Happy Mother’s Day to my favorite eater!
Yup – My Mom easily has the best relationship with food and body that I’ve ever witnessed, and as I’ve quickly learned in this world, THAT’S IMPORTANT. As a reflection on how much I love my Momma, I’ve listed some of the lessons I’ve learned from her, most of which she is likely totally unaware of.
- You never have to be hungry to go out for ice cream.
Just the other day I took a ride with Mom (yes, I will forever refer to her as ‘Mom’ whether or not you know her) to Townsend, MA to return some shoes she bought. On our way home she mentioned planning to treat me to ice cream since I kept her company, and I sort of thought out loud, saying, “hm, I’m not super hungry.” Mom’s response was, “Do we have to be hungry to eat ice cream?”
No. The answer is no. We don’t always have to be hungry in order to eat something. Instead, we decided it was just something tasty and fun and enjoyable together, and ate ice cream [shout out to the Ice Cream Factory!].
2. Some people need to eat every 2 hours.
My Mom is one of these people, and she’s NEVER been ashamed by it. What I realize now is that her ability to normalize eating had taught me there is never reason to judge when or how people eat. You need 7 snacks a day to keep from acting Hangry? Cool. You like 3 big meals a day? Awesome. You have ice cream before bed every night? Sweet. You do whatever your body needs you to. No questions asked.
3. Hangry is a thing.
I learned this about the same time I learned that Mom needs food every 2 hours …
4. Chocolate is just as important as vegetables.
I’m not sure it was purposefully related to nutrition in any way [or a clever Mom hack to keep us kids out of the kitchen], but Mom always put carrots, cucumbers, and Ranch dressing on the table while she made dinner. There was never conversation around it, no cajoling us to “eat our veggies!” they were just there. And we did eat them.
She also makes sure there is always chocolate in the house. My gatherings tell me it’s simply because she likes it [a lot], but as a family we’ve inadvertently learned that it is okay, acceptable, enjoyable, allowed [and any other ridiculous term our brains use around food] to have something sweet after a meal. Every. Day. Hence Mom’s favorite phrase, “Where’s the chocolate?”
5. Sharing is caring.
One should never expect to go out to eat with Mom and not split two different meals [seriously, genius.]
6. It is important to honor your body.
My Mom has owned a yoga studio for 5 ½ years, and before that, she worked at a gym teaching a variety of aerobics classes [hello, jazzercise]. And even before that, I remember her playing outside with us, bringing us to playgrounds, trying out bicycles and roller blades and more. Even to this day, our favorite past time is walking [and talking, of course].
Even while surrounded by movement our whole lives, never once have I heard my Mom relate exercise to body size, or food, or weight. In fact, honoring your body has always come first. Did you twist an ankle during soccer practice? Then take it easy. Your shoulder hurts in that yoga pose? Then modify. Are you completely sick of studying for that huge exam? Take a break. Need to re-fuel and revitalize? Do some Nidra [a fabulous, meditative nap].
No matter what, “Honor your body.”
I have been a dietitian for almost four years, and before that, I studied, HARD, for five years. But there is nothing about the Kreb’s Cycle or Organic Chemistry that feels as important as the lessons I’ve learned from my Mom. Apparently, she has more to do with my career and passions than I ever thought – Thanks Momma.