|Shirt: Francesca's, Pants and Bag: Target, Shoes: Can't remember somewhere in NYC, Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Alex & Ani|
Disclaimer: If you do NOT have a ridiculously unhealthy relationship with food, just go ahead and stop reading now. You won't understand, and you will NOT find this even remotely interesting or relateable. Or... if you feed your children crap and are going to get super defensive when a woman w/o kids talks about it.. just keep it moving. Nothing to see here.
Many times I sit down to write a blog post and I have no earthly clue what I am going to say. Tonight is no different. The only thing I can really think about (after a weekend of delicious indulgence that bordered on gluttony) is that I have a pretty jacked up relationship with food. And I have since I was a kid.
As a kid I ate like crap. Packaged, processed food... cereal, mac and cheese, pizza, Little Debbie snacks, cookies, ice cream, white bread, 2% dairy milk, pasta, lots of Kool-Aid, cheap meat like Hamburger Helper, hot dogs, bologna, etc. My mom busted her ass. She worked outside of the home as a Registered Nurse, and she worked A LOT... like... drove an hour to work a 12 hour shift (that turned into 14 after paperwork) and then an hour back. She also had a really unhealthy body image and never missed an opportunity to put herself down (which in hindsight was not good for me to hear). Don't get me wrong... I'm not dissing my mom. My mom is the shit. She works SO hard, is so selfless, and loves her children more than life itself. She is amazing. She just fed her kids what she liked and what she could afford. We needed to get A LOT of groceries, and had a REALLY small budget. So... when we went shopping, she wanted to get what made us "happy". Food was a way to bond, to celebrate, to relax, to keep us quiet for 5 minutes, and a way for my brothers, mother, and I to all get happy at the same time (sugar has a funny way of making you almost high... and our drugs of choice were candy bars and ice cream). So, at home, there was a lot of shit and my mom was never a big vegetable eater (back then) so she never "made" us really eat them either. Unless you count corn and white potatoes (which... not ironically, have the highest sugar content) or ice berg lettuce drenched in Hidden Valley Ranch. So that is what it was like at home. Then... I would go to my Grandmas and she would feed me homemade, rich, delicious food like french toast for breakfast (as much as I wanted... which was a lot), sandwiches on homemade rolls with butter for lunch, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc for a snack, dinner (homemade macaroni and cheese and lasagna were ones I requested often) and then, a snack before bed. Like... minutes before bed. No shit. I am not exaggerating. I got chubby (shocker, right?). Really chubby.
And when you are young, kids are mean. I still remember in the 3rd grade, this boy (Matt Graham... to be exact, for all you Hornellians... you can thank him for scarring me. HA...) saying... "Melissa is kind of pretty, it's just that she is SO fat." BOOM. Devastation. I had the biggest crush on him at the time, and I heard the words come out of his mouth. I was at the drinking fountain and he said it behind an open locker. He had no idea I heard him. I was mortified. My face turned red and I wanted to throw the hell up. I didn't though. I just sat in class, wanting to crawl out of my skin. I stayed home "sick" the next day. And then I went on a "diet". In the 3rd friggin' grade. I don't recall losing any weight in 3rd grade, but I do remember dreading lunch time and having to eat in front of other people. I hated it. So... I would just NOT eat, and then be so hungry by the time I got home that I'd eat a sleeve of cookies while I was scanning the other cupboards for "something to eat". I have been conscious of my weight since I was 8 years old. I will be 34 next month. Sad really.
I've come a long way since then. I have educated myself, and become a bit more mindful about what I put into my body. I know how certain thing are going to impact me, etc. But, I am still a MAJOR work in progress. I say all of this because I was reading yesterday about just HOW much damage we do to our bodies when we eat poorly as children and much you have to over-correct as an adult so that you don't deal with the affects of it the rest of your life. I was reading about childhood obesity, childhood diabetes, high cholesterol in kids, not to mention bullying, depression, etc. It made me SICK to my stomach. Children are eating in a way that they have never eaten before in human history. They are moving less, eating more fake food, sugar, fat, animal products, etc. and by the time it makes them miserable enough to want to change, they are pretty far gone and legitimately addicted to it (not to mention pissed at their parents for allowing them to get that way). It's terrible and it makes me SO sad.
On top of all of that, I was just in Target and a Mom was trying to get control of her son, who was running around a little. She kept saying through gritted teeth..."Calm down, Honey.. please CALM down and be quiet!!" So, her son ran up to her (he was about 4) with a 20 oz. orange soda and she said "Okay", had the cashier ring it up and opened it up for him to drink right then and there. YUP. She is asking him to calm down and then okaying him to take 15 tablespoons of sugar right to the head. WHAT THE WHAT...??? How does that make sense?
I don't know why I went off of that trip down memory lane, or my soap box about kids, but it was weighing pretty heavy on my mind tonight (no pun intended). I still struggle on a daily basis with my weight, body image, confidence, and having control over food versus it controlling me and I think about my relationship with food as a kid quite a bit.
Although, one big difference between me now and then, is that if a boy commented on my weight today, you bet your sweet ass that I would get a running start and like a damn Ninja... scissor kick him in the effing teeth until I saw blood.
** Oh and if you're a parent and think I am totally out of line for commenting on kids when I don't have one, you can just stop right there. I'm not saying I'll be the world's most perfect mom, I'm just hoping that I have learned enough by now that my daughter isn't on a diet when she still has her baby teeth, know what I'm saying? **