If you grew up in this country then you probably grew up with the notion that you needed to clean your plate.
Our parents did this because, most of them, came from a time where food wasn’t always easy to come by. For my mom, she grew up in the 40’s. World War Two was happening which led to rationing. This made food very precious.
As I grew up (in the 80’s) the novelty of “ready made” food was sweeping the nation. My mom was a single mother, so you can imagine how tempting fast and easy food would’ve been.
The problem begins when you mix this new way of feeding your child when at work and the mentality of ” clean your plate” Now, I’m in no way blaming my mother for my weight gain. But, having said that, it didn’t help me either.
As an adult and parent myself, I started with the “clean your plate” attitude. It’s what I knew. Now, having had weight loss surgery and re-evaluating my relationship with food, I’ve changed how I parent. I no longer tell them to finish. Dessert is no longer a treat for cleaning the plate. Vegetables are the only thing I require be eaten.
If one of my kids isn’t feeling hungry, that’s ok. I’ve also learned to give myself the same respect! It’s quite alright not to eat dinner if you’re not hungry.
It’s a concept my husband is slowly coming around to. He’s from the same generation of kids. He loves his food and thankfully he didn’t have to suffer with obesity like I did. I’m slowly training him, and after 24 years of marriage I’ve almost got him right where I want him! (Insert maniacal laugh)
Our emphasis on food has to change if we are ever going to be well! We have to give permission for smaller portions, fewer meals and lighter snacks.
According to the USDA the average American eats over 3,600 calories a day! The recommendation is just 2,000! And we all KNOW that the only way to be healthier and lighter is to burn more calories than you take in.
How does one burn 4,000 calories??
Well, you could run at 8 mph for 4 hours, or walk for 5 hours, do 3-5 hours of cross fit, or swim continuously for 6 hours.
No? Me either. So what can we do?
STOP THE MADNESS!
CUT THE CALORIES!
And stop killing ourselves and our children! It’s them we should be focusing on! Lead through example. Move to a smaller plate with healthier foods. Eat slower and stop using the drive through.
You can do it.