When I was a kid, the focus on healthy eating was non-existent compared to today. In the aisles of the supermarket, my mom rarely said no when we asked for junk food. You may remember my aforementioned childhood love for Frosted Flakes. But in actuality, Tony the Tiger’s cereal is practically health food compared to some of the other things my sisters and I ate. Twinkies. Doritos. Mister Donut every Saturday morning when Grams and Gramps came over. It’s a miracle I’m as healthy as I am today! Sometimes, I cannot believe my parents (both health professionals) let us put pretty much anything into our bodies. But, like I said, the focus on healthy eating was minimal at best.
I still eat some absolute crap on occasion. But, you know, moderation. I don’t believe in 100% deprivation of anything you love (provided it’s, you know, legal [mostly legal?]… and doesn’t hurt you or others). Depriving yourself completely, I think, only makes you want it more (whatever it may be).
The thing is… I want my family to be healthy. If I eat junk all the time, my kids will think it’s okay to eat that way all the time as well. But if they never develop the poor diet habits I had as a child, they won’t have to work to break them later. I strive to keep my home stocked with healthy foods. If the junk’s not there, no one will eat it. Or at least they won’t eat it on my watch! I cook healthy, balanced dinners and pack good lunches for my kids. And I try to gently suggest healthier choices for my husband.
That is where I fail. Or… more accurately, where he fails.
When I met my husband he was too skinny. I think he looks better – healthier – with a little more meat… which he now has… (and then some…). Oh, I’m not a freaking supermodel but I eat healthy 85-90% of the time. I’m in better shape (inside and out) than I was when we got married (well over 10 years ago). But my husband – his eating habits are awful. I worry about his health. If I mention that, he just says he’s fine. I get that he feels fine, but that doesn’t mean he is fine. I hope he’s right but who knows? After about five years of me asking him to please get a checkup because he hasn’t had one since 2008-ish, he finally made an appointment last week. I almost want to go with him! (But I won’t do that.)
It’s frustrating though. No matter what I say or do, he continues to bring junk food into the house. I know exactly how hard it is to change bad habits. I don’t want to make things worse so I am careful and sporadic with my words. Harping on anyone about anything is terribly annoying. But when the kids see Dad eating some crap frozen thing he just pulled out of the freezer… and then out of the microwave… they want it, too. I’ve tried ‘even if you don’t want to eat healthier (or see a doctor) for yourself, do it for your children.’ Finally succeeded on the doctor thing, but the food thing… not so much.
And sometimes I am weak. He brings home a bag of chips and I want them. Or, God help me, Nutter Butter cookies. Might as well pin me down and shove the whole package down my throat because that’s where they could very well end up! Get them out of my sight! It’s not just the kids he’s influencing. It’s also me. Total sabotage… to my own food consumption and everything I want to teach my kids. I know it’s not malicious. It’s kind of sweet. He brought me cheesecake on our anniversary. And it was gooood. Damn him! But it was a special occasion – that’s okay. But ‘hey, I hit all the green lights on the way home today’ is not a special occasion. Don’t come home with a pie just because it looks good! It’s fucking pie! Of course it looks good!
We live in MA – Dunkin’ Donuts has an enormous presence. Eight shops sit within 5 minutes of my house. It’s kind of in-your-face all the time. And it reminds me of those childhood Saturdays with my late grandparents. I do well avoiding the donuts… but…
Damn you, Butter Pecan Iced Coffee! I swear they put crack in that shit. Thank God it’s seasonal. But I have been having withdrawals since mid-September.
Going to try to satisfy them. With an apple. While my husband sits at the other end of the couch with a pint of ice cream and a spoon. Wish me luck.