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It's alright to leave food on your plate

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Grew up being made to eat everything on my plate. Each family member had their own saying, typically passed down from a predecessor, "I bought it, you eat it", " there are starving children who would LOVE to eat this", "it's not that much, you can finish that". Time after time I was served things that I plain didn't like or later found out that I was allergic too (they didn't realize that an itchy tongue was a sign of an allergy or stuffy nose/sinus infections, swollen tonsils, etc). I couldn't drink until everything was eaten, couldn't get up from the table...the list goes on and on. I think that people impose these eating restrictions on the/their children with good intentions: try a variety of foods, nutritional benefits of the food, teach them to be grateful for what they have, etc. These saying and thought patterns may be passed down/on as an ingrained idea, a cultural thing in ignorance of the potential damage and harmful habits that it may create. My parents didn't realize that their way of directing my eating would later cause me to develop an eating issue and overall unhealthy relationship with food. That by teaching me to not listen to my own body (which was telling me that I was full) and by not allowing me to stop eating it was creating a disassociation with my body, a distrust in my own thoughts and feelings. And that sucks. It taught me that my emotions/wants should be quelled for the benefit of another's satisfaction. That feeling stuffed was normal, being uncomfortable in my own body. That is was common to be sick with sinus infections, tonsil issues, and pimples. Over the years, though lots of research and diet changes I have been able to reverse the damage and undo all these health ailments. I love my family and appreciate my journey but unlearning that stuff was tough. All of this to say, Im an adult. I stop eating when I'm full. If there is food left on my plate, OH WELL! :). I'm aware of starving people but me stuffing myself silly isn't benefiting them or me. I am retraining my brain and realigning myself with true holistic health principles and it feels amazing. :) It is my sincerest desire that parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/
cousin/parent-to-be reads this and reviews their own teaching practices when it comes to children's eating habits. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. But if we can learn from the experience of another and take a more positive approach then yay us as humanity! :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yup, we were never allowed to leave the table till we cleaned our plates. Luckily we were all physically active so it didn't harm us too much. But still, I shudder even today and have a real problem not finishing my food. So I make small portions 😋
    649 days ago
    I think depression babies/children were taught these unhelpful habits when it came to food! My parents weren't as strict on that though. I always said it can be put in a container later and then eaten then. Using logic with them usually helped and I was a slow eater! My parents knew i had texture issues with some foods so I didn't have to eat certain foods over time, as long as i made the substitution foods~
    655 days ago
    I too was a member of the clean plate club. I agree it was one of the toughest habits to break; but I did it. Nowadays, I prepare my foods in much smaller plates and when eating out, I always leave food on the plate.
    655 days ago
    This was a very important lesson for me to learn, as well!
    655 days ago
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