As a person needing to lose a considerable amount of weight, I tend to find myself focusing on...well, myself a lot more than usual in this process. What do I need to eat? What do I need to do today? I whine to my husband (yes, I whine) "But I need to eat XXX amount of calories for this meal!" I don't take into account what he would like to eat for dinner any longer...or my children for that matter.
Case in point, two nights ago I pull into the driveway and am met by two very hungry little boys and one big hungry boy. My husband whines (yes, he whines too), "Man! I was hoping to get a chance to talk to you while you were still in town so I could have to pick up a couple of pizzas for dinner." Excuse me? PIZZA? Are you friggin' out of your ever lovin' mind with that? Pizza! The nerve! The audacity! I'll admit it, my jaw dropped and I thought, "Have you forgotten that *I* (there's that stupid word again) am on a diet?!"
I ended up marching right into the house and making a healthy dinner for the family. I was tired, exhausted actually, after a very long day of the whole work-school-work thing and *I* still needed to exercise. I grumbled through the preparations of dinner. I muttered some not-so-nice words under my breath.
Last night (a late night for me when I don't get home until about 10pm and hubby and kids are forced to fend for themselves) I noticed that the boys went out and got themselves that pizza they had wanted...and I realized that *I* had gotten my way the night before.
So what we do on this journey affects those around us. Husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, children, even parents! We're so determined to change our lives that we just go right on ahead and change their lives as well...without asking for permission. Now, I'm not exactly saying that this is a bad thing. In fact, I think it is really great that my boys are all forced to eat healthier just because I am. In a way, I feel like I'm taking care of them with my selfishness. Because what *I* have been noticing is the positive changes.
Hubby is losing weight.
Now hubby doesn't necessarily need to lose much weight - he's about 5'8 (though he'll tell you he's 5'10, which is completely rediculous!) and weighed about 195 when we - look at that! I really meant *I* - started this. The other day he hopped on my scale and was down to about 180. His gut is getting smaller, his pants loose on him, and he may even be starting to get a few muscles here and there.
My boys are eating healthy!....well, most of the time.
Now I can't control the crap they feed my children at school (we have free lunches and I'm not about to turn that down right now..just can't afford to), but when they are home with me I know they're getting fruits and veggies, fresh foods over processed crap. These are wonderful habits to start them on! Plus, they're trying new things. Sometimes with disasterous results (I still can't get my 8 year old to eat most of the veggie dishes I prepare - though he about begs every night for the chicken stir fry with rice...but he basically eats around the veg) - but they are having more than fried bologna sandwiches and grilled cheese and mac-n-cheese! There are salads and roasted veggies and vegetable soup and hummus/avacado sandwiches (my 10 year old LOVES these!).
There is a lot less video game action happening.
I *hate* that my kids play video games so much. I do NOT want my children to suffer through being the fat kid (though they're both boys, so it wouldn't be quite as difficult - THANK GOD!) like I did. I want them to have happy, healthy, lively and active lives! There are times in the summer that I literally lock my children outside of the house. It sounds mean, but it is absolutely necessary in this day and age to tell them, "Don't come back for an hour!" They whine for 10 minutes, and then I find them playing soccer in the yard or hiking up the back hill to find something neat to look at through the microscope at home. I used to send them out alone...now we go out together!
They understand that fresh = better.
Ethan (8 year old) talks to me all the time about how he knows that fresh food is better than packaged. This is a great lesson to learn so young...and if I can teach him just that one thing, then I feel he'll be much more prepared for life than I was. He also knows that the level of health in food goes fresh - frozen - canned. He knows that too much salt isn't good for you (though try prying the soy sauce out of his hands whenever he has rice...kung-fu grip there!). I'm teaching him and leading by example...that's good!
So, yes...I am selfish. And, yes, I realize now that I have taken over my household and enforced my "skinny" rules on everyone, even though they aren't exactly "fat" to begin with. But I don't feel one ounce of guilt in this. I really don't. Everyone in the world deserves to be healthy. Every person I love should eat well and exercise because *I* want them to have a quality life that they can really enjoy. Where, exactly, is the harm in that?
Of course, my husband admitted to me the other night that he had been having dreams - yes, dreams - about McDonald's and had considered going to town, rushing to the counter and saying, "Give me your fattest, greasiest, highest calorie hamburger." (Now doesn't that sound AWFUL?) I just smiled, glad he hadn't given into his urge.