Family health

My parents taught me healthy living

Maria writes about her weight struggles — and considers using examples from her own healthy childhood as a template for her family.

By Maria Stanley
My parents taught me healthy living

Maria and her son, staying active outdoors.

As I mentioned in my last post, I need to lose some weight. I just can’t seem to get away with calling it baby weight anymore, especially when the "baby" is now six.

Bummer, I know.

My weight only started being an issue after I got married (again, blaming the husband here would be so much easier). I’m actually one of those people that was thin my entire life, but never really appreciated it until I wasn’t. My 18” thighs were enormous in my own mind, while those 37” hips were outright huge. If I could only go back and kick myself into really seeing myself, I absolutely would. When I think about what was different back then, it’s pretty obvious now. I was constantly moving and I ate very well — clearly not rocket science.

Although times were different back in the day, my parents did everything right. Every meal was home cooked from fresh ingredients — never anything processed. I believe I was a teenager when the five of us kids finally talked our parents into our one-and-only fast food meal at a Burger King. I can still remember my dad driving away in disgust, in our baby blue Thunderbird with the white pleather seats. (Don’t you miss how your legs would stick to the pleather in the summer? I so do.) We would also spend the entire day playing outside in our yard and we walked a ton. I guess playing Pong on the Atari really didn’t compare in the fun we had climbing our big apple tree.

Fast forward to my 20s and I was a student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., where I would walk the 20 minutes back and forth from home several times a day. I also worked long shifts on my feet at the family restaurant several times a week, as well as my fun jobs, like at the Gap. I was constantly on my feet, seven or eight hours at a time. I guess hours of cardio and the promise of cute cardigans at the Gap kept me in shape without really thinking about it. Add available healthy cooking from both parents at all times, and it’s no secret why I was much healthier then.

I’m thinking a retro mentality is the way to go.

This article was originally published on Mar 21, 2013

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