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How I think about food

Saturday, December 29, 2012

So I am a mom and a grandma. The majority of the cooking for Christmas celebration fell to me (kind of my role). Another part of my role surprised me. I found myself encouraging people to eat - "sure you don't want seconds," "plenty of food over there" - though for redemption, I didn't push. It was hard not to push though - I felt bad for my DSIL who passed on the special dessert one night (he is trying to drop some weight - struggles just like me). Then when I was "encouraging" DGS to get some dessert, DD let me know he was trying to watch on the sweets. My actions surprised me (though they are definitely who I have been in the past). As I think of what possible possessed me, I realize I always want people to be happy (not a new revelation - to me or my family). But "encouraging" the desserts - the message has to be "be happy, eat! Alright, there is an emotional response as I shovel it in. I guess I would call it "happy" - happy for the moment. However, being an encourager and knowing how hard it can be to pass on that temporary high for a better, long lasting healthy happy, I need to think about what I am encouraging. My DSIL has struggled with his weight as long as I have known him. In the past few years he has steadily lost weight and increased his physical activities. Do I really want to add to his struggles at the table? I was surprised by the words that came out of my mouth - but those are the words I would and did speak Christmases past. This has been a year of change and there are more changes to be made. My words reflect beliefs I hold - those beliefs that are not truths need to go. Yes, food can create a temporary high momentarily - however that temporary high does not equate long term happiness. It is easy to fall back into past behaviors - and past beliefs. Reminding myself of the truth, and how I want my actions and words to reflect the truth, will lead to the changes to becoming a "new" me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think "Good Hostess" chick just needs to add a few new tricks, like maybe having a mix of the traditional, high calorie foods and healthier food so there are options for those trying to lose/maintain while others don't feel like they are being "forced" to eat healthily (heaven forbid! LOL). I would have loved to have more healthy options this Christmas. I am not much of a cook (as in, at all) but friends and family have come to really like some of the food I have served them to the point that they have added some of my snacks and meals to their own routines.
    1972 days ago
    It has taken our family some time to make the transition, but when I gather with my siblings now, and their children... the table has "just enough" and a lot of healthy options. As recently as three or four years ago we might not have been able to say that. But now? Yep! We support one another as we're all working at being healthier with our foods.

    Sometimes all it takes to get the trend started is ONE family member and the rest in support mode.
    1972 days ago
    It sounds like there are enough people in your family who are trying to get a grip on how they manage food that you could conspire to change the food culture at holiday events. It would never happen in my family, but I have had holiday meals with friends where it is a simple, but special meal with enough food to be celebratory but not so much that it is a bacchanalia. (My family does that bacchanalia thing.) I found those holidays to be wonderful, fun and I left feeling full but not uncomfortable. The focus was on the people around the table and not the food itself.
    1972 days ago
    I have to think. If I don't want to be the "good hostess" chick, who do I want to be? Who will I replace her with? Thanks for helping me see this.
    1972 days ago
    I think food is so central to the way people tend to celebrate and many cultures make a big thing about providing generous amounts of food as the host/hostess. When food was scarcer and feasting wasn't something you could do everyday, that kind of celebrating didn't hurt. But we've combined centuries of feasting on rare occasions with constant availability of vast amounts of food that we can and sometimes do consume daily. Not good.

    So you have the generous, nurturing hostess ingrained in you and that is why you unthinkingly encouraging your loved ones to eat. But this year, you were more aware and able to tell the "Good Hostess" chick to back off. Progress!

    1972 days ago
    I have found myself doing the same also especially when I made the food. Its like eating the food I make is the same as liking and accepting me. This feeling caused me a lot of trouble the last time I visited my DDs family and I overate over it. Acknowledging this feeling and accepting that I feel that way is helping me stop the behavior. This journey is certainly filled with a lot of increase in self knowledge.
    1972 days ago
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