From a young age, my parents have been teaching me about dieting, a healthy lifestyle and self-love.
My dad started looking through the freezer to figure out what to make for dinner in a few hours. Without thinking, he started preparing the fish. Then he stopped himself, "What am I doing? Dinner is not for hours. I'm not even hungry."
And then he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, I'll just eat two dinners tonight." Then he proceeds to make his fish in butter, and then top it with butter when prepared. Oh, and don't forget all that delicious salt!!
And my mom, my dear sweet mother, has been on a constant diet since before I was born. She has struggled with her weight. She is an emotional eater in the worst way. She means so well, and honestly, she is one of my favorite people ever, but she did not necessarily model the best habits growing up.
Lessons from my parents:
-There is never enough butter or salt. It's what makes food delicious.
-The more mayo in the tuna salad, the better it is.
-Dessert is mandatory.
-Always sneak a cookie.
-The first "test" cookie is zero calories. The second one is only about 5 calories, because what if your first impression was wrong. You have to test two.
-If you eat it late at night, it doesn't count.
-Exercise is pointless.
-Exercise is boring.
-Exercise is not fun.
-On the weekends, watch lots of TV and movies.
-If you have a challenging day, ice cream solves everything.
-If the ice cream doesn't work, have something salty, and you'll be fine.
-You cannot love your body if you are over weight.
-If you are under 200 lbs, any attempt to eat healthy will be considered annoying.
-Always have a "secret" stash of chocolate that everyone knows about, but no one talks about.
-Holidays are days to splurge on food, until you can't breathe. As long as there are leftovers in the fridge, the same rule applies.
-Any "tastes" while cooking or baking do not count as calories
-Always make the pound of pasta, even if it's just for you.
-Don't pay attention to serving sizes, they're always wrong anyway.
-During dinner, your plate should be covered. You should not see any actual plate.
-If you do work out, be sure to take a long nap and don't attempt again for weeks. Or months.
-If it's rainy, pop some popcorn and watch a movie
-If it's sunny, sit outside and relax
-If it's snowy, curl up and watch TV
-If it's cloudy, sit on the couch and relax
-Try every fad diet out there. Try for 5 days. If it doesn't work out, give up.
-The second you have a bit more than expected, your diet is over. Give up.
-It is impossible to lose weight.
-Skinny people are always healthy and anyone not skinny is not healthy.
-Lifting weights doesn't exist, except for Mr. Universe types.
-Ask for "healthy" gifts for Xmas (workout videos, etc.). Don't use them until next Xmas, if ever.
-The best gift you can give your spouse on your 20th anniversary is to say, "Let's just be fat together. We both love each other already."
Now don't get me wrong. I adore my parents. They drive me crazy like any parents, but I love them to the end of this world. However, they did not teach me the healthy things in life. Except, maybe they did. They did so much complaining about weight and exercise, that I did not want my life to be like that. I want to feel good at the size I am because I work out and eat as healthy as I can without going insane. Sure, I wish parts of myself were more toned, but you have to love you no matter what. Butter and salt won't kill you, if you eat them in moderation.
It's funny, my dad's favorite saying is, "Everything in moderation." He does not live by this.
They taught me a great many other lessons, but this is one area where they did not. It makes me sad, but it gives me the impetus to move forward. This is my life and I don't have to always follow in their footsteps.