General chatter - Was/is your mom a 'food pusher'?

View Full Version : Was/is your mom a 'food pusher'?

07-13-2011, 02:19 PM
Hi all,

I read a news story yesterday about possible government intervention in families in which the kids are obese, and it got me to thinking about when I was a kid.
My daughter, almost 12, weighs 98lbs. When I was 12, I weighed 175 lbs. I was thinking what is the difference in how I feed my kids vs. how I was fed. For one, my mom fried everything and vegetables were mainly potatoes and beans. But, even today as an adult, when I go there to eat, she's always asking 'what else can I get you, what else do you need?' I don't remember if she pushed food on us as kids, but if she's still doing it, she probably did. She grew up in a poor family and has told me that a lot of times, they went hungry. So, I guess I can't 'blame' her, but it is aggrivating at times. She still takes food to my obese brother, brings treats to my kids, etc. I have talked to her about it, but she still does it. I guess it's her way of showing love. Anyway, just wondering if anyone else felt like their mom was a food pusher?

07-13-2011, 02:43 PM
No, my mom was not a food pusher. Sort of the opposite. She didn't pay much attention to what I ate, unless she thought I was eating too much or the wrong thing, in which case she was ready to criticize.

I'm a mom now, and I'm realizing that no matter what we do, it's often the wrong thing. I developed a bad body image and bad relationship with food by her constant criticism, of herself, me, other overweight people, and all the restrictions. Others it's because the unhealthy food that they grew up with. What's the right balance? Surely there is one, but it's so hard to find!

07-13-2011, 02:45 PM
Oh, yes! My mom equates food with love. I'm also a "feeder", so she's passed that on to me for better or worse.

I grew up in the south, and a typical meal was: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, and biscuits. Plus dessert! I've always struggled with weight.

As she's gotten older, she's cooks more healthy but there is usually still dessert. I just realize that I'm going to "gain" 5 or so pounds when I go home (which is about once every month or 2) and really manage my food and exercise before & after. There are some things that just don't beat my mom's home cooking (for me) and I indulge during my trips home.

I don't think she really means to push food on me (or anyone else) and she's never offended if someone says "no" or "maybe later". Plus, she's one of my biggest supporters, so I cut her some slack.

I do sympathize with you though.

07-13-2011, 02:46 PM
My mom is the opposite. She gives me "looks" every time I eat anything, even if it's a salad. I also here "but you just ate!" all the time, despite the fact that my last meal was over 4 hours ago...thankfully, it helps motivate me to be healthy, and maybe teach her a lesson or two about it.

It must be really tough to deal with someone who is always trying to push food on you. My grandmother was sort of like that, but thankfully I never saw her very often. :hug: Stay strong!

07-13-2011, 02:55 PM
Thankfully, my mother wasn't but now my mother-in-law is, lol. She told my older son (behind my back, mind you) that I was a 'picky eater' (yeah, right!) simply because I won't eat her white, starchy baked potatoes which she tops with loads of cream cheese and/or butter. Whatever. *rolling my eyes*

07-13-2011, 03:48 PM
My mom was never really a food pusher. We were all simply obese, and ate too much in general. Hmm. Maybe that's why my mom never had to push the food? :lol: We ate breakfasts. Normal lunches at school. Shared dinners at the kitchen table together. None of it was horrible... it was just "too much!"

07-13-2011, 03:50 PM
my parents grew up during the end of the Great Depression....they were very poor also when my sister and i were little....because we lived far from any stores, we ate alot of boxed foods but also alot of potatoes that were given to us from a nearby baked alot and i always remember eating alot and going back to get some more...i dont remember mom pushing food on us, nor stopping us if we were eating alot...i think they were just grateful to have plenty of food alot of the time

07-13-2011, 04:39 PM
My mum is a food pusher. I have dinner with her once a week and it can be tough to fit her food into my plan. She cooks everything in oil. There's always dinner and a dessert, then she keeps trying to offer me cake or biscuits afterwards! I usually say thanks, I'm full up. My mum grew up very poor and she was often hungry as a child, so she's probably just making sure that I don't go hungry as well.

07-13-2011, 04:40 PM
more like my grandmother! She didn't really "make" me eat, but when ever she would cook something, and I turned it down she would get mad/sad. She would be like "Oh it doesn't taste good"... etc. SHe would also cook first dish(usually soup) second and dessert. Ahh how I hated going to her house loL!

07-13-2011, 04:54 PM
My mom was a food HOARDER. She didn't push food onto my sister or I because she saved what she wanted for herself. The good tasting stuff, the fattening stuff. I was a normal weight all the way up until I graduated from high school. It was only when I started living alone did I make up for lost time. I ate all the things my mother never offered up because she wanted it all for herself. Only problem is....for years and years....I never stopped. I, in turn, became a food hoarder too.

07-13-2011, 05:22 PM
My mom isn't much of a food pusher. Probably the closest thing to that is how she handles desserts. She does tend to push desserts a little bit-not much, and is either oblivious to or ignores the fact that rich desserts aren't terribly compatible with weight loss. She treats herself and makes or buys dessert foods, despite saying that she wants to lose weight. My parents came to see me on my birthday, and my mom mentioned that she had planned on making a pan of (very good) brownies for me, but my dad talked her out of it. I had not said that I wanted brownies (although I kind of did), because I knew I wouldn't be able to integrate a whole pan of them into my normal diet successfully. If my dad hadn't said not to, I think she would have actually made them - despite knowing that I'm working on being healthier and losing weight! WTF?

Growing up, the main issues with food and my mother were that, despite doing most of the cooking for the family, she doesn't like to cook, couldn't be bothered to experiment with new recipes or healthy ways of cooking despite having an overweight/obese child who would probably have benefitted from it and the time to do so (she usually got home from her semi-sedentary job several hours before the rest of us got home from work and school and rarely seemed to do much during that time except feed the pets and watch TV), and only likes a few (mostly very bland or very rich) types of food. As a result, there wasn't a huge amount of variation in the meals we ate at home, most stuff was bland (which is okay, but I prefer foods that have stronger tastes) and/or heavy, and a lot of it was processed or partially-processed. By the time I was in high school we were usually eating chicken (prepared in one of three ways - and usually bland and overcooked) or pasta (which I don't much care for) every night. I really don't think it was a money thing, and even if it had been, she's more than smart enough to have figured out how to have gotten some variety and taste into the family diet. I think she either didn't see it as a good or necessary thing to do, or couldn't be bothered to do it. The family meals we had that I did like - burritos and tacos, pizza, a meat dish my parents always served over noodles AND with bread, burgers, sloppy joes, etc. - tended to be either inherently high in calories, or served with sides/toppings that ran up the caloric tab. Even though I didn't like most of the meals, I still often overate because - I was really hungry. I had breakfast very early, an hour-long commute to school, school, lunch (either a sandwich from home, greasy school food, or junk food), more school, usually extracurricular activities for an hour or two, and then a long commute home. And even though she was home and we always called before we started home, she still usually didn't start dinner until we walked in the door - so then another 30 minutes or hour on top of that. I was usually starving by that time - so even though I didn't much care for what we ate I still ate - and tried to eat as much of whatever was being served that I did like (usually bread and desserts) as I could.

We usually ate out once a week as a family (and my dad sometimes took my brother and me out for sandwiches or whatever when we had to stay very late at school). It was such a treat to me and I know I overindulged because there was 1)variety, 2)stuff I actually wanted to eat, and 3)taste. Also, the meats didn't tend to be overcooked. Getting over the idea that restaurant meals=preferable+okay opportunities to indulge is something that I've had to work on as an adult. I don't think this would have been so difficult for me if the meals I ate at home had been more satisfying. Learning how to cook - really cook, with ingredients and seasonings - has done a lot for me, since it's helped me learn how to satisfy my nutritional needs (which I don't think were being met when I lived at home - we were a bit light on fruits and veggies) and my taste preferences.

Also, my parents kept the serving bowls on the table we ate at, and there was rarely any criticism or reprimand for helping myself to seconds (or thirds). I've read (and believe) that that can contribute to weight gain, and still have to be careful when I eat at their house that I'm not overindulging in all the food sitting right in front of me.

My parents did a lot of things right. I think they're better parents than most that I've seen. They worked hard to raise us well, and I think they did a pretty good job, on the whole. I think I have a very good relationship with them. But the food area is one that they were kind of weak in.

07-13-2011, 05:56 PM
My Mother was the opposite because I was a ballet dancer and she wanted me to become a professional ballerina so if anything she 'encouraged me' to eat as little as possible. I used to starve myself to stay as thin as my classmates.

I also think that's why my weight balloned up after I gave up dancing at 18, I had a car, my own money and loved to eat all the foods I had been forbidden from eating for all those years.

07-13-2011, 06:17 PM
My mom was rarely around, so my sister and I were lucky if we found a bag of raw rice in the cupboards to eat. I was a skinny kid back then. When she did cook, it was quick fixes like Hamburger Helper or something.

After moving to live with my dad I always had plenty to eat, but was very athletic and involved in every sport. His side of the family were all Mexican, and it kind of comes with the culture to "push food". Usually whatever woman is cooking will continue to cook and cook and cook until everyone has had their fill and then some. When I moved back to Reno I fended for myself as far as what I had to eat, so it was fast food or just unhealthy eating habits. If I could change one thing, I wish I would have joined a team sport/activity when I first graduated HS and moved back here.

07-13-2011, 06:32 PM
If we didnt want it we didnt have to eat it lol. We only have to eat all of our veggies lol. I was the veggie eater and I would trade my meat and eat my sisters veggies lol.

07-13-2011, 07:38 PM
i grew up in a very poverty-ridden remote area but i didnt realize it at the time...compared to most of the native people living there, my family was pretty well off....i remember that i was expected to eat the lunch mom sent to school with me in high school...i dont remember much conversation about that, i just knew that was expected of me...but i felt very "fat" (oohhh to be that "fat" again lol) and decided not to eat my lunches but i didnt want mom to know instead of eating my lunch, i gave it to Victor, a poor native boy who never had any food, clean clothes or access to a shower/running i figured i'd kill two birds with one stone...i would diet and victor would get a good lunch!!

Northern Belle
07-14-2011, 02:36 AM
Yes! I'm 21 and live at home with my parents. Though my mom contributed to my bad eating habits as a child, it was mostly my dad. He wasn't a "food pusher" with my older siblings, but this changed when my twin brother and I were born. My brother is his only son and he spoiled him. I was just along for the ride. I've never had a good relationship with my father, but because my brother and I are twins, whenever he got something, I got something.

I've been overweight since I was about 7 and health/fitness was never emphasized in our home. We always got to eat whatever we wanted, though my mother made us eat vegetables occassionally. Food was always at the center of celebrations and was used as a treat (we looked forward to eating McDonald's every Friday!).

When we were teens, my father started commenting on our weight and eating habits. He would say things like, "You're gonna eat THAT?!"; and I'm just thinking, "Umm...yeah, I'm gonna eat THAT. THAT was certainly okay for us to eat when you were feeding it to us as 7-year-olds. It's your fault I crave THAT anyway." I wish he would have thought and done something about our bad eating habits when we were children - when he was the one who was in control of our weight and eating habits; don't criticize us now that, as young adults, we're the ones who have to struggle with weight issues and are responsible for correcting our eating habits ourselves. The funny thing about it is that after he criticized us, the next day he'd sometimes cook something like a whole package of chicken and tell us, "Eat as much as you want!" A whole package of juicy chicken to ourselves. Of course, being obese kids, we didn't have the willpower to turn that down!

My father was recently severely disabled from a stroke (the result of his own bad eating habits; he thought he was okay because he wasn't overweight), so he can't exert that influence over us anymore, but it still feels like I'm fighting a losing battle trying to lose weight while I'm living here because my mother still purchases the same types of food, and though I control what I eat, temptation is all around me. Since I've been overweight since I was a child (the stage at which the size of your "fat cells" is determined), it is naturally more difficult for me to lose and keep weight off because my "fat cells" are permanently enlarged and my body will always want to gorge itself. I love my mother to death, but I honestly can't wait to move out because I will control what comes in and out of my home, so losing weight/keeping it off won't be nearly as much of a struggle.

07-14-2011, 09:43 PM
My mom was and is a completely "normal" eater. I'm not and not a day goes by when I don't envy her!

07-18-2011, 01:15 AM
My Grandmother is completely old world and "eat, eat, eat" would always come out of her mouth.

My mother was the opposite. She had her own eating/body issues (though then she never hit higher than 120, 9months preg). She would buy all sorts of junk then tell me I couldn't eat it bc I'd get fat. Even when I was hungry. Then don't buy it. Woulda been easier. Really set me up for hiding/binging food later on. Thanks mom.

As a mom now, I don't push. I let the kids have a treat here and there, and I do want them to finish their dinner as much as possible bc if they don't, less than an hr later they want a snack. I never tell them they can't have something outright unless it's candy, especially when we have it in the house. i just steer them to better choices :)

07-18-2011, 11:01 AM
It seems some moms were food pushers, some were food hoarders, and still we wound up with weight/food issues. :dizzy:

07-18-2011, 01:47 PM
My mom kind of is. She had her own food issues and had lost a lot of weight through WLS years ago, and now can't understand why I struggle with my weight, which is super frustrating. She still exhibits some of what I'd call "fatty brain syndrome," and I'm absolutely sure I get some of my food habits from her modeling, she just can't act on it anymore. I.e. she'll fill her plate at brunch and be able to eat two bites, will over order on everything, etc.

I cannot remember having any issues with "food pushing" growing up, but definitely since I moved out (starting in college) she would ask me ahead of time what food I'd want, what she should make, where we should go out to dinner, always have the house full of food (although this has gotten better since her surgery). In grad school she would send me home with enough leftovers to last me a week (damn, do I miss that, :lol: ) To this day, it's tough for me to get "back on track" after visiting home- and now that I'm a plane ride away, those visits are upwards of a week, which makes it even more challenging.

That said, she brings up my weight. Often. She always has. As I've gotten older, it's bothered me less.

07-18-2011, 02:40 PM
My mother would always say "finish your food". I think she did that because that is what her mother did.
I don't think they were super poor, but my mom was the youngest of 3, in a single parent home. My Mem
worked hard to feed her 3 kids. My uncle back in the day was more muscular than fat, but now days he is
very obese. As children my mom and her sister were on the chubbier side. But I think my Mem saw that as
they were not going hungry. So it was a good thing in her mind I guess.

My mother tried to so good for us, baked a lot of our food. Hardly ever any cakes, or cookies, but we HAD
to have some sort of sweets in the house for my mom and her diabetes. If her sugar went down she would
have a little snack like one of those Little Debbie cakes. Now she knows better and will drink OJ, but us kids
still have the Little Debbie fever.

The usual veggie on our dinner plate was broccoli, sometimes carrots and corn. My mom did not like peas,
green beans, or too much else so she never cooked them. And we always had issues with portion control.
Heaping seconds were always allowed, and even when my brother wanted thirds he would get them. He is
now very obese.

I do not have kids now, but I hope to think *if* I ever have children that I will make good choices as far as
showing them a healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

07-21-2011, 01:01 PM
My mom cooks huge meals almost every night (most of the side-dishes come from cans/boxes, though). A typical meal in my parents' house would be fried chicken, cornbread, mashed potatoes, canned green beans, canned nibblet corn, macaroni and cheese, and sweet tea. Unless it was in the summer, and they had gardened, the only veggies we usually got were out of cans or beans. Oh, and she had to have cornbread for every meal, even if said meal is pasta.

She wasn't really a food-pusher, though sometimes, she would seem hurt if I didn't want to eat. It was my dad who pushed food on me when I was a picky little girl (like disgusting meat-loaf with mushroom soap ::gag::), but then started portioning the foods I did like as I got old and fatter (pizza, burgers, desserts). He also would make comments about how if I kept eating I'd have a third chin, be too big to come through the front door. ect. I also kind of had an eating curfew too.

But when my brother came into the picture, it's way different. He can eat as much junk as he wants, whenever he wants, and never has to touch a single vegetable if he doesn't want to. My parents even scold me a bit when I try to get my brother to have something healthy. "He doesn't have to eat it if he doesn't want to!" they'll say.

It's pretty annoying.

07-21-2011, 01:08 PM
Bless my mom's heart. She tried. She struggled to stay thin her whole life (and still does) and so did her mother but their ideas about food were just so jacked up. They thought they were doing the right thing but here I am...

I don't "blame" my mom, I'm an adult and have been on my own for quite some time now but those ideas you pick up as a kid really stay with you. It's why I'm so (secretly) neurotic about what food we have in our house and how my daughter hears me talk about myself.

07-21-2011, 02:50 PM
My mom didn't have enough money to provide anything but dinner. If I wanted lunch in school, I had to pack a PB&J (if we had the ingredients) or pay for it myself. Breakfast was the same. Because of that, I went through high school eating 2 BIG meals a day, usually one after I got home from school (often whatever I could scrounge up) and a BIG dinner. Breakfast was coffee, lunch was nothing, dinner was massive.

Ugh. Makes me sick just thinking about it. I remember how hungry I used to be, always feeling sick & faint, and that my friends would often give me money on days that I had to go to work right after school.

College is what made me gain the weight though. That & BC & being lazy & breaking a limb.