Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Fatty Choices, Fatty Patterns

Fast_foodI’ve fought weight gain since I can remember – my family has taken note of my “Oprah Syndrome,” too. One year I’m skinny, the next I’m not. My kids, too, have fluctuated as well as seasons come and go. I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. But, I am an observer and I do notice trends, habits, and behaviors of people, including myself.

So, when I read of studies about how childhood obesity is completely genetic, I get angry. Obesity, beyond medical conditions, is primarily a result of behaviors and choices. If you eat French fries on a regular basis, you will gain weight. If you consume three doughnuts for breakfast each day, more than likely, you will gain weight. We make the choice whether or not to eat healthy and our kids follow suit.

They see our patterns and they adapt to them. They hear our excuses and use them as well. “I’m bloated today,” “It’s my thyroid,” “I just don’t have time to cook,” “Healthy food is so expensive.” I know these excuses well – I’ve used every single one of them.

And I’ll even admit that I’ve been extremely guilty of influencing my kids’ eating habits negatively. I’ve ordered a double cheeseburger and ironically, a diet coke at the same time. I’ve ordered myself a salad and then ordered my kids fat-infested, calorie-rich happy meals. I’ve been dubbed the drive-thru queen and the gas-station snack princess.

The patterns are convenient yet detrimental, lacking willpower in a world where every other commercial promotes a sugary snack or a juicy burger – in a world where school cafeterias pass off a healthy snack as fruit cocktail in high fructose syrup.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this summer I was forced to radically change my meal plan when diagnosed as borderline diabetic. It was only then that I noticed just how oblivious we become to these patterns of finishing everything on our plates, tossing way too many carbohydrates into the mix, and conveniently eating fatty foods on the run.

It was not until I began to keep a food diary that I cringed at the food contents I had been consuming and had led my children to consume. We made a radical change in the household and I’m still fighting the battle daily for both myself and my kids. I don’t want them to view these changes as a fad, diet, or phase mom is going through. I want them to see it as a regular pattern – a long-term lifestyle.

Just the other day my daughter groaned to a family member that “everything in our house is fat free.” She may be griping now, but at least she sees a new pattern.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Aug. 14, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


August 14, 2009 - Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , , ,

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