Tales From the Food Couch

Being that I am a therapist, and not just one that deals with food issues, I am going to start to share some dilemmas/problems that I work with, not only because of course we are all in part ‘voyeurs’ and are interested in other people’s stories, but because they truly can help us identify and learn things.

I of course will be obscuring the identities and issues so that everyone’s anonymity is protected. My family of course is excluded as they give me permission!

But I need to share with you guys one of the funniest things a mom who I interviewed about her own Food Legacy and how it was affecting her son who was a Picky Eater. She said to me: “My first experience with religion was with Weight Watchers, because my mother put me on a diet when I was 10, and the meetings were held in the temple.”

I thought this hysterical, but her struggle was so poignant as she talked of her frustration as she could not get her child to eat anything she tried to feed him. She herself always loved food, felt like she had to restrict food, always wanted more than she thought she could have, and had sworn that she would never ever put her kids on a diet or make them feel baadly about their eating habits in the way she had felt as a child and teenager. Everyone else was allowed to eat chips but her, for example, and she swears that she looks at photograhs of herself as a kid and sees that she certainly was not fat!

So here she is, and her kid just won’t eat. He is a small guy, barely has an appetite, and she can’t contain her frustration and anger when he won’t eat what she prepares for him. She sees the doctor, the doctor tells her to just ‘back off’ and stop worrying, her kid is fine, he is healthy, thriving and on his growth curve, and she goes nuts still when he fights her with food.

So as she is telling me her Food Legacy story and what she swore she would never do, it began to dawn on her that of course she was doing the same thing, only it appeared different. It was about under eating vs. over eating. As we began to laugh at that and she could examine her own behavior more, she could see that the more she pushed, the worse it got, and the more tension got created. Of course for small eaters, tension and anxiety just cuts down their appetite more.

So all of this is simply to share the struggles that I think we all do to different degrees and with different issues. We come to feeding our kids with our own Food Legacies, histories, and this certainly can impact how we behave with them and their developing relationship with food.

There is alot more that goes into giving our kids good eating habits than we think.

Happy Feeding!

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