One of the things I find most difficult about my excess weight is the effect it has on my children. During my pregnancy and when my children were still young, I didn’t think about it. As they get older, they become more aware of the things around them, including their overweight mother.
The binge showers keep coming.
Overweight parents are more likely to have children who are overweight. That’s one reason why I’m worried about it. In addition, I don’t have a ‘normal’ relationship with food, otherwise I would never have been so overweight. I can have a healthy diet for long periods, but I always fall back into binge eating, and those periods can last a long time. I then eat everything I can find in the house. Usually we don’t have so many (tasty) things in the house, precisely because we try to be healthy with food and to set a good example to our children. So then I eat sandwich fillings, like cheese.
Even children’s sweets
Of course I’m not standing by the fridge until they’re in bed. Sometimes we have ice creams in the house, they disappear quickly in my bad times. And sometimes, very sometimes, I eat the children’s candy. That doesn’t happen very often, because I don’t like candy very much. So why do I eat it sometimes? Yeah.The children start to notice it.
I’ll replace what I eat. But I notice from my oldest child (10) that he is starting to notice things. If, for example, there are only two ice creams left in a suit, which had four in it the day before. Sometimes I do talk to him about the fact that I don’t want him to be such a grazer like me. He loves to eat and can eat a lot. But he also sports a lot, so I understand that one plate of pasta is not enough for him.
But actually, I can’t explain what it’s like in my head, except to other obese people. So neither can my children. So how do I prevent them from becoming overweight? By giving them the chance to enjoy their food, but not to eat too much. That they don’t have to empty their plates when they’re full. That they can eat sweets twice a week and get chips once a week. That we set limits on what they can eat (and by that I mean candy), just like parents set limits in other areas.
Regularity and discipline
We always eat together at the table, because that also has a positive effect. And because it’s fun and we can discuss what everyone’s day was like. And I explain to them that if they get ice cream on the beach, they don’t get ice cream in the evening after dinner, even if the boy next door gets it. It’s difficult, but it has to be done.
The temptation is everywhere
Unfortunately we live in a world where everything seems to be about food. Endless commercials on TV and on the radio for food and drinks, such as sweet drinks and fast food. It seems as if children get candy everywhere: at the hairdresser’s, at the florist’s, when they return a storage box to their neighbour. Very sweet, but how should children learn to handle food wisely if they are constantly confronted with it?