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Following/Setting the Wrong Example

Friday, September 06, 2013

I loved my grandmothers, and I love my mother. Please don't think I am disrespecting either of them.

I remember as a young woman watching my grandmother and my mom fill a plate with high calorie and high carb foods on many occasions. As I watched them, I remember thinking these kinds of thoughts:
Don't you want to be around for my children?
Couldn't you eat fewer fried foods so we could have you with us longer?
Do you really want that more than you to keep your sugar levels in check?

My grandmother is in glory. My mom is still here. However, my mom is an invalid now.

When I was a young woman, I was more conscious of healthful eating. Lately, in fact for several years, I've been making excuses like these:
One ice cream sandwich won't be so bad.
An occasional dessert is ok. (occasional = every day or more than once a day)
I worked hard on that project, and I deserve a treat.

My mother and grandmother did so many wonderful things that I should be emulating such as caring, sharing with the community, teaching, loving. For example, my grandmother helped to feed her family from her large garden and helped clothe them with things she sewed. Likewise, my mother went from being a high school drop out to being a RN. Although I try to copy the good in their examples, I find myself more often than not following bad dietary examples. I have no one to blame but myself. Seeing someone else eat wrong doesn't make me do the same.

I have developed some health issues that would probably be somewhat alleviated if I were to eat right and work off some weight. I think I have been in denial about what my food choices have been doing for me the last four or five years. Although I've been with SparkPeople for years, my weight is not going down. It's actually higher than when I joined.

The thought of being a bad example really hit home to me recently when my teenager said, "Mom, I wish you would stop buying ice cream." She is slim and healthy. She said it because she finds that having ice cream in the house is a temptation. Another daughter said, "You really shouldn't eat that." She was right; I shouldn't have been eating it. I began to wonder whether my girls are thinking thoughts such as these:
Don't you want to be around for my children?
Couldn't you eat more healthful foods so we could have you with us longer?
Do you really want that food more than you want to be healthy?

I can see myself now where my mother and grandmother were years ago. I say that I want to set a different example for my children, but do I?

Tears are coming unbidden as I write this, but writing alone won't change things. However, writing can let my SparkFriends know how to keep me more accountable. Writing can be cathartic. Writing can express my motivation for doing things differently starting today, starting now.

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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.