Wanting to be fat and being ok with being fat are two different things. When I was at my highest weight, I was OK with it most days. But not a single part of me wanted to look that way. I knew that I was oftentimes the most overweight woman in the room. I was painfully aware of it.
At 5′ 3″, 200 lbs is rotund. Sometimes I felt like I was completely round…my torso certainly was.
Today I want to talk about something that’s been weighing on my mind for quite some time. I wasn’t raised with a proper outlook on food, but it’s probably not for the reason you think.
Because I write so often about frugality and saving money in general, I think it’s an important thing for me to say.
Obesity and Lack of Money
In my house, food was a necessary evil…something we tried to budget for and get the most value out of. I was not taught about ways to eat healthy on a budget. Healthiness was secondary to cost.
I also wasn’t taught the different nutritional values in food. Because cost was the most important factor and wasting food was out of the question, we were actually encouraged to eat as much as possible, regardless of the type of food in front of us.
We were never taught moderation or portion control. It just wasn’t on the radar. Fattening foods, fresh foods, salty foods, frozen foods. It was all the same…whatever was on sale was the best.
When you grow up with no food strategy in place to keep your weight in check, there’s a tendency to go for the foods that taste the best. Because what else matters? Eat it now or your brother will come by later and take it all for himself. Eat 3 servings of fried hashbrowns for dinner because that’s what we have 5 packages of in the freezer. Bake a cake today and again tomorrow because boxed mix was on sale 5 for $1 at the store! And the list goes on and on.
Learning a New Way to Be
Over the years of living on my own and fighting the weight battle as an adult, I’ve learned a different way to be.
I hopped on the extreme couponing train for several years when we were just starting our family, and I felt myself slipping back into the “whatever’s on sale” nutrition trap. Several years out from that experience, and I feel like I am beginning to see food for what it is – a way to treat myself kindly (and spend more if necessary) to avoid bigger medical costs down the road.
I still feel like I am on a never ending journey of self-discovery and resetting my preferences when it comes to food. And I’m slowly making progress.
Looking back, I attribute my obesity to lack of proper knowledge about nutrition and the cost related to eating well. I am making strides every day in making the right choices for me and my children and learning how to teach them in a way I never was.
I want you to know – I’m not really blaming my parents for any of this – it’s just the way things were. But it doesn’t mean it’s the way things have to be forever, at least not in my story. I don’t want my kids to be making the same statements about their eating habits 30 years from now.
Can you relate?