Guest post from Jody Arsenault, founder of the blog Mommymoment.ca:
As a part of our weight loss journey there have been many highs in our lives. The excitement of finding clothes that fit, feeling great and being able to keep up with my girls, and of course trying new, nutritious foods. But like any journey there have been some low spots, too. There were times that were very hard, but it was and is, still worth the effort.
Jody and her girls making healthy snacks together. Photography courtesy of Thomas Fricke.
With any major diet or lifestyle change, there are new hurdles to overcome. For one, social situations have become more of a challenge. Have you ever noticed that most social functions revolve around food? Whether you're going to a friend's house for dinner, work meetings with snacks, or family gatherings, there's always temptation to overindulge. Plus, many people still don’t understand how and why my family eats the way we do. I often hear phrases like, “just one bite won’t hurt” or “how long are you going to keep this up” and my favorite “you do realize this is an inconvenience”. We're no longer invited to some functions or when we do go there's nothing healthy for us to eat. We are not asking for people to conform to how we are eating, or for them to have to change all their meal plans for us, we're asking for them to acknowledge that we've made over our food habits in a positive way. My family is not doing this to make others feel bad, but to feel better ourselves.
When we started eating this way we also had to cut a lot of different foods out of our diet. As a result we had to be creative and look for alternative foods that were still delicious. Our new best friend when it comes to cooking is coconut oil. Our snacks are now plantain chips and we love sweetening foods with honey. We don't have starches (potatoes), sugar or processed fats (margarine). It's not to say that we don't indulge, however, but thanks to substitutes like sweet potatoes we can still enjoy similar foods with a healthy tweak. Our options have changed but the foods can still fun and creative.
As for our children, they are taking this all in stride. Fortunately they are still young enough that they will eat what is placed in front of them. They enjoy eating healthy and we have had very little complaints from them. But we aren't restrictive. If they go to a birthday party they can have cake and hot dogs and eat all the things kids may want to eat when they are young. At home it is a different story. But our girls have even told us they prefer the way we eat because they actually feel better.
We knew that when we started this weight loss journey it was going to be hard, but thankfully we have not given in and I know that in the end we'll come out on top when it comes to our health.