Wednesday, March 01, 2006

#9: I hide food in my clothes closet

#9: I hide food in my clothes closet

Last summer when we spent the month of July in St.Moritz I would go shopping about once a week at the local grocery store. It was a COOP and it had just about everything in there from cosmetics to fruit and vegetables. I love going to grocery stores and shopping, especially foreign ones. I don't really buy much, but I love looking at the different types of products they have on the shelves. St.Moritz has got to be the most expensive town on the planet, including the local COOP. I limited myself to buying different breads with lots of seeds and different mixes of muesli for my morning breakfast. The last item displayed before you went to pay at the cashier was the chocolate. Swiss chocolate, belgium chocolate, italian chocolate, you name it, they had it. I was very very good and didn't ever buy any but I promised myself that before I left I would purchase a few bars to take home with me. A few weeks later I went sans babe and took my time in choosing what flavours I wanted. Dark chocolate, one with hazelnuts, Toblerone in various flavours. I think I chose about ten and then hurried them off to the freezer bag I had prepared for the trip so that they wouldn't melt on the way home.
Once home I put them in the freezer and didn't think too much about them until my sweet hormonal about-to-be teenage daughter spotted them and asked me if she could have one. "Of course you can," I replied innocently, "just don't eat too much." I remember hearing that freezer door open and close a few times, but I was totally shocked when two days later TWO DAYS LATER I realized that she had eaten all-ten-chocolate bars.

Now I read a lot of these fat busting blogs and at least once each writer touches on the subject of the Mom - Food connection. I too remember eating a ton of food at that age, though mine was balanced out by a lot of physical movement on my part. There was no Mom around so I was able to stuff myself as much as I wanted without anybody saying anything to me. Anyway, a lot of the bloggers accuse their mothers of creating these strange situations or telling them how fat they are or limiting their food intake. I have never done this with Olivia. What happened though was that from september to december she gained 10 lbs without growing in height. I never tell her NOT to eat anything, but if I see her going back and forth from the kitchen a lot I'll tell her to start hitting the fruit instead of the cookies. I try as much as I can not to buy junk, but you can't not EVER buy it...In any case it's not one or two things that is going to get a person overweight, it's the huge quantities of things in a repeated pattern that gets them into trouble, like what she is doing right now. After the Swiss Chocolate incident I started to hide food. I like to eat nice sinful things every once in awhile and it's really frustrating to buy them and not find them when you want them. Even worse is that she'll eat whatever it is right away, the entire box, package tin is consumed in one afternoon. So I had to hide the food. At the moment my stash consists of Lindt chocolate easter eggs in various qualitites and Mini Kitkats. The KK's are great 'cause they come in packs that are only 85 calories and I can have one without feeling morally and calorically bad.

Last night O asked me to make her out a food chart. With her help I did, though it was just telling her and trying to make her understand that she has to eat breakfast + snack + lunch + snack + dinner and she'll lose weight instantly. Geez, I'd love to have a teenage metabolism! I even told her to make sure that the afternoon snack was a chocolate thing so that she wouldn't feel deprived. Today after lunch while I was in the bathroom I heard her go into the kitchen cabinet. I came out (while she tried to hide a piece of chocolate cake) and just told her in a nice and understanding way that I wasn't making her go on a diet. If she wanted to eat she could eat, but that if she wanted to lose some weight she did have to put order into her eating habits. I emphasized again that I wouldn't put any conditions on her eating but she had to be the one that did it for herself.

I'm sure that twenty years from now she'll blog about her Mother that didn't help her out and let her eat too much...Sigh, parenting is such a hard job...


dg said...

i reckon you handled that beautifully! encouraging and helpful without making her feel bad :)

Portuguese Washwoman said...

It IS a hard job, and I feel guilty for blaming my mother for some of my food issues because I know she was only trying to help. And anyway, she did the same thing with my sister and Adele has no food issues at all. It's such an individual thing, and what you're doing is sane and reasonable and helpful and that's all a Mom can do. Hang in there!