Friday, January 02, 2009

Breaking Bad Eating Habits

A lot of the foods we like to eat are foods our parents introduced us to. My parents were not overly adventurous, unless you count the wild game my Dad and brothers supplied in season.

We were a basic meat and potatoes family. Dinners included a canned or frozen vegetable and an iceberg lettuce salad. Lunches were usually some type of a white bread sandwich with lunch meat, processed cheese, an apple and potato chips. Sometimes we would get a Little Debbie.

A lot of our "treats" or special occasion foods were along the line of potato chips and dip, cheese and crackers, chicken wings and other junk food.

Because of my upbringing, I crave all of those foods. I've made a few changes in our family's menu, such as more fresh veggies instead of frozen, no iceberg lettuce and brown rice instead of white, but I really love chips and dip and other very tasty junk foods.

Part of why I'm suddenly analyzing why I want to each junk is because I watched several shows on TLC last night: Half-Ton Dad, Half-Ton Teen and Half-Ton Mom. These people were in the super morbidly obese category and some could not even get out of bed. And yet, their loved ones continued to feed them garbage because that is what they knew. One guy was bedridden and while his family talked about how hard it was for him, they kept showing the family eating fast food, milk shakes, French fries and foods covered in cheese and grease. An infant was eating a French fry!

The heavy 19-year-old did nothing but sit all day and his "momma" brought him food! (Sidebar: Why do people refer to themselves in the third person? "Do you want Momma to bring you something?" ARGH!) This woman was loving her son to death. And the hospital staff said his ability to lose weight and be healthy was being hindered by her!

January 1 was the perfect day to watch these shows. I've made some health and fitness resolutions including eating more healthy foods and less junk. The thing is, like the morbidly obese people, I crave the junk! I like the healthy stuff OK, but I don't WANT the healthy stuff.

So, my challenge for the month of January is: teach my body to want healthy foods. If any of you have ideas, I'm open to suggestion!

I walked today. Second day of the year, second day walking!


Tammy said...

This is a habit that takes a while, in my opinion. The way you start liking the healthier stuff is eating more of it and less of the junk, gradually. Also, experiment a lot with new healthy foods to see what you've been missing :).

I'm still not there yet, but I do like healthy food a lot more.

Finally, you will probably never stop craving the junk sometimes. The key is to gently indulge the craving and have smaller portions. If you are wanting to eat a LOT of junk, it's time to consider what the food is giving you. Is it comfort? Relief from stress? Escape? Then find something that gives you that besides the food. This is what I am really working on this year. It's tough, but worth it. Good luck :). Thanks for sharing your journey.

Cindi said...

Hi Tammy,

I always love your input! I'm OK for meals. Healthy meals are going well, especially when cooking for the entire family. But snacks are hard for me. That's when I want chips or something cruchy. What types of foods do you fix for snacks?

Tammy said...

My favorite crunchy snack is 94% fat free microwave popcorn - the mini bags. Yummy and great substitute for chips. Lots of volume to keep you full and not too many calories.

Other crunchy snack ideas: bake your own tortilla chips using corn tortillas and cooking spray and salt. Yummy! 2 tortillas is usually enough to satisfy the urge to munch, with fresh salsa of course. Or how about carrots with hummus? 1/4c hummus plus 10-15 baby carrots is delicious and filling and it's crunchy.

I also love to have a piece of fruit for a snack; apples are crunchy. I eat other fruits too, though - right now the little tangerines are in season and very delicious.

Fiber One bars are really tasty and filling and make a good snack as well - they are not crunchy though.

I also make my own yogurt with skim milk and use it for smoothies with 1/2c frozen berries and some splenda. Perfect.

Hope these ideas help :)