Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Kind Of Eater Are You?

Some of us can eat food and choose things that are healthy and find them pleasing to our taste buds; other folks find it hard to stomach fruits and vegetables. I’m somewhere in the middle. I normally choose the right foods but when I decide to have a cheat-day I go all out. Seriously. Not kidding. I would not recommend this at all. I am not one to just taste something, because if I taste it you might as well consider it gone, especially when I am stressed out! For this reason I really limit the amount of sweets that I eat and how often I eat them.

Our church offers a big "family" meal every Wednesday night before bible study. It is great and a wonderful time for all the families in our church to come together as one big family and eat yummy food and fellowship. I love going to socialize with friends and it’s easy because I don’t have to cook! Major points in my book as a busy mom! However it is not the most relaxing environment for me because I have two kids who like to be loud and not eat when it is actually time to sit down and eat; It’s sort of like going out to eat with a 1 yr old and 3 yr old by yourself during lunch hour in the galleria! Now, maybe most of you mamas can pull this off successfully but not me. Cameron wants to run all around with the other kids, which is fine, but sometimes he has a habit of being a little OCD. I can’t explain the tantrum unless you have seen it for yourself but it is embarrassing to say the least. Caroline will not sit properly in her chair. She likes to take her legs out of the strap, stand up in her seat, and talk loudly to everyone at the table. One day she'll be the star of all her dance recitals. I know it sounds like I am making my kids out to be heathens so let me just do my motherly-duty and say they are great kids and for the most part well-behaved, but in my mind at Wednesday night meals... they are monkeys hanging from tree limbs and everyone is looking at us. When I feel like every face in the place is staring at me my face gets hot, I start to sweat, and my heart feels like it’s beating out of my chest! Even after I calm them down I still can’t think straight and I need to calm myself down. So, what do I do? I will sample all the desserts that are offered in the cafeteria! Let me rephrase that... I will eat an entire serving of each dessert they offer in the cafeteria! This is an issue. My downfall is sweets and for some reason I can’t always control how much of them I eat after I take just one bite.

One thing that work for me when I do feel stressed out and want to turn to sweets is to stop what I’m doing and take a deep breath so I can gather my thoughts. I try and think of why I am eating the entire pie and how will it make me feel afterwards. Now I am a normal person, just like you, and this does not work 100% of the time, but for the most part I can calm myself down and snap back into reality.

The next time you feel an emotion coming on that usually causes you to eat overwhelming amounts of food, STOP, BREATHE and ASSESS the situation. Think about why you are eating and how it will make you feel. No, it is not easy and it may take a hundred times before you actually can control the situation, but it will feel great when you finally do it. Be thankful that you can even recognize the situation because that means change is already beginning to occur.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Whatever Theory

A lot has happened over the last few weeks. Boot Camp five has come and gone. Caroline has started taking her first few steps and Cameron is becoming more of a little boy than a toddler. It’s crazy how fast time flies.

One of the things my kids and I love to do after nap each day is go running. We run past Cameron's favorite spots, the fire station and greenbelt tunnel; it is so soothing to me to hear my kids sing and enjoy each other’s company as we go for our hour long daily ritual. After we finish running I usually stop by the park for a few minutes and let the kids play. My neighborhood has a great shaded area with tons of playground equipment. I love it and every time I’m there I can’t help but remember the times I would go to the park with my brother when I was a child. I loved watching him play football. My favorite past time was swinging and everyday the park would be filled with children’s laughter and the bouncing of a basketball. When the memories fade and I’m pulled back into reality I realize that my kids and I are the only ones in the park. Why? It’s four o’clock in the afternoon. Yes, it may be hot but it’s shaded people. Turn off your television and play stations and get outside. I would have to say your life depends on it.

I was walking home from the parade with a friend yesterday and we got on the subject of kids and how so many of them are overweight. I couldn’t help but think back to the empty park that I constantly encounter in the afternoons. Why does childhood obesity have to be an epidemic? I know parents see it. I’m not saying I am perfect but we as parents have a duty to protect our children from the things that can become addicting. Even if it doesn’t seem like it is all that bad.

My mom came over the other day and showed Cameron a racecar game on her iphone. He played that thing for an hour and I couldn’t get him off of it to go to church. On our way home he asked if Granny was still at our house so he could play the racecar game. Are you serious? He’s three. I had to announce to everyone that Cameron is not allowed to get games like that for any special occasion. It is too addictive.

At church today I heard a great sermon. The one thing I remember distinctly that made me go back our childhood obesity epidemic is the Whatever Theory. The Whatever Theory is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of getting in an argument you just say "whatever". Instead of working out or making the proper food choices you just say "whatever"! This made me think of what we may do with our children. We may take the "whatever" approach because we don’t want an argument so we allow them to eat the entire bag of chips or play video games all afternoon.

Again I’m not pointing fingers as to why this epidemic is happening but I want to make sure I can do all I can to change it, starting with my children. If I can eliminate the amount of junk they put into their bodies and add some activity in their life they may be more apt to do the same with their friends and eventually their children.

Any ideas what you can do to help keep your kids active?

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