What You Eat Affects Your Daughter (And Your Son)

Today I’m going to pick up where I left off a couple of weeks ago in which I had been highlighting the points made by Mireille Giuliano in her book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.  If you are struggling in your relationship with food, this belongs on your bookshelf.

Step one in Mireille’s journey toward changing her relationship with food was to take three weeks to inventory what she was eating.  I can’t emphasize enough what a powerful tool this is not only in weight loss but in changing one’s habits toward eating healthier food. 

Having children, one of which is a picky eater, has inspired me to evaluate what we eat over and over again through the years.  Having a girl made me reevaluate what kind of chemicals and hormones are in our food.  Having a girl made me take a look in the mirror and say :

Do I talk about eating too much?

Do I complain about my weight?

Do I seem obsessive about the clothes I fit in, the calories in my food, the lines on my face, etc?

Will she see me repeatedly using food as a tool to numb my inner pain?

By the time my daughter is a teenager she will have had 13 years to watch me and observe how I relate to my body and food.  At age two, my daughter has been trying to put my make-up on, walk in my high heels (she does this remarkably well I might add), eat food off my plate, and drink from my glass. 

What makes me think she isn’t also listening to what I say about what I put or don’t put on my plate, what comes out of my mouth as I look in the mirror, what I say when I decide what to wear each day?

Back to the book.  Mireille encourages her readers to do the same.  Observe and better yet, record what you eat for three weeks.  The website Fit Day has a free diet and weight loss journal that my husband used in his 40lb. weight loss last year.  It could be that part of your challenge is that you really don’t have a sense of the calories you are consuming.  I’m not into permanent calorie counting, but I do think that you have to learn how to eat healthfully and learn what actually is healthy food.  This is one tool that will help you do just that.

My own feeling is that it is essential to read the side of the box.  “Whole Grain” does not necessarily mean that there is 100% whole wheat in a food.  There could be miniscule amounts of whole grains in a food.  Pretty much the first five ingredients are the majority of the contents in a product. 

Two homework assignments for the month of December:

 1) Take some time to stand in front of your pantry and really read what is in the food you already eat, particularly the products you eat week after week.

2) Listen to yourself talk.  What do you say when you are in front of the mirror, in front of the refrigerator, in the store trying on clothes?  What if your daughter or son said the very things that are coming from your lips?  How would you feel about it?

To be continued…..

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