On Saturday night, I indulged in a cheeseburger smothered with catsup, mustard and mayo along with a generous portion of hand cut fries from Cape Cod Burgers and Fries. This I know, is not a huge confession as eating a cheeseburger and fries should be allowed at least once in a while in any human's diet. Unfortunately, I really did not enjoy my splurge. With each bite I felt my jeans getting tighter, my stomach getting more flarpy, my thighs expanding. Then, just as I was crumpling up the paper evidence and wiping the ketchup off the table, I heard a little voice whisper, "Potatoes have potassium; French fries are good for you."
No, I'm not going crazy.
Throughout my entire life, I have continually heard such phrases as, "Have some more pie, it's almost all made of fruit." and "Chocolate is full of antioxidants, especially the dark Dove." Or what about, "You should really have an ice cream, the calcium is good for your bones."?
I bet you can guess who's mouth has uttered these words. Yep, the one and only: Val.
And I'm not the only one who is the recipient of her dietary information. Our friend Wayne, hair stylist extraordinaire and fabulous guy about town loves it when she sits in his chair. She always makes him feel better about his habits especially his annual fried clam dinner, a summer tradition. Val told him that clams are full of iodine, which is important so that he won't grow a goiter.
So what am I to do as a mother who is trying to get her children to eat well, when the kids' grandmother is constantly spewing information that allows them to eat less than ideal choices? It is not enough to try and ignore it. Val has a relaxed yet firm style of spreading the propaganda. And the problem is that there is some amount of truth to all of it; if you decide not to pay attention to the rest of the information such as calorie count, fat content, etc. That is up to you to research and analyze. Val only delivers the good news when it comes to dietary downfalls. I guess I can only blame myself when I succumb to her suggestion that we bring the kids to Smitty's Ice Cream for dinner after a long hot day on the beach. How can I resist when it's her treat?
Guilt is a horrible feeling and we all should be allowed something out of the "budget" at least once in a while. I believe this to be true and often employed this very philosophy back when I sold cosmetics in a commission based sales job. I would honestly tell those customers who were on the fence and looking at me to stop them from adding on that extra lipstick so that they could get a free gift, "I can help you justify any purchase. You know you are worth it and won't you use this cute bag for your travel items?"
So, really how can I fault my mother for trying to make others feel o.k. after they have fallen off their strict diets? Most of us are far too weak not to crumble: I'm talking about way too many scones and clotted cream during my first pregnancy. "You need to keep your strength up. Just have a light dinner."
I feel better already. Thanks, Val.
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