The inspiration for this post came from watching a program about childhood obesity on television. Several of the children they showed came from homes with obese parents. It’s easy to see how the kids were so overweight. One mother sold soul food plates out of her home. It was the same food she fed her family. At one time, big meals of fried chicken, dressing, greens, mac and cheese and sweet potatoes were reserved for special holidays or at least only on Sundays. Some people eat like this every day now. Along with the soul food, our communities now have the whammy of fast food. So many children grow up now wanting fast food, as their main meals and I believe those meals contributes to the increase in childhood obesity as well. Want proof? Just read the following articles:
Fast food linked to childhood obesity: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-591325.html
The relationship between obesity and the prevalence of fast food restaurants: state-level analysis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15559714
The main core of the issue comes from family ties and traditions. The families were cooking foods that had been cooked for them. They shared the recipes that had been learned from mothers and grandmothers. As a Southern woman, I totally understand this. Comfort food is the food that you know. It’s the food that we grew up eating and today it reminds of home, family dinners or other special occasions. It’s the food that reminds us were are loved, cared for and cherished
Breaking the bonds of our past food relationships is hard. Once you finally decide to make lifestyle changes, you then have to deal with friends and family who are resistant to your changes. Some might feel like you are rejecting them and their values. Some don’t know how to show love accept with food and when you turn down food, in theory, you are also rejecting their love.
Breaking the bonds without destroying your relationships is important. This is where communication comes in. I’ve learned that taking the time to actually talk to your loved ones goes a long way to making them understand what is really going on with you and your new life. Denying food is not a rejecting of their love. Instead, it’s developing a love of yourself and your health. Those who truly love you understand. It’s not easy for them to change their own habits but we have to realized we are only responsible for ourselves and our actions. We can’t’ control anyone else’s.