Case #4: I'm keeping my family safe.
When Sue came to me for weight-loss coaching, she was concerned that she and her husband had steadily been gaining weight during their 15-year marriage. Particularly alarming was seeing two of her four also show signs of rapid weight gain. Her own and their pediatrician expressed concerns. She bought the groceries and cooked the meals, so Sue recognized the need to change her habits at home.
We worked together on planning healthier meals and snacks for her family. Although she made a few minor changes, there seemed to be a celebratory meal, holiday or guests visiting every week. At those times, Sue couldn't get herself to cut back on the lavish meals and treats her family was accustomed to. Although losing weight felt like an important goal, she couldn't stand the thought of her family or guests feeling deprived.
I asked Sue to chat with me about the role food played in her family when she was growing up. Sue was the only daughter of two who grew up during the great depression. As a child, she was told stories about the years her parents had little to eat, and how her grandparents used food stamps and rations to put meals on the table. Far surpassing their parents' lifestyle, her dad was a highly successful businessman and her mom a stay-at-home wife. Food and money were never issues. Holidays in her home were a gathering of grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins with tons of delicious food and treats, a tradition that Sue continued in her own home. Sue could remember her grandparents saying how lucky she was to live during a time when she could feel and secure that there would always be enough to eat. "Wow," she exclaimed, "I guess I am just trying to keep my family safe with food!"