Sunday, June 10, 2012

#Mamavation Monday - I am THAT Mom

This week's topic for Mamavation TV is Childhood Obesity.

I wasn't sure I had anything to add to the conversation...

I am a Mom who has cheered on every pound my children gained, cried as they lost and prayed that they would somehow find their way back onto the growth chart since birth. Fruit and vegetables do not pack on the pounds, but carbs like potatoes and sugar do. When you can see every rib in your one year old, you begin to look at food... and calories differently.

I understand obesity is a big issue in the US, but it is something I can't relate to. My children have actually had the opposite problem. When sitting down to write this post I thought about my own experiences and the harsh criticism and comments from people who are quick to judge me as a Mother. Yes, even family has taken issue over what I feed my children. So today I offer you a unique perspective in the Childhood Obesity conversation about passing judgement.

I pass judgement on my own weight gains, food choices and lifestyle all the time. The more I look at myself and make changes for my family, the harsher I am on my own failings. The flip side is to be careful of the judgement you pass on others as you learn more about food and living a healthy lifestyle.

While enjoying a night out at Red Robin with my family we ordered our usual favorites. My children have PKU and we can only feed them medically modified foods (purchased through our children's hospital) or fruit and vegetables. My kids love french fries and luckily potatoes have become my starchy friends. Fried foods carry more calories and potatoes are a great carb if you want to gain weight. Along with their fries they had their usual baby carrots (no dip due to the dairy), steamed broccoli and mandarin oranges. As my son happily munched on his fries an older woman in the booth next to us rolled her eyes at me and loudly started talking about what people feed their kids. Okay, first of all we were in a burger restaurant. I also understand that my child's meager plate might have looked odd, but I was within their recommended diet and I like taking them out to eat sometimes as a treat.

This wasn't the first time I have heard comments about my parenting and what I feed my children, but it didn't hurt any less.

The truth is we are all trying as parents. As we all make healthier choices for our family I want to urge you to be sensitive to the situation of others. As I enjoy my steel cut oats for breakfast, or my farm raised meat at dinner it pains me that I can't share these healthy foods options with my children. I don't expect others to understand, but I do want people to be aware that in rare situations "healthy food" might be defined differently. 

I hope we can all lead by example with our healthy lives, free of judgement for others and the current path they are on. Just as I don't want to be defined by my weight, I don't want my children to be defined by the food they eat... or can't eat. Of course the real challenge is for me to not eat like my kids do and share the vegetable and fruit options that we can.

I am THAT Mom... and am proud to tell you why.

This past week I really got into Bob Greene's 20 Years Younger. The book has really spoken to me, and not because I am chasing any sort of "fountain of youth". No, I am enjoying it because it points out ways to be the healthiest me right now. Weight loss may be a byproduct, but it is not the only focus of the book. Right now I am concentrating on the chapter on sleep and scheduling out my days to get everything in. This means to bed by 10pm and up at 6am. Okay... that hasn't come yet. I have gotten at least 8 hours every night this week which is great, but I am working on getting up earlier, too.

That is the hard part. I can hit snooze a dozen times in my sleep...

If you have read his book, what do you think? Has anyone put his suggestions into action?

My Meal Plan:

Sunday - BBQ: grassfed, hormone free beef, grilled veggies and roasted sweet potatoes
Monday - Poached eggs with Chard over brown rice
Tuesday - Homemade Spaghetti & Meatballs
Wednesday - Meatless Taco Salad
Thursday - Tofu Stir Fry over brown rice
Friday - Go Out!
Saturday - Chicken Fajitas

Daily -  3.5 mile walk, gardening
3x a week - DVD workout of choice

This is my basic plan for the week. Of course, life is always good about throwing a monkey wrench in the works, but this gives me a starting place. What are your food and exercise goals for the week?

Be sure to check out my Beautifully Baked Ratatouille Recipe on Mamavation this week!

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Joy Feldman. Two blogging carnival participants will each receive Is Your Hair Made of Donuts book. To be eligible inlcude the following disclmber and link back to Mamavation website.

*Disclaimer - This post is sponsored by Joy Feldman and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway” at the bottom of your post. Link up your post here.

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