"Honey, we are never going to have your favorite meal ever again." You know, if I had said that, my sweet husband probably would have been a little bit upset. To hear that he would never have chicken parmesan again in his whole life? Or imagine if I had said, "I'm never buying cookies again. Ever." Or even worse still, "No more ice cream. None." I think I would have had a full-fledged revolt on my hands, don't you? It's something to think about.
It's one thing to want to make changes for yourself, and an animal of an entirely different stripe when you are trying to make changes for your family. Before I started on my weight loss journey, I cooked whatever sounded good. Fried chicken? Sure. Brownies with frosting? Absolutely. Tortilla chips loaded with melted cheese? Anytime.
Once I made a U-turn on gaining weight, and started heading in the right direction, I knew that changing my own eating habits were a good start, but I also realized that I needed to make changes for all of us! I also knew that if I tried to change everything at one time it might make my own journey more difficult. So instead of swearing the whole family off of high fat, unhealthy food, I decided to tread carefully.
The first thing I did was look closely at our favorite meals. Instead of ditching half of our favorites, I analyzed each recipes and made substitutions that would bring the dish into acceptable limits of fat and calories. The next time I made chicken parmesan, everyone raved about it, and no one realized I had cut the calories in half. I added in new recipes, and that made us all happy too.
Once I adapted the recipes, the next thing I focused on was our snacking habits. Pop-Tarts, chocolate cookies, peanut butter crackers, and other high-fat snacks dominated my shopping list in days past. I switched to healthier snacks, eliminating the high-fat, high-sugar ones, piece by piece. Sometimes the children would ask for a particular food, and I would occasionally let them have it, but by and large, they didn't complain.
I would have been remiss had I just focused on my own needs, and ignored the needs of my family. I knew that I wanted nothing more than for our family to be healthy together forever.
As you travel your journey, make sure to bring your family along, and not leave them behind! You can't control their choices, but you can control yours. As the primary grocery shopper and cook for my own family, it was my responsibility to choose the meals and plan the snacks. I had the wonderful opportunity to make changes we all could live with!
By not changing everything at one time, I garnered the support and enthusiasm of my entire family, from my husband on down. The little children didn't notice any difference, and John noticed, and appreciated all the changes I had made for his health, and my own. Are there changes you'd like to make in your family's diet? I'd encourage you to make them slowly, and not cause a revolt among your most avid supporters!