It’s time you start caring what you eat as much as what your baby eats.
I didn’t care about what I ate for a really, really long time. And I go through phases when I still don’t care. In fact, I believe there are periods in life when it is important that I let myself “eat whatever, whenever.”
I’ve had food issues for a really long time. I still have food issues. I’m pretty sure a lot of us women do.
I have always been reluctant to share nutrition advice for breastfeeding mothers because I just can’t bring myself to even suggest that there is just one more thing that you could be doing “better.”
For me, when someone tells me what I should or shouldn’t be eating, my immediate response is either shame (“I’m bad because of how I eat”) or defiance (“Don’t tell me what to do”).
Both thoughts are immediately followed by a shame spiral that makes me eat worse. Sometimes that spiral makes me eat to the point of pain–bingeing.
These issues stem from a lifetime of messaging from all areas of life, right? Just like body image issues. Can we really ever say what caused us to be set on such a self destructive path? Was it my mother or 90210 or my frenemenies in high school?
Well, if you thought your food and body image issues were bad, enter having a child. And in my case, that child is an adolescent daughter whom I am dead set on teaching positive self image, eating habits, and self love.
No pressure, right? Well, just enough for me to wait until she goes to bed to secretly eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s and cry about the crushing weight of life.
Or, as a healthier response, I could just take better care of myself.
I could care about what I eat as much as I care about what my child eats.
So, here is what I would like to propose. When you see or read something about incorporating healthier food choices into your life, rather than fall into your old patterns of behavior that no longer serve you (i.e., the reactive “Don’t tell me what to do” mindset), consider choosing to respond a different way.
Perhaps you will say to yourself: How might making one small change to my nutrition have a ripple effect on my family? How will taking better care of myself result in my taking better care of my family?