So I posted that I’m on a very restricted diet this month, and I plan to really work at doing better with some of my eating habits. I do eat lots of healthy foods but my downfall is my sweet tooth. I also eat a lot of grains. Whole grains, mind you, but grains nonetheless. I am just going to have to do better at eating at least a little less of the healthy carbs and a lot less of the non-healthy ones.
I knew this going in, but it’s been pretty interesting going through this at this time of the year: May for our family is birthday month. Including the child whose birthday is April 30 (nearly May), we have four birthdays in the month, not to mention Mother’s Day. That makes five celebrations in a mere 32 days at our house. And what do we think of first when it comes to celebrations? Food. Cakes are the top priority for birthday gatherings. And ice cream. I absolutely ADORE ice cream. (My grandma says when I was just a preschooler visiting her, whenever we’d pass the nearby Baskin-Robbins in her car, I’d LEAN toward it. I gravitate toward it naturally.) My husband has gotten in a habit of ordering ice cream cakes from there for my birthday every year. I’m getting one for my oldest daughter’s birthday today and one for my third’s party next week.
So I knew I’d definitely be sacrificing some serious sweets this month. It was and still is a price I’m willing to pay to take better care of myself and to lose some weight quickly before big events — and photos — in a few more weeks. But I didn’t foresee just how much my husband and children would be beside themselves about the situation. “I was going to get you an ice cream cake!” bemoaned my husband. “We can’t make you breakfast!” lamented my daughters on Mother’s Day. Pancakes, waffles, muffins: all out. A big glass of ice-cold water is still a very fine thing. Keep me hydrated, kids, and stat.
It’s actually been kind of funny to watch them squirm. It’s not just them; I think pretty much anyone in our society today would have the same reactions. We are just THAT programmed to go right to food as the top way to celebrate. And it’s generally all the kinds of treats that are bad for our bodies; sugar is getting more and more vilified, for good reasons. (Now don’t get me wrong: an occasional treat or dessert is perfectly fine, IMHO. That’s why it’s a “treat,” though, not a regular occurrence, and I’ve had a problem with that.)
This phenomenon is part of why it can be so difficult to “diet” or, better, really change our regular eating habits. Everything we do is far too saturated with food. Emotional eating (of fat- and sugar-saturated goodies, naturally) is essentially a way for us to have our own little pick-me-up parties when everything else in our lives is far from party-like.
I’ve been telling my family to stop worrying about not being able to feed me. I’m quite well nourished, thank you very much. But I could use some quiet time, some foot massages, some more obedience from my kids. I would appreciate even more than candy or cookies to have my dishes washed and clothes folded without me having to ask for them to be done (if anyone really wants to know, I can come up with a mighty long list right here). Of course, those are harder to do; no wonder everyone just wants to give me a Hershey’s Kiss instead. But these lips aren’t puckering up for those little sugar bombs this month. And hopefully I’ll do far less in the future.