This is the 5th installment of ‘Me, My Family & Food’. Today’s post is from Meg. I loved reading this post, because it shows how someone can not only influence their partners, but also their parents and immediate family. I love it when simple conversations about food can make people thing, re-evaluate and question what they’re eating.
Influencing My Family ~Meg @ MSJAthletics
I have been on a tremendous journey over the last three years.
On 13 July 2007, I was hit by a SUV while performing a training ride on my bicycle. I was truly blessed that my injuries were minimal, although my journey to rebuild my fitness and performance levels has not been minimal. As a result of my cycling accident, many things changed for me. These changes all surrounded my fitness and performance levels and my abilities to do what I used to do. I struggled with seemingly simple workouts in the execution and the recovery.
Through this, I needed to redevelop my relationship with food. It was during the days after my accident, I struggled with eating. I wasn’t hungry, I was tired. When I did eat, I struggled to get appropriate nutrients and I struggled for consistency in my choices. Prior to the cycling accident, I seemingly used food as a weapon. For all appearances, the diet was balanced and appropriate. In reflection, I know that this was far from the case. My habits suggested something totally different: I would barter with myself to eat more or less and exercise to make up the calorie deficits or surpluses. Shockingly, I was able to perform at pretty high levels.
The cycling accident might have been a blessing in disguise. In the midst of the recovery from my accident and my journey to be well, I really learned to accept myself for who I was at that moment. In accepting me, I chose to learn to change my eating habits to truly be well. When I chose to eat well, I began to explore many styles of eating and used my body as a laboratory to experiment with foods and how I felt as a result of different foods, and what I liked to eat.
In this process, I had begun to eat more and more fresh fruits and vegetables and decreased my animal product intake. I learned about how the body heals from reading The China Study, Eat to Live, In Defense of Food, Food Matters and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. The real shocker came after watching the movie Food, Inc. I became disgusted with what is truly happening in our food industry. As a result, my diet or food I eat surrounds the consumption of predominantly fruits and vegetables, with some meat and fish, beans and legumes, and grains.
Throughout my food experimentation, I shared with my mom about why I was making different choices and how I felt physically as a result of eating these foods. My mom suffers from many food allergies, and struggles with different health related issues as a result of some of these allergies. She started increasing the number of vegetables that she served for my father and herself. She discovered some of her food allergies were a result of the hormones and antibiotics that are in the feed given to the animals. My father observed an increase in his energy levels throughout the day, with these changes.
My father is resistant to change. He will eat what mom prepares, but he will challenge the thought process at times. After Thanksgiving dinner, he questioned my aunt Judy and her awareness about food quality. He said why should we worry so much about what we eat, as we are going to die anyway? I just listened to him and let him ramble. A week later, I gifted my mom the movie Food, Inc. She watched it with my father. (Although I had shared the content with her previously, there is something about watching the movie). My dad was shocked. For a day, he really did not know what would or could be good to eat. Since watching the movie, he is much more aware of the food sources and the quality of said food. It is pretty cool to see the awareness change in my own family.
When I had begun my journey to develop a better relationship with myself so I could eat wisely, I never imagined that I would see the changes in my family that I have. My sister still teases me about some of the things I do, but she has become more aware of her food choices as well. Since a prophet is rarely heard in her own home, it is pretty amazing to me. I work with and influence many people throughout the week with my work, and now, I am influencing my own family because I wanted to find a better way of getting the nutrients I need.
Have you impacted those around you to think about their food? Change their eating habits to more healthy?