Let’s say that my childhood eating habits had a direct impact on my life as I was overweight for many years, beginning at about 12 years old.
How eating habits can lead to a lifetime of being overweight
My mom didn’t really like to cook, and when I was younger, we mostly we ate hamburgers, hotdogs, and spaghetti. However, my mom loved to bake, and she was quite good at it. So, we often feasted on brownies, cakes, cookies and pies. When my parents were more financially solvent, we began to eat out as a family – and we ate out often. We ate out 4 to 6 times per week with the local hamburger joint being the family favorite on the way home from nearly any type of event. We often enjoyed the chicken nuggets with a dipping sauce along with a sundae topped with deliciousness while sitting in the parking lot or driving home. These post-dinner eating habits along with a lack of physical exercise led to the creation of an obese family.
Lose 35. Regain 50. Repeat.
Most of my adult life was spent being overweight in spite of the fact that I read a myriad of “diet and nutrition” books over a 15-year period. I was determined to “figure it all out”. I longed for the day when I would stop losing the same lose 35lbs and regaining 50. Being overweight wreaked havoc on my self-esteem, often (but not always) affected my ability to defend myself in work situations, and prevented me from pursuing many things I may have otherwise pursued. For example, I shied away from pursuing someone I was “interested in” or participating in physical activity with friends for fear of rejection or shame. Oddly enough, I did pursue many things in spite of always feeling like all ineptitude led back to my challenges with being overweight.
Whose fault is it that I was overweight?
Is it anyone’s fault that I ended up overweight as a child and as an adult? Yes and no. No one forced me to eat after dinner. But no one said I shouldn’t either. It’s not the fast food joint’s fault; they exist due to sheer demand of convenience and economics. While it’s true that my parents are responsible for what I ate as a child, it’s not their responsibility for what I chose to do with my body as an adult.
It’s up to us as adults to take control and pursue enough knowledge to choose what is good for us rather than what will lead us to a lifetime of emotional and physical pain. That’s not to say that everyone suffers from “emotional and physical pain” when they are overweight. I have had plenty of overweight friends who were seemingly unaffected by carrying an extra 150lbs of body weight around. At least that was my perception. However, my internal psychology was different from some of my friends – and it was what I believed about myself that dictated how I felt about myself.
As an adult, it’s up to all of us to take responsibility for our health and how we treat our bodies. It’s up to us to get curious about our physical well-being and how to implement those changes.
So, you may ask, where does that begin? Right here, right now. Get curious.
Take a leap of faith and get started.