Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Just One Time"

Being home reminds me of family gatherings. Growing up, my extended family never held back about me being overweight. When I started losing weight, they thought it was great, but family gatherings were tough. One minute, they were telling me how great I looked, and the next I was being offered a piece of cake or pie. When I would politely decline (at least towards the beginning of my weight loss), they would say, "It's just one time. It's ok." If I thought like that, every day would turn into "just one time." Now that I'm married into an even larger Italian family than my own, the gatherings have more than doubled.

My youngest cousin is 7, and more overweight than I was a child. She sneaks food and even resorts to stealing change to b
uy junk food. She's been caught several times, but the behavior continues, just going to show that parents can't always control the childhood obesity epidemic. She gets the same criticism that I endured, but she's constantly getting mixed signals from family. She didn't want to eat her meat at dinner, after eating all the side dishes, and was told that she wouldn't get dessert if she didn't eat it, which led to lots of crying. My Mimi had had enough and finally gave her a second piece of bread and told her she could have it if she finished her meat. I was shocked that she would give her something less healthy in order to eat something healthy. I told her she was sending the wrong signal by bribing with more food, and she took it away from her, which led to more crying.

Where do you draw the line when it comes to making an exception? When I was teaching, there was always food around. When I taught Pre-K, there were two snacks per day and birthdays on top of that. At the elementary level, every Friday, the faculty would take turns bringing in bagels and pastries for everyone. It was very hard to say "just one time," because the next week the temptation would be back. Something I've learned along the way is having temptations around will lead to indulgence. If there's an item in your house or workplace that's a temptation, the more times you have to walk past it, the more likely you are to cave in and eat it. That's why I'm very lucky to be at home during the day with Brady. Some people would think that this leads to eating more and everyone is different, but for me it's the opposite. I don't eat in restaurants by myself, and since Brady's still young, even taking him feels like being by myself. I don't keep anything bad in my house so as not to tempt myself.Summer 2005 with my PopPop and youngest two cousins
(1 year before I joined Weight Watchers)

With my cousin, Lauren

With my cousin, Chloe

With my cousin, Ava

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