When I started my flexible dieting journey the first thing my 13-year- old daughter asked me was, “Mom why are you weighing your food? Do you think you are fat?” This is a question I did not expect. So how do I explain this all to her as well as my other kids? I want my daughters (and son) to grow up to be strong and healthy. I want them to grow up knowing food is not the enemy. With all the pressure from media to be thin and perfect, the last thing they need is to think I am doing this to be “skinny.”
I had to think long and hard about how to explain this to them. I had a terrible relationship with food my whole life, something I knew I did not want to pass along to my kids. If I wanted to lose weight the first thing I would do is eat as little as possible, then do hours of cardio if I felt I ate too much or the wrong foods. For years I thought this was the answer. When I started CrossFit 3 years ago, I realized this was not going to work for me anymore. I had zero energy and was not progressing with my lifts. Iwanted to be strong, but let’s be honest: I wanted to look better too. I wanted to “see” those abs that I knew were there somewhere.
So this is what I told my kids: I am weighing my food so I can be stronger. I am weighing my food so I know how to eat the right portions to give me the energy I need to keep up with you. I am weighing my food to make sure I am eating enough vegetables.
They saw me transform myself. I did have way more energy. I was less irritable which meant I yelled less. I was making those lifts at the gym which would brighten my day and it showed. Oh and I could finally see those abs ;) I was happier and they noticed.
Flexible dieting is a great start to live a balanced life. It helps you learn what real portions look like. Teaching my kids this method gives them the knowledge that the appropriate ratio of fats and carbs are essential to fueling their body and should not be feared like the media wants them to believe.