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Was/is your mom a 'food pusher'?

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Old 07-13-2011, 01:19 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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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!
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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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. Stay strong!
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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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*

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Old 07-13-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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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? We ate breakfasts. Normal lunches at school. Shared dinners at the kitchen table together. None of it was horrible... it was just "too much!"
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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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 farm...mom 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
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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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.

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Old 07-13-2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #15
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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 that....so 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 water....so i figured i'd kill two birds with one stone...i would diet and victor would get a good lunch!!
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