Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Smallest Reasons To Persevere Are The Biggest (To Me)

Often, I wonder if it is worthwhile trying so hard as a family on the diet end of things. My investigation into how food impacts biochemistry/hormones originated about three years ago because of my family's and my own lifelong struggle with weight. Yet, striving to focus our diet on nourishing foods proves daily to be a countercultural notion.

Still, a couple of years the road, my husband and I realized that keeping my youngest's diet as cleaned up as possible was central to supporting her therapies and speech acquisition. However, these days I try to give my oldest some leeway sometimes so that she can learn about making her own choices. It is really hard to manage the dynamics of two separate levels of clean-eating between two sisters! I still run into snafus and learn lessons on how to do it better every day.

My husband took my oldest daughter to a popular and semi-legendary burger joint for a daddy-daughter date last night with my blessing - it is a rare occasion indeed at our house, probably once a year or less. When they came back and my oldest daughter was out of earshot, my husband told me that I'd be proud of her: she had eaten a bite of her burger, then removed the bun and started munching on the beef, cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and said, "I just like the meat and cheese and veggies, I don't like the bun so much."

Via Flickr Creative Commons,
Gifford Photographic Collection.
I nearly fell out of my seat. It was so heartening to hear that on some level, her brain was running software that led her to the most nourishing part of the burger in front of her. I don't get to appreciate moments like these every day - there are certainly times even very recently that I've watched her dive gleefully into a sugary treat without a moment's reflection - but I am glad that she is independently displaying application of what we try to do with food at home.

There was another moment today that took me completely by surprise. The same daughter squealed to me today on the playground, "Look, Mommy, I went across the monkey bars all by myself!"

I caught my breath. Really?!

For some, the notion of a 6 year old swinging across monkey bars by herself is nothing remarkable at all: it's a kid being a kid.

But for me, it was deeply, personally encouraging. I have very clear memories of being 9 years old, watching other fourth graders whip back and forth across the monkey bars on the school playground. I tried a few times, but ultimately returned home dejected, feeling like I was less than because I was physically incapable of keeping up with the other kids on the monkey bars. By then, I was simply too heavy and not strong enough.

On Monday, my 6 year old starts a once weekly 9 week course of CrossFit Kids. It isn't the hardcore weight-bearing exercises that the CrossFitting adults do - it's looking to be more structured like an exceptionally fun phys ed class, with bear crawls and the like. I hope fervently that her budding healthy eating inclinations and her enthusiasm for the monkey bars are boosted further by an encouraging, friendly environment celebrating functional fitness!

Have you celebrated any small victories in your household with healthy eating and fitness this week?


  1. Go A! That IS great, on both fronts! :) We eat pretty clean overall, though we have our share of indulgent meals ;) The babies, for the most part love the healthy meals over the heavier not as healthy ones and BabyBoy especially LOVES his veggies, he is so proud that he eats them and they help make him big and strong :) We went through some times as they're younger of not wanting to eat certain things/veggies but we got past that ;) (still a little the youngers) but I have the most trouble with portion size for myself! Whew sorry that was such a long rambly comment ;-)

  2. Thank you for this post. It really hits home for me and family. The past year has been a true journey for us in regards to my health and our eating habits. I was heavy as a kid and still struggle as an adult. My kids have never had weight problems and all three are healthy and strong! I looked at my 6yr old on her way to ballet and admired the strength and tone of her growing body. I am so proud that she won't have the insecurities I have because we eat whole and healthy. It has been a truly transformative year for us that is now our lifestyle.

  3. My younger kids are generally very happy to eat primal as long as I substitute primal treats for their old favourites. My oldest daughter (fourteen) is a little bit more vocal about her diet, but I've found that as long as I give her choices she nearly always chooses the primal food anyway. I hope they will all grow up with the right ideas about how to eat healthy!


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