I have watched my 14-year-old daughter become an emotional eater.
Not a depressed “oh, the world is against me, you don’t understand my teenage blues” kind of eater but the kind that desires the satisfying taste of a juicy cheeseburger and salty fries on her palate followed by a thick milkshake made with Häagen-Dazs. I don’t think I pieced it together until the pediatrician diagnosed her as prediabetic a few weeks ago.
This is hard for me because I am anti-obesity. Now don’t misinterpret this as fat shaming because it isn’t about you. I do see being large as a character flaw; it says you have no self-control. It loudly shouts from the hips and thighs that there is a dis-ease that rests within you and now I’m face to face with this in my personal life. My beautiful mini-me likes to eat and her body is fighting the high levels of blood glucose. Ever since she can recall a memory, she has watched me fast on vegetable juice for days, exercise religiously, and obsess over my size for the sake of fashion. She gets it – this I know for sure because she loves clothes and the art of wearing them. She understands the fit and the fall of layering and the beauty in an outfit effortlessly executed. She has a working knowledge of proper combinations of food and the effects of too many simple carbs.
Her life is not one of disadvantage. She’s been raised on organic foods void of cow’s milk, partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. Since birth, my crew of three have accompanied me to Whole Foods and Central Market. So what happened? Have her standards of health and beauty become too lax due to being enrolled in an all girl’s school rich with cultural diversity? As she learns dance moves that make me cringe and snacks on hot Cheetos, leaving evidence of red stained fingertips, is the need to assimilate so powerful? Lunches used to consist of organic meats, fruits, Greek yogurt, Fiji water bottles and San Pellegrino. Now she craves and attempts to fill my cart with inferior products peddled to the masses. Memo to others – you are not immune to diabetes or other issues just because you spent more for groceries at the premium “healthy” stores.
Over the past two weeks, we have had much dialogue regarding the dangers of her medical results. It’s mind-boggling to me that it hasn’t halted the consumption of foods which send her body into a state of unbalance. When you eat crap, crap happens!! By proxy, she is a member of the fitfam lifestyle. I now need her to keep card-carrying privileges current. A major overhaul has to occur and it’s being met with resistance. I have even dangled a new wardrobe from Lululemon as the inspirational carrot. She wants her own 0-2 size yoga pants (not borrow mine). Exercise, portion control, and a 10-15 pound weight loss are on my agenda of defying science. I want this eradicated from her system – leaving no traces behind.
Heaven help me…this is going to be a journey! When you see us running around Memorial Park, stop and give her a high-five. Offer her a few words of encouragement and join us for a lap.