I recently had an interesting conversation with a good friend of mine and she happens to be very healthy conscious. Per usual, the conversation led to us talking about fitness, health and our upbringing. Go figure. She’s also one of my weekday accountability partners. During the week, we text each other before our 5 a.m. workout. The text messages sort of go like this….”GM!:) time to bring it! Enjoy your workout!” or “Gm here we go!”
Any who, while engaged in community service work we got on the topic of how our background and upbringing played a strong part in our eating habits and way of thinking when it came to food. I was raised in a two parent household till age 15. My mother’s motto was “you’re not getting up from this table ’til everything’s gone from off that plate.” What mom cooked, we ate or went to bed hungry. For the most part, my siblings and I normally liked what was put before us. Unless it was lima beans or pinto beans (still hate them to this day).
Sunday dinners were the best! We could always count on having pork or beef ribs, homemade macaroni and cheese (with the bread crumbs on top), hamhocks, pig feet, chitterlings, fried chicken, collards, kale, mustard greens, rice, mashed potatoes, candied yams. Oh, and a Sunday meal wasn’t a Sunday meal without the dinner rolls or cornbread…from scratch, of course. No Jiffy box, folks. Mama don’t play in the kitchen. LOL! Ya’ll get the point. My mom’s from the south. Alabama to be exact.
How I was raised had a major effect on my food choices as a young adult!
Personally, I would say that my eating habits from my childhood played a major role in how I viewed food and my overall health. Growing up their was never any discussion about eating healthy or portion control. If we wanted seconds, it was OK. And, I usually had seconds. I was a chubby kid. My mom taught me how to cook and I knew how work my way around a kitchen by age 15. Can you guess what she taught me to cook? The same foods that her mother taught her to cook so well. It was a cycle. I learned to master all the foods mentioned above. My view of food had become like the rest of my family. My mother’s motto “you’re not getting up from this table ’til everything’s gone from off that plate” had trickled over to the way in which I raised my kids. I chose to continue with the same foods and eating habits from my childhood.
The cycle continued for years, until I decided to take charge of my health and eating habits. I could no longer blame “how I was raised” as an excuse to continue with my terrible eating habits. Honestly, I knew better but it was much easier to continue with what I knew; having a poor diet and using how I was raised as a crutch.
Was this really all that I knew? Absolutely not! Eventually, you get to a point where you’re no longer happy with your lifestyle, health or the person you see in the mirror. So what do you do?
Well, I made the necessary changes to turn those habits around and form new ones, better ones. As Oprah says, when you know better, you do better. It was definitely time for me to do better. And, not just for myself but for my family.
Some of you may have grown up in a healthy conscience household. You know, where finances didn’t dictate your choices of food. However, for so many in this country, the working poor is real. Many Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck and more than likely receiving public assistance. I get that. However! Does this mean that you can’t make better choices where ever possible?
Steps to Changing Your Eating Habits
- Acknowledge and identify your bad habits.
- Make realistic and gradual changes. Take baby steps.
- Set goals.
- Create a budget and stick with it.
- Do your research and find deals. Shop at more than one grocery store.
- Use coupons.
- Incorporate new habits. Be open to trying new foods.
- Be a good role model. Practice the eating and exercise habits you’d like your children to have.
- Remember everything in moderation and balance.
- Make healthy lifestyle changes.
How were YOU raised? How were YOU able to reverse those childhood eating habits and stop making excuses?