Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Sins of the Mothers

So I discovered something interesting today that I believe is a contributer to my weight struggles. A small habit really, instilled during childhood, such a minuscule little tidbit that it flies low beneath the radar. And without even knowing it, I found myself continuing the cycle.

What is this habit of which I speak?

"Finish your food."

"Clean your plate."

"You're being wasteful."

"You can't be excused from the table until you finish."

Sound familiar? The "don't throw food away because it's wasteful so therefore you force yourself to eat it" habit. Even if you're full you still eat it.

3ft and I were eating lunch today. He was having chicken nuggets and I was having a turkey sandwich. He'd only eaten one nugget and drank his milk when he announced he was full. I started telling him how wasteful it was to not finish his food and that he should eat more when I stopped myself. Full is full. One nugget or four if you're done eating, you should stop.

I let him excuse himself from the table and stared at his plate. The urge to eat it myself was overwhelming. Not because I was hungry. I wasn't. I'd finished my lunch and was satisfied. But the idea of throwing away the food was almost painful to me. I then started thinking of how many meals I had finished for 3ft to avoid throwing food away.

More than I want to admit.

This was it. No more. I would break the cycle.

My solution:

I didn't throw the food away. I couldn't. I put it on the counter with plastic wrap over it and waited. Sure enough around 2pm, 3ft announced he was hungry. Instead of getting a snack I told him he had to eat his lunch. He ended up eating 2 1/2 more nuggets and then announced he was full again.

Now a half nugget I could throw away. And did.


jessierose said...

I do the Same. Exact. Thing. I cannot throw away good food. I, too, do not make my child eat everything on her plate for that very same reason (and because I feel like mealtime battles could cause her to someday have an eating disorder and I HATE anorexic chicks).

JLC said...

I like the new banner. :) I drive my father crazy because I am always throwing food out. He saves even the smallest of bites in our fridge when he visits. I hate having little tidbits of food taking up room in the fridge, so I often toss away the bites when he isn't looking. So, obviously, I grew up with the same rule... finish your food. Good job with the catch. It also saves on trying to plan yet another snack for the kids. :D

june said...

I never need to put food away. It's called a husband :)

Average Jane said...

I want 3ft to have the same outlook on food as his dad. To Andrew, food is fuel. Something you have to do. If it tastes great all the better but he has no problem whatsoever not finishing his meal and throwing it away when he gets full.

I'm working to become more like that. My problem is I LOVE FOOD and the CONSUMPTION OF IT!!! LOL

Melanie Avila said...

I'm a big fan of leftovers. Sometimes it seems ridiculous to save a small amount, but then you have a small snack later. :)