I originally sent this message as a TWL email on Mother's Day earlier this year when I was still living and working in Houston. Tonight marks 4 years since my mom suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away. Needless to say, Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays to celebrate (and on top of that, I am sick right now with a sore throat/ear infection and I always miss her more when I am not feeling well). However, tomorrow is All Saints Day...a day of celebrating those who have left us for the most perfect life in heaven...and she could not have passed on a more appropriate day. My mom was a Saint in more ways than one and I am so blessed to have had her in my life for 23 years. So in honor of my mom, here is the email I sent:
First I want to wish all of the moms reading this Happy Mother's Day! I hope someone fixes you breakfast in bed...that's what my brother, sister, and I always did for my mom on Mother's Day. I talk about my mom a lot in the TWL classes and most of you know that she had a big influence on my healthy eating habits. What a lot of you don't know is that my mom passed away 3 1/2 years ago. She was such a great person and I am so thankful that I had her in my life for 23 years...she had (and continues to have) such a huge influence on my character, personality, and values.
When I was younger I probably couldn't appreciate the fact that she didn't keep sugary cereal, Oreos, and candy in our house or that we could only have a Coke for a "special treat" (we actually used to ask her, "mom, could I have a coke tonight for a special treat?"). Now that I am older I can appreciate what she did for me!
However, sometime I think I see things about her and the way we ate "through rose colored glasses". If I really think back to it, we didn't always eat perfectly...we ate spaghetti with beef meatballs, pizza, hamburgers, and fried chicken tenders. She would occasionally bake a cake or make cookies for us...sometimes we would have a frozen store bought fruit pie after dinner (with ice cream). She would pick up Popeye's fried chicken and biscuits or order delivery pizza sometimes. And during the summer we would get snow balls (snow cones in Louisiana are called snow balls).
But, all of these things were occasional...and weren't readily available in our house. We didn't eat out a lot and my mom cooked on most nights...mostly things like baked chicken, pork tenderloin, or fish. We always had at least one vegetable with dinner and we didn't have dessert every night. This way, when we did have a "special treat" it was okay...no need to feel guilty.
That's how I eat now too...believe me I eat my share of dessert, beef, full-fat cheese, etc. (although I rarely eat fried food). Most of the time, however, I eat more nutritious foods...that way I can afford to have a treat.
So just remember, it's what you do MOST of the time that's important. Don't keep junk food in your house...it's too tempting (so many parents tell me they have to keep it around for the kids, but the kids don't need it either!). Make it a family event and go out once or twice a month for ice cream, pizza, or another treat, instead. That way those "forbidden" foods go from being "bad" to "special".
Happy All Saints Day to everyone!