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Did you inherit health habits (bad or good) from your parents?

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Oct 11, 2010, 5:19pm   #1
babypie's Avatar
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babypie
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By “inherit” I mean psychologically J

My mother has always been a fad dieter and her weight has been like a yoyo for as long as I can remember. Thinking about it, I know that’s part of the reason my own weight goes up and down. My brother and I were also fed a lot of take out and junk food as kids while I watched my mother live on black coffee or soup. I still struggle with eating healthy – for a long time I had a silly block in my brain that in order to lose weight you have to starve yourself – because that’s what my mother told me!


Anyone else learn good or bad health habits from their parents?
Oct 11, 2010, 6:59pm   #2
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louch
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Sounds very similar to my experiences as a child. My mother was fanatical about her weight and I suspect was bulimic a lot of the time. I remember her bingeing and then starving herself regularly. She worked full time in a very stressful job from when I was a baby and we literally ate takeaway 4-5 nights a week as she was too tired to cook. I didn't eat fruit and vegetables for weeks at a time.

She would also criticise her body image over and over and obsess about her weight. I don't think it was a great example to set for her children. My sister went on to develop a severe eating/body disorder from which she's never really recovered.

I don't know if it's helpful to blame our parents for our current behaviour but I totally agree they influence us. I struggle every day to eat healthily and wish I had had a better example. But I am trying to teach my daughter to eat better. Not always doing a great job - she is very fussy - but at least she sees me eat well and I NEVER criticise my body/image in front of her.
Oct 11, 2010, 7:15pm   #3
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HauteMama
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Sure, the habits we grow up seeing and being fed from influence us, but once we are living independently we make our own choices every day. My mother worked and my father was ill much of the time, so she was under a lot of stress. She never liked to cook to begin with, and then with the stress she didn't want to so we ate a lot of the frozen entrees that one bakes in the oven with instant mashed potatoes.

When I moved out, I went vegetarian for about 15 years and completely changed my eating habits. I taught myself to cook. Now, I cook for my own family and purchase any meat we use from a local organic farm with grass fed cattle and free-range chickens. I garden a lot and my kids plant the seeds, water the plants, pick the vegetables and help prepare them, so they are far more likely to actually eat them! I still sometimes struggle to eat healthfully because I LIKE things like doughnuts, but I try to keep treats like that to once every week or two. My kids are growing up entirely differently from how I did as far as eating habits, though we are certainly far from perfect.
Oct 11, 2010, 8:59pm   #4
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SunglassLove
Troublemaker!
I've been pretty independent about my eating habits since I was in HS... I'm more health conscious than my mother (who doesn't care at all) and my dad is just a lost cause... LOL

I do, however, take after my grandma... she lives in the apartment above me and we spend my days off sipping tea and making homemade dinners together. I'm getting all her recipes handed down to me because most of what my mom cooks comes out of a box...
Oct 11, 2010, 9:31pm   #5
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buzzytoes
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Unfortuantely I did not inherit my Mom's good health habits. I don't seem to have her willpower when it comes to not giving in to my sweet tooth.

I did not inherit my Dad's taste for fad diets. I can remember him doing all kinds of stuff (soup diets, cabbage diet, etc.) and I never really have gotten into any sort of crash/fad diet so for that I am grateful.
Oct 11, 2010, 10:20pm   #6
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I did end up with my Mom's healthy eating habits in the end...at the beginning of college I didn't eat well and gained a bit, but then went back to what my mom taught me. She still tells the story of when I was 4 years old and came back from a neighbor's house telling her I just ate the most wonderful thing called "candy" and we could get it at any grocery store

Off topic - my first post, yippee!
Oct 11, 2010, 11:26pm   #7
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babypie
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Originally Posted by BurberryPlease
I did end up with my Mom's healthy eating habits in the end...at the beginning of college I didn't eat well and gained a bit, but then went back to what my mom taught me. She still tells the story of when I was 4 years old and came back from a neighbor's house telling her I just ate the most wonderful thing called "candy" and we could get it at any grocery store

Off topic - my first post, yippee!
Oct 12, 2010, 6:53am   #8
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lily25
UNMUTUAL
Good habits: to use only fresh foods as ingredients, I almost never use anything out of a box, can, jar, or bag. To eat home cooked food and cook everyday. When I was a student I was too bored to cook and I was sick all the time, in and out the hospital, and when my family's habit of cooking fresh home cooked kicked, I was a lot better.

Bad habits: coffee drinking, staying up until late, addiction to salt.
Oct 12, 2010, 7:16am   #9
a
annanas
.
^same, except i do use canned tomatoes a lot of the time. the tomatoes here off season are pathetic and frozen peas and things like that. i feel really off if i don't get my five a day though, and i always did at home (my brothers would push their veggies to me when our parents weren't looking and i didn't mind i'd give them other stuff i didn't like).

i just got back from a weekend away and was at the stuff that's appeared in the fridge since i left. my flatmate eats some things i'd never even imagine putting in my mouth (admittedly a lot of that's to do with my aversion to pork products of any kind). when i'm here she buys different things although i know she hides crisps in her room!

i do stay up too late like my mother, have a sweet tooth (although it's much better now than it used to be) and have a hard time staying away from caffeine (the diet coke problem is all my own though). and on occasion i drink too much which both of my parents do too (then again so do pretty much all people where i'm from).
Oct 12, 2010, 10:23am   #10
336's Avatar
336
OHAI!
My mum fed me lots of vegetables and always gave out proper portion sizes.

She eats alot of refined carbs (bread rice noodle) which I do as well.
Oct 12, 2010, 10:44am   #11
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Anima Mundi
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Unfortunately I picked up bad habits from my parents. They really don't watch what they eat, and they cling to their ethnic cuisine like barnacle even though it's mainly unhealthy foods/food combinations.

I'm working on eating right and using natural ingredients.
Oct 12, 2010, 11:00am   #12
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bagaholic85
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absolutely not. my parents eat a completely different diet than i do, and have since i was 17 or so
Oct 12, 2010, 3:12pm   #13
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emcosmo1639
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I inherited a bunch of bad habits from my parents---my mom mostly, that I worked really hard to break. In high school we were big into sports so we never really sat down to dinners. It was always snacks and microwave dinners. And my mom always offered rewards in the forms of desserts. Also, every holiday always had some sort of candy or snack (easter baskets, valentines chocolates, cakes etc). So I grew up with lots of sweets and learned to love candy, cakes etc. Once I got to college our trainers and coach really worked that out of me and I became serious about being a vegetarian so I had to re-teach myself how to eat properly.

It's taken a lot of work and reading to essentially learn how to cook and eat properly. But now I eat veggies, fruits, and a whole mess of things i never would have eaten before. And I conquered my sweet tooth and only have them as an occasional treat. I just wish I could get my mom to break some of those bad habits she still has and help get her to a healthier weight.

I think it goes to show what someone said above---your habits that you grow up with can only affect you for so long. Eventually you have to take the responsibility for your own eating habits and make the changes that are necessary.
Oct 12, 2010, 11:18pm   #14
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coconutsboston
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I believe I have inherited a lot of bad habits that I mostly learned to assuage. My parents eat out every single meal, and when I was in college, I felt the need to do that too, or at least to buy pre-packaged meals and heat them up. I learned to cook, and to make healthier decisions when I DO eat out. I used to be the pickiest eater ever because I was not exposed to anything aside from the same fast food restaurants or take-out restaurants. I also notice that I got the emotion-less eating from my parents...meaning if I'm upset, I don't eat. It can range from a day to several weeks. I can lose weight easier from severe restriction (as does my mom) than I can from exercise or being healthy. It's bad, but it's true. I have to consciously make the decision to be healthy with my eating and exercise choicces and not just restrict my intake.
Oct 12, 2010, 11:49pm   #15
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oxyoxy136
D N A
My family is being into refined cards and proteins and I was literally reared on that food (I had some sort of meat with every meal). Mom says I didn't even have baby food, just bottle fed pureed rice, chicken, and beans! I'm so addicted to carbs that I'd probably fight tooth and nail if anyone tried to take them away from me. In fact, when I come home from school, my first dinner is almost always, you guessed it, rice & chicken (but sans beans).

My mom is a very picky eater, and I am as well (but my brother is even worse than us). I lost a lot of weight when I moved away from home into my dorm my first year because I didn't adjust well to the cafeteria food at all. My food motto is "I'll try anything, but I probably won't like it." (this has held very true) and hers is "...I'm not eating that."

I have been trying to be more conscious of what I'm putting into my body. We've always had fruits and veggies in the house and while I'm not vegatables' biggest fan, I usually have fruit in my room to snack on. She introduced me to granola, and she tried to introduce me to yogurt -- didn't work (gross.), and I'm really big on eating non-corn syrup filled granola bars. My family isn't big on processed foods, mom cooks almost every day, and I've carried that attitude with me to college. We also get sick of certain foods very quickly, which may be why I managed to curb the "Freshman Fifteen" (and for that, I am grateful).

Finally, we are homebodies and don't like eating out often. Going out to eat is nice every once in a while, but the portions tend to be too big and I'm not big on leftovers. I'd rather cook. Also, she has never been big on sweets like cookies and candy other than once in a very long while. We're not dessert people. I've unconsciously adopted the same attitude even though I had a bag of skittles today. I hadn't had candy in a really long time, though.
Last edited Oct 12, 2010 at 11:52pm.
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