I thought this was a very interesting article, Study: Most obese moms, kids underestimate their weight. It talks about the misconceptions children have about weight because of their mothers, very heavy stuff in my opinion. However, this creates a very good segway into my blog for today (which I have been meaning to blog about for a while).

So, if you have been following my blog you have probably read this post, My Love and Hate Relationship with my Weight and All That Jazz. I explained in that blog how my family has played a part in my obsession (and depression) about my weight. My mom, my aunts, and cousins are always talking about being on diets, not eating this and that and so on and so forth. Or how if they could lose this or that? Comparing and contrasting fat, judging others progress… *eye roll* And even more important to note is that most of them are still very much overweight. The problem is they try quick fix diet tricks instead of putting in the work. This includes my mom, the biggest dieter of them all. I have always teased my mom about her dieting. Which she always casually mentions while indulging herself, and vows to start Monday, so she can enjoy her indulging without the guilt. So while talking to my mom one day and joking about her being on a diet (my mom is about a size 10 to put this in perspective…maybe an eight on a good day), she told me there was a reason she did that. She told me the reason she was always on a diet was because of her mom. My grandmother up until her death last year (February 2010) had always been a heavy set woman (having eight kids might do that to you), and most of her sisters (who also each had more than four) were overweight too. My mother said she stayed on a diet to make sure she never got as big as her mother or her aunts. Imagine my surprise when I realized that this was a vicious cycle that had started long before me.

Now let me pause and say that a lot of things contribute to obesity and being overweight in general and when it comes to our family. To me being overweight has a lot to do with what you eat, physical activity, DNA (genes), attitude, ability and determination. First, we as a family love to eat. Our after church meal every week consisted of mac and cheese, meat and gravy, sweet potatoes, greens, corn and green beans, potato salad, fried mushrooms and dessert. EVERY WEEK!!!! And every major holiday (with even more goodies added). I will admit just thinking about is making me hungry. After eating all that we would just sit around and talk. No one suggested a walk or encouraged the kids to go outside and play.  As I said my mom, aunts, and cousins were always passing along new diet information. Always a quick fix never a permanent solution. The ability to do something was always there, but the determination was not.

Skip forward to adult me, struggling to lose weight and become healthy and happy about my body and weight. I have shared my struggles thus far, with 30 pounds down and 30+ more to go, my determination is kicking into high gear. Others have noticed the change, but more than ever I want my family to notice the change. I want them to see and acknowledge the fruits of my labor, so we can change as a family. And that happened for the first time the other day when my mother came to visit. I had not seen her in three months, which in actuality is not a long time, but she commented on my weight loss. At first it was like she always did when she thought I might have been losing weight “oh, are you losing weight? I can tell around there…”, then she would proceed to explain what she was doing to lose weight and how all she needed to do was to lose this or that. *eye roll* I hated when she did that it seem to minimize any hard work I had done. But after she left she called me and said, “You look good. I’ve got to step up my game.” I didn’t ever think I needed a moment like that, but I guess I needed it more than I thought. It has propelled me to want to reach my goal even more as an example to my family that hard work, dedication and attitude make more of a difference than a simple quick fix diet. I want the opportunity to help my family break that vicious cycle, so my younger cousins don’t fall into the same trap. I think I have started it by just being an example.