and he said that he hadn't been packing them...you had. And then....I knew what was going on!!! GO LEAH! I support you!

Well, that was great to hear. My daughter is in a full out battle of wills now. She told me yesterday she only ate one thing in her lunchbox. I told her she needs to be less picky. If she is upset about the cafeteria serving pink slime, how in the world could I, in any good conscience, pack food in her lunch that will either make her sick or kill her in the long run? No response. And it really doesn't matter. Because they are kids. They are MY kids. And I refuse to let them down in this area.

I certainly can't force my husband to do anything (although, I'm happy to say he's coming around on the healthy food front), but I WILL impose my food views on my little ones. I'm not talking about outlawing anything sugary or tasty or yummy. I'm just making it a point to OFFER only healthy options most of the time. And let the treats be just that...treats...not MEALS.

My kids still won't eat my dinners. If I am lucky, they might try a bite. Frankly, they have become curious because they see me making changes. I have not made much progress on the War on Dinner, but by golly I will win the War on Lunch. I am winning.

And here's the best secret of all....so are they.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ON2VICTORY 3/29/2012 11:37PM

    that is such a tough place to be and it doesnt get any easier either. my kids are ultra picky too and YES, it sets me on fire. slowly we have been making progress but it is an uphill battle. Frankly, i think alot of it is taste conditioning and frankly, junk food addiction to where that is all they want.... you are doing great, one small victory at a time... keep fighting mom..

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MARVEEME 3/29/2012 7:13PM


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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/29/2012 12:35PM

    LOVE it!! Good for you! One of the things I worry about for whenever I become a mom is how picky my kids will be. I need them to eat my healthy dinners! I make tasty healthy food and I make occasional treats and I already have to make 2 dinners on nights when I want meat in my food (husband is vegetarian), so I don't want to have to do more cooking to cater to picky eaters! I love eating lots of veggies now...I pray my kids willl too (even though I was a pretty picky eater as a kid...uh oh!). I love that you are just focusing primarily on lunch for now and winning that war! They'll learn to eat healthy dinners eventually, I'm sure. Honestly, Chinese food is what taught me to eat a lot of the vegetables I now love. Given a few years, some sugary/salty brown sauce (I know, it's not very healthy but it helped me), and repeated taste tests, I grew to love all kinds of vegetables I used to hate. So maybe it'll just take time to ease them into appreciating healthy foods. Good luck and keep up the great work!

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ADJQUILTER 3/29/2012 12:11PM

    You go, Mom! Stick to your guns! One day they will thank you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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New Breakfast Obsession!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You guys! I found the most delicious, easy breakfast that you can easily make and eat AT WORK. Have you heard of Better Oats Oat Revolution?


I'm kind of obsessed with this stuff right now. It has flax in it (300 mg of OMEGA-3), 28 grams of whole grains per serving, and 3g of fiber.

It comes in a bunch of flavors, environmentally friendly packaging and here is the COOLEST part: the pouch is a measuring cup for the water. I HATE when I put too much or too little water in instant oatmeal b/c I don't carry a 2/3 cup measuring cup around in my purse. And it's pretty cheap! $1.59 for a 5-pack.

Also, only 160 calories for breakfast!!! NICE!!!

Give it a try! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADJQUILTER 3/28/2012 2:32PM

    Sounds really great! What store did you find this at? I love hot cereal in the morning.
Thanks for the tip!
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IAMFRANSGIRL 3/28/2012 11:25AM

    Looks wonderful. I have muesli or porridge every morning and can't think of anything I like better for breakfast. I hadn't thought of stirring in chocolate yet though...must try emoticon

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CARRKM 3/28/2012 10:45AM

  I just learned about this over the weekend, but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for the review! I think the measure in the pouch will be useful!

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MISTYLOVESLIFE 3/28/2012 10:44AM

    I eat this almost every morning and love it! It's one of the best healthy breakfast items I have found in the store in a very long time. I usually pair it up with a fruit and it is tastey!

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Need Inspiration? Check This Out!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I absolutely can't think of a better "picture" for a successful health journey than this. When I saw this, I knew it was PERFECT for SparkPeople!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LDRICHEL 3/28/2012 4:06PM

    Of course you can share it! I stole it off of FB! Haha.

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FORBANDE 3/28/2012 1:58PM

    This is fabulous!! Is it okay to share it with my other Spark Friends??

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LOLOSMOMMY 3/28/2012 10:10AM

    This is great! emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/28/2012 9:30AM

    LOL that's awesome! I love it!

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ADJQUILTER 3/28/2012 8:59AM

    You're right. Attitude is everything!
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You Have Circled This Mountain LONG ENOUGH!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm still working through the study, "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst. In Chapter 11, Lysa includes a wonderful quote by Ruth Graham. This has really been a driving thought that has inspired me this past week and I thought I'd share it with all my SparkFriends:

"Either we can be victimized and become victims, or we can be victimized and rise above it. Often it is easier to play the victim than take off our masks and ask for help. We get comfortable with our victim status. It becomes our identity and is hard to give up. The Israelites often played the victim card, and I love what God finally tells them, 'You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north' (Deuteronomy 2:3 [NASB]). Turn north! It's time to move on! Self-pity, fear, pride, and negativity paralyze us. Taking off our masks takes courage, but if we don't do it, we will remain in our victim status and end up stunted."

Be encouraged, friends. And have a wonderful day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HANDYV 3/28/2012 6:01AM


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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/27/2012 10:05PM

    What great food for thought! How do I log it on my nutrition tracker? emoticon Seriously, that's a great way to think about what we're all going through. :)

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ON2VICTORY 3/27/2012 8:56PM

    great thought! thanks for sharing..

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MOMMA2X6 3/27/2012 7:43PM

    I really like this thought! Thank you!

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MARVEEME 3/27/2012 7:34PM

    This mantra will live on and on. Thanks for sharing!

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ADJQUILTER 3/27/2012 5:56PM

    It's funny, but each time I am tempted to make an unwise choice, I simply repeat to myself, "Now turn North!" It works! I'm done circling that mountain!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEIDISHOPE 3/27/2012 4:32PM

    I just bought the book and can't wait to start reading it! Your blog has me motivated to pick it up and get started!

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GOBABYYGO 3/27/2012 3:53PM

    Wow! I'm reading the devotional that goes with this book! Awesome read, great blog!

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Worst Workout Ever...But I Don't Care

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just got back from the most BRUTAL workout I've ever endured. It wasn't even that intense...just another day of C25K, nothing new even. But, for some reason, I was literally ready to quit and turn around and go home less than 5 minutes in. My runner friend, Kimberly, calls it "lead legs". Not the kind of pain associated with injury but just like she describes it...feels like it takes everything in you to lift one leg and put it in front of the other. I have never experienced this before and I was shocked that it was happening to me when I've been doing SO well with my C25K workouts! But I was extra stiff today even before I went out...I should have expected some resistance from my body, I guess.

At any rate, I'm not kidding...I was DONE after about 3 minutes. Here is my inner dialogue. Let's call the characters RIGHT NOW ME (RNM) and FUTURE ME (FM), for clarity's sake.

RNM: Oh my God, this hurts. I can't do this.

FM: Yes, you can. Just loosen up and it'll be fine. You'll feel great afterwards!

RNM: OK, but I don't know about this. What if I injure myself?

FM: Just take it easy and don't try to do anything stupid. Don't push it...but don't wuss out either. Be smart.

RNM: (About 7 minutes later) This still doesn't feel good like it usually does. I HATE this!!!

FM: Yeah, but you're almost halfway already. Just keep going. If you quit THIS workout...you know you will never do another. It's kind of a rubber-meets-road scenario here. Are you going to push through this or are you going to quit...AGAIN? Do you want to be this way forever?

RNM: I can't quit. I won't quit. Besides, Robert (ON2VICTORY - one of my biggest inspirations on SP) says that every workout is a chance to prove to myself that I can do this. And I CAN do this!

FM: Yeah. Remember Robert? Who lost 30 - 40 lbs in the very beginning (and has now lost 100 lbs!) JUST by walking? How much do you think it hurt him to walk when he was 385 lbs? And did he ever give up???


FM: Make it happen!

RNM: Hey, I only have one more interval and then I'm done. I still don't feel better but I feel amazing that I'm pushing through this pain and doing this!

Complete honesty? I could not feel my feet by the end, you guys. And the moment I set foot on my front porch, I sobbed from relief. I don't feel that I got the "best workout ever" today. I don't even feel like I got a great cardio workout at all. And I don't have that crazy awesome endorphin high. My body isn't throbbing with energy.

But I did it. And it's done for today. And I'm proud of myself. And that's going to have to be enough for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINKSHRINK 3/28/2012 3:14PM

    Yay - you did it! And OMG, I LOVE the RNM and FM character names. Mine talk to each other all the time! That is right on.


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ON2VICTORY 3/27/2012 8:55PM

    awwwww :)

wtg on your workout :)


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JOANNKW 3/27/2012 12:44PM

    WTG for sticking with it. I am impressed. I am not sure I would have. I am such a wimp sometimes!

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 3/27/2012 5:19AM

  emoticon emoticon for sticking with it. I'm sure your next workout will be better. emoticon

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MARVEEME 3/26/2012 7:42PM

    May your next workout be effortless and may you feel like a feather floating in the breeze, Amen.

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