New Castle News

Healthy Living: Lori Brothers

April 19, 2012

Lori Brothers: Eating healthy? Have it your way

NEW CASTLE — When I was growing up, my sister was labeled the picky eater.

This was back in the ’60s and McDonald’s was fairly new. Burger King had not come into the picture yet, so there was no “have it your way.” My sister preferred a plain burger.

McDonald’s burgers to this day have mustard, ketchup, onions and pickle. My father, a somewhat impatient guy, would have a fit because he had to wait for the special order burger. “Why can’t you just eat what we all are eating?” She would not give in.

You may know the pain of being judged, either because you don’t like a popular food, or because you are choosing not to eat some foods that are family favorites. To eat based on your truth you have to be tough, draw a hard line and set clear intentions.

You have to build strength to withstand opinions of people who can’t support what you know is either your preference or your healthy choice. Actually, in the lifestyle programs taught a Jameson Hospital, we are teaching participants that it is important to have it their way. Modifying recipes to meet your goals or finding “new food friends” may not always be popular.

When you have always eaten a certain way, and then change to meet your health goals, you may get frowned upon. It may be a double whammy, if you find letting go of old habits a challenge. When you are met by friends and family with criticism or ridicule about your new life choices, it can undermine your success — especially if you feel rejected or left out. What a low blow!

Guilt may surface as you stick to your goals, because your determination may be viewed as selfish by others. Don’t be swayed by their view of your resolve. Guilt may also become a tormenter if you give in, and partake of the family feast or indulge in fast foods that are high in salt and fat. Self-forgiveness is a necessity on the path to success.

This is where confidence must grow out of knowing why you are choosing to get tough for your own well-being. Listen to your own voice. Let what you are willing to change be the loudest. Stay true to your commitment, even if you don’t get it right every time.

I’m meeting more people who are willing to make changes in traditions to support each other to improve their health. This is true especially if heart disease runs in the family. Make a point of communicating with friends and family before an event or holiday that you will need their support.

Cooperation doesn’t have to be limited to food. Taking a walk together after dinner is a great tradition — grandparents, grandchildren and everyone in between can get up and get moving. This can neutralize the food issues. Everybody eats to meet their preferences, afterwards, a 20-minute walk. This can become a fun family time that sets a trend toward fitness. A less-sedentary lifestyle with more movement can become a family mindset if everyone participates.

The trick is not to be deceived by what you perceive. When family members or friends are giving you a hard time, or continuing patterns that you know aren’t part of your goals, let your results become your strength. When you look and feel better all that static may turn to praise.

Also, your own self-satisfaction will be so sweet, just like this week’s fat-free Chocolate-Orange Cake.

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Healthy Living: Lori Brothers
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