12. To be able to teach my children how to live healthy lives, so they never have to go through this
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Ah this one is SO important for me! I don't have any kids at the moment, but definitely hope to have a few in the (near) future. I would never solely blame my parents for my weight issues, because as an adult I should be able to make the changes necessary. However, I don't think they gave me the best start in life in terms of how to live a healthy life. Firstly, I don't think there was ever one single occasion in my childhood where my parents 'exercised'. Sure, when our car broke down we'd have to walk up to the station to catch the train, or walk to the bus stop. But proper exercise? Nah, forget it, not my parents. Both my parents are overweight (not anywhere near obese, but they could both do with losing a few pounds or twenty) so I guess they didn’t think it was that necessary. The first time I ever encountered a proper gym was when I was 17 and a friend from school told me about it. How crazy is that!? (The first time my mum ever stepped foot into a gym was about 2 years when I took her!)
At school I was really into sports, so I played a lot of netball, I used to run the 100m and relay, got involved in football (briefly), rounders, whatever was around and whatever I discovered I was good at. You would therefore think I may have been pretty slim? Not a chance, because my eating was atrocious. My mum did, and still does to this day, fill a house with snacks and treats. Every evening she could easily munch her way through three-quarters of a victoria sponge, or a packet of hobnobs. To give her her dues, she did mostly give us home-cooked dinners (unless she was feeling lazy and would get us a KFC or something), but those weren’t particular healthy in terms of what I know now: African food is carb-central! To top that all off, my parents were crazy tight with giving us pocket money (meaning we got 0 pounds and 0 pence, whilst our friends were getting £5-10 a week), which for us meant that all our friends could afford to get treats from the corner shop after school and we had to be deprived. So any time we managed to scrounge a couple of pounds, we'd spend it all straight away on junk food. Which I then started hoarding and hiding in my bedroom and eating when my parents weren’t around, in fear that we'd never get a chance to find another pound if they knew!
So what was my point? I'm SO glad I've been on this journey because I have learnt SO much. And everything I have learnt I WILL pass on to my kids and ensure they live as healthy a life as possible from DAY ONE. I never want them to feel conscious of their weight. I never want them to experience the struggles I have and the low self-esteem I've felt due to my weight. I want them to know what it feels like to run around and play and eat delicious nutritious food and for that to be their norm. I want to teach them about moderation. I want them to enjoy being in the kitchen with Mummy and learning amazing new recipes. I want them to be playing on the swings and slide in the park whilst I run laps, and for them to want to run with me for a few laps too. I just want them to know what healthy is and what healthy does and to live that life and be happy.