As a feeding therapist, I can never overlook my patients relationship with food. It is a critical component of their progress. I often have the parents I’m working together with ask me, “Do you do this with your children at home?” or “Do you have food fights at home?” The answer is ….YES, of course I do. I practice what I preach first hand. I know how challenging it is to feed your child, there are so many components. The first and most important being their relationship with food.
Then as I look at myself in the mirror because people who lift weights don’t just walk by a mirror. I start to think about my relationship with food. I’m happy with my body, it’s muscular, strong and shapely, maybe a little too shapely right now around the middle. Hey, I had twins and A LOT of belly muscle was disrupted, especially by the unplanned, unavoidable emergency C-section OUCH!
I’m sure my fellow moms can relate with the post pregnancy body. As much as I know about diet and exercise, I would love to continue to use the, “HEY I had twins in this belly” excuse BUT the reality IS and my belly flab IS purely due to my relationship with food. Let me explain.
If it weren’t for my better half, I would not have the muscle mass I have nor would my boys be such worldly eaters. He Cooks. He cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner plus mid meals. So why do I not have a competition bod??????? The answer, my relationship with food. Look, I don’t even cook. I find comfort in eating, it was taught to me that way, it’s familiar, it’s family. My Poppop gave me the most memorable memories of food. He had a jersey fresh garden with fresh veggies, the BEST tomatoes in the world, strawberries, watermelon, just to name a few. SO, of course I love these foods. He also made them fun. He made Tommy Tomato, who ate too much and threw up, he put hard boiled eggs in his mouth and made it move directions by pushing his nose and pulling his ears, hysterical. He threw spaghetti that sat in the bowl long enough to form the shape of the bowl at us, even more fun! So thank you Poppop for developing my palate with these foods. On the other hand, he also would wake us up early in the morning with fresh doughnuts, mmmm. My relationship with food does not discriminate between nutritional and non nutritional. My family congregated around food. Food always accompanied family. My mom’s side of the family is from Philadelphia, YES Fattest city in America. So you can guess what type of food. The best pound cake ever, soft pretzels, tasty-cakes, hoagies, cheese-steaks, BEER!!! That’s just to name a few but EVERY gathering involved food that included no nutritional contribution to your body. I’m pretty sure many families do somewhat the same. I know I’m not alone.
My better half on the other hand does an amazing job making nutritional food taste delicious and guess what so do the upscale restaurants we don’t really get to anymore with kids in tow.
Relationships with food are hard to face, they’re complex, they’re scary. Can I do it?
How about baby steps, like the STEPS of eating I always refer to with my patients. Instead of committing to a competition diet, why not start by cutting out some of the things I know are not contributing to my body’s nutritional needs, like the girl scout cookies I harbor at work. Sorry babe.
SO, here we go.
STEP 1- Tolerating thinking about food, “Do you consider how this food contributes to your body nutritionally?”
STEP 2- Participating, “Do you have an active role in deciding and preparing meals?”
We’ll start there and I’ll be keeping you posted and keeping me increasingly aware and accountable. Thanks for reading and following!