Of Food and Fat and Parenting and the Frustration I Feel

From the brain things inside my head …

I’m angered. And passionate. And the two together make me feel increasingly frustrated.

I don’t even really know where to start with this, nor even where I wanted to write it; here, on my blog, which is first and foremost my journal of thoughts and stuff and things. I contemplated putting something on my business blog, the Real Mums Blog, but it’s a little too rambly for that. I thought of a note on Facebook, but I’ve not done one of them before, I don’t really know the point, not when I have a blog – maybe I’ll do it here and there.

For a very, very long time, more than half my lifetime, I’ve been fascinated by exercise and nutrition as it applies to health and wellbeing. For a long time I have wanted to do something to help the community. I’ve done the courses and degrees and dipped my toe in a little, but not really gone ‘all out’ in relation to it; not done what I have wanted to do and what I am driven to do on a daily basis.

I specialised for along time, in a former life, in a former job in obesity and weight management – I already anticipate the judgements and perceptions this brings up for people when I say this. If I add the word ‘holistic’ in there, it conjures up slightly different perceptions. I hate that word for what some have done to it. I have been involved in numerous discussions where what is assumed about what I am saying only makes matters worse for the person on the other end, the one who wants and needs help with their weight.

I am, to a degree, restricted by social perceptions and shallow understandings and I frustrates me no end. I am not heard, I am lumped into the same category as most other loud mouth, weight loss moguls. The quiet ones understand, but they quietly go about their business and they fabulous things they have to say go unheard by the majority. The dangerous stuff, the stuff that doesn’t work and is ONLY focussed on what your body looks like, the quick fix and the bullshit is heard.

Weight and health isn’t about what you look like. It is so very much beyond that.

A few weeks back I got really upset and frustrated about a few things I heard. This week, Masterchef are suggesting that “every parent” needs to watch their show this week in order to find out how to get kids to eat their vegies.


Seriously, just fuck right off!

It’s this kind of thing that makes me really, really angry.

You do not need to watch Masterchef to get your kids eating well.

You do not need to be a Masterchef to get your family eating well.

Right now, I’m just as angry with myself as I am with bullshit marketers and advertisers for this kind of stuff being out there.

For a LOOOOONG time, well before I had kids, I wanted to say something. But I didn’t. For the last few years, since Real Mums started, I have wanted to say something. I didn’t. For the last three years, I have been working on a plan to help those who want to improve the health and wellbeing of their families.

But I didn’t.

And I feel sick and so angry with myself for not doing so.

Now, that message that strongly implies you need to be a Masterchef to feed your kids well, to get your kids eating well is out there, and I have done nothing to combat it.

The Menu Plan is no longer about being organised, it is about setting aside time to create pieces of edible art to include in your kid’s lunch box. I choked on my morning Vegemite toast when I first stumbled upon a Ten Day Menu Plan for the school lunch boxes.

I almost thought it a joke, until I realised that there are a LOT of websites offering this. As though it is not only ‘normal’ but if you don’t do this you are some kind of bad parent.

What set me off a week or so ago was that this kind of Menu Plan idea (not the ‘be organised’ one, but the ‘what can I create this week’ ) has extended to breakfast as well. No longer is it acceptable for the kids to open the pantry and poor themselves a bowl from the selection of cereals you have on offer. Oh, no. You must have every single frigging meal organised in advance and it MUST look as though it were created by Michael-frigging-angelo!

This is insane!

Increasingly, I am seeing mums write stuff about being ‘stressed about what to put in the school lunch box’.

It is not that frigging hard!

Apologies for being frustrated; it is most definitely not at you. It is at the websites and social groups that are fuelling this belief.

The flipside is the marketing and advertising of what amounts to some kind of highly manufactured thing being passed off as food. Apparently (and this sent me into a tailspin) 8 out of 10 mums recommend Coco Pops breakfast drink thing (I don’t eve know what it is) for breakfast for their kids.

What. The. Actual. Fuck?

And please, I am not judging anyone who gives this to their kids. Not by any means. I am, however, furious that this kind of advertising is allowable and I can completely understand how and why people give stuff like this to their kids.

So, if I’m so passionate, why am I so scared to do something?

Because of things like the sentence before the last … because I don’t want people feeling bad about something they’ve done. I don’t want them to feel judged or picked on or looked down upon. I don’t want them to feel bad, or as though they’ve done something wrong.

If I say something, they will be upset … and I hate upsetting people.

I don’t because there are people I’m speaking directly to and people I’m not speaking to at all, but acknowledge and have empathy for their circumstances. Take the ‘fussy eater’ for example; another ‘thing’ the parenting sites have grasped hold of and turned into something it’s not, causing untold guilt, stress and psychological damage to parents the world over.

There are genuinely kids that are fussy, that have a medical condition or sensory issues that need addressing. For the most part, though, I’m not speaking to these people. I’m speaking to those whose kids are ‘normal’, ‘average’,

One Reply to “Of Food and Fat and Parenting and the Frustration I Feel”

  1. Oooh I like this one even better than the “official” one!
    Don’t you dare stop. Your “voice” needs to be heard loud and clear.

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