How did you grow up?



  • TyFit08
    TyFit08 Posts: 799 Member
    I so understand the challenges the OP is talking about. I really have had to reverse my eating habits and it is still a challenge with family gatherings.

    I grew up in NYC in the 80s and 90s to a mother from South Carolina. So definitely soul food cooking. I was never a big meat eater, I actually gave up beef and pork when I was 13. But I couldn't imagine living without baked macaroni and cheese and candied yams. As for vegetables, when Southern folk get done with them are they even still vegetables. Collard Greens or String beans with a big neck bone; carrots or corn with tons of sugar. I am 32 and i didn't start eating green salad until 2 years ago because I was convinced we weren't suppose to eat raw vegetables.

    Also thanks to NY, I am a huge fan of pasta and pizza. I could eat a slice every day of the week and my summers as a kid usually meant a slice and an Italian ice on a daily basis. I also remember dessert being a big part of my family. My mother, who is diabetic, 2 strokes and quadruple bypass still thinks she is suppose to have something sweet after dinner. There was always Haagan Daaz in the freezer, always cookies, always cake. I no longer eat dessert on a regular basis, but whenever I stay with my mom, no matter how committed I am to eating right, if I go to the store she says make sure you bring back something sweet. I will be staying with her in July and I hope not to backslide. I have made a lot of changes, I gave up potato bread, daily desserts, I don't add sugar to my veggies, I eat salad and I try not to over do it on the starchy foods like pasta and mac and cheese. But it is still hard and makes being around my family even harder.
  • GoJo65
    GoJo65 Posts: 52 Member
    Growing up in mid 60s/70s first generation from an Italian family so pasta at every dinner..even at BBQs! BUT-we are Southern Italian so lighter red sauces, no heavy cream sauces & believe it or not my dad hates mozzarella/ricotta or anything really cheesy stuff(most condiments too) so that really helped keep the calories down. Salad at the end of every dinner with just oil & vinegar,splash of lemon.

    I never knew that pasta salad could be made with mayo until I was 19!

    More fried stuff than I ever make now but somehow even that seemed lighter? No soda unless we had company..we did eat the sugary cereals once my mom went back to work, but no desserts except at holidays or when we had company('you HAVE to bring cake to someone's house-what are you an animal?')

    My brothers & I were all into sports so always very active...we all struggle as adults now so I don't know what happened..busy lives..way more choices..too much processed stuff..and yes-I agree Stagezz ..I am miserable too trying to keep up with all this measuring & counting & weighing...and I just started!

    It's been fun reading about everyone's else's childhood tho..keep 'em coming! And good luck to all of us!
  • leanmeanmom
    leanmeanmom Posts: 9 Member
    I grew up in the 60's & 70's from Florida. We southerners do like our biscuits, cornbread and grits. Lots of fried fish and hush-puppies. But since we didn't have a lot of money, my dad killed a lot of deer, wild hog and rabbits. The wild game made for a mostly lean diet. HOWEVER, my mom cooked everything in lots of butter and bacon grease. We didn't have much but she sure made it taste good. Didn't start having salads and fresh veggies until I was about 10. Ate lots of cobblers and banana pudding. By 6th grade I had a weight problem. Parents got divorced, I had no self-esteem during that time. A lot of that was due to mom working 2 jobs and our family eating late at night! What a mess we put ourselves through but it was what I learned growing up.
    Then by 15 I had went the other way. Way too thin until I was about 24. But finally, I learned the right ways to eat and to use food as a necessity for life, although it can be enjoyed, too. Just don't overindulge. We eat lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and we splurge with hot wings almost every Friday night! All of my daughters carry a water bottle with them everywhere and drink plenty throughout the day. We make most of our own bread with all good stuff and try to stay away from the whites.....white sugar, flour, potatoes, rice. Pretty much eat what I want but have to balance with exercise and water! Definitely don't have a perfect diet or all good habits, but we do try pretty consistently.
  • msbanana
    msbanana Posts: 793 Member
    I feel your pain, I grew up eating 50's style comfort food (raised by my grandmother). the only saving grace is that my grandmother also struggled with her weight and learned healthier option, taught me portion control and never forced me to clean my plate. That said when I was on my own and no longer in competive sports (I wrestled in High School and did some coaching in college) all of that went out the window for a while and I got out of control.

    I have gained that control back- I started easy at first. Just eating whole foods (meat, veg, fruit, nuts etc..) and avoiding grain (I have some allergies and intolerances that required I cut out most of it). I figured out simple delicious meals that were fast and easy to prepare. Started just doubling my dinner prep so that I had lunch the next day (I also invested in a lot of to-go containers).

    I also have a hectic work schedule, I have made the gym my second job and I MAKE time to do everything else.

    It's all about investing a little of your "personal time" and meal prepping like a mo'fo. I spend about 2-3 hours on Sunday getting everything together for the week (making mini-frittatas for to-go b-fast, cutting veggies and fruit cooking a crap load of chicken breasts prepping the ingredients for possible corckpot meals if I know I'm going to be working late) portioning it out into containers so all I have to do is grab and go in the morning.

    If it's all preportioned and premeasured there's no need to stress about all the counting- it's pre counted you just need to add it to your diary.

    It's a commitment you have to make to yourself. If you're not willing to make the commitment you're going to struggle.
    I know, I got injurred recently and gave zero f*cks about anything. I gained 20lbs back in 3 months. I've been back at it religiously for a little over a week and I feel 1000 times better and I'm weighing in tonight but I'd guess I've lost 5 of it already.

    This is a lifetime of work. You don't get to quit and it's not easy but OMG is it worth it....

  • OMG I know what you mean! I'm Jamaican and back in Jamaica my family on my mom's side grew up very poor, so whatever food was placed infront of you is the food you would eat. And its not like the food was ever bad, I love my Jamaican food, but there is a TON of oil used in most if not all of the dishes; ackee and saltfish, fried chicken, ox tail, you name it; oil is used as if its a staple :S by the time i reached grade 6, i was 160 pounds! So my habits have been on a constant change ever since, and I only eat my moms cooking once in a while, and i stick to raw veggies and simple foods that don't require oil and all the strenuous cooking that sucks out all of the nutrients!

    and so far, so good!
  • cubizzle
    cubizzle Posts: 908 Member
    I grew up 25 miles south of Chicago. If you don't know, that means I ate pizza.... a lot. Like seriously, 3-5 times a week.
  • gaiareeves
    gaiareeves Posts: 292 Member
    I was born in the 90's, raised by a single mother who worked full time and was constantly on the edge of a psychotic break down. I was taught very little about nutrition and was essentially left to feed myself and my younger brother. By 11 I was providing the meals for myself and him (7 at the time) at least five times a week. We just ate whatever there was around the house, and long periods of being inside with no parental figure around to stop us meant we often ended up stuffing our faces out of boredom.
  • SarahMorganP
    SarahMorganP Posts: 922 Member
    I grew up very poor and it was normal to go days without eating anything. Then when we got money every once in a while my mom would make huge meals (always a meat and potato meal or something like spaghetti) and we would eat until we felt like puking. Never any fruits or veggies in the house, ever.
    TONYAGOOCH Posts: 470 Member
    I also grew up similar to you. Born early 70's, grew up through the 80's and have a huge family as well. I'm the baby of 10 and each of my parents were 1 of 10 children. I was an Aunt the day I was born. lol That said, we didn't have much money and my dad always had a garden. Man I hated that garden. Loved the food but HATED working in it. We had cows and chickens and pigs in which we too to the slaughter house and we killed and dressed our own chickens. Meals usually consisted of fried chicken or something with ground beef or pork chops, mashed or fried potates and fried veggies, homemade ice cream and cakes. I never remember huge expensive trips to the grocery store. As children we were not obese because we ran all of that off outsided every single day. There were no video games or cell phones or computer. I always thought I wanted to live in the city (now I do) and never have a garden (I find myself wishing for one these days). Life was simpler then. Now a days, I basically live on processed food because it's more conveinent for me with working full time and raising just 4 children. Don't get me wrong, I do buy fresh veggies and fruit but I use canned and frozen as well as boxed and instant items. I miss my mom's fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravey and fresh green beans for Sunday dinner sooooo much.

    Oh yes....everything was fried in bacon grease. We saved the grease every time we made bacon. Plus it was a treat to sit and watch tv and eat bread and butter. yum! lol
  • ♥Amy♥
    ♥Amy♥ Posts: 714 Member
    Both of my parents worked full time while I was growing up and my mom's the youngest girl of 5 (9 kids total), so she was the baby and never learned to cook. So my diet consisted of convenience foods (hamburger helper, fast food, etc.) and the only veggies we ever ate came from a fruits except an occasional banana. The only drinks we ever drank were soda, no water and milk was only used for cereal. Unfortunately, I continued this when I moved out and with my kids :(

    Since changing my eating habits almost 2 years ago, things have drastically changed. My kids are learning to eat a variety of fruits and veggies (as well as myself). We rarely eat out (compared to what we used to) and I try and not feed them as much convenience foods. It's all about baby steps and changing to healthier things!
  • julieh391
    julieh391 Posts: 683 Member
    My mom was a decent cook but hated doing it, so we ate out at least a couple times a week growing up. When Mom cooked it was pretty traditional 80's food like pork chops, chicken, goulash, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, pizza, lots of white bread and margarine, milk with dinner..We never had fresh veggies in the house (always frozen or canned) but always had a lot of fruits (the basics like apples, bananas, oranges.) My parents both have exercised every morning for as long as I can remember and are in way better shape than all of their friends. They kept very little junk food in the house, so I used to sneak to the convenience store near my house and buy candy bars and chips and ice cream, but I was always a skinny kid. I became a vegetarian at 15 and started doing a lot of my own cooking. At 16 I was vegan and pretty much cooked all of my own meals. I worked in an organic foods store for 5 years before becoming a nurse, so I have all the tools to be healthy, and yet I let it get away from me.
  • halzuzu
    halzuzu Posts: 60 Member
    I am also a child of the 70's. My parents were into Yoga, they didnt allow myself or my sister to eat any sugar or junk food, no candy, no soda, no punch/juices, potato chips etc. Not even any gum (which resulted in my getting caught for stealing Hubba Bubba from the local grocery store. hehe). My mom cooked pretty healthy alot of chicken however, she wasnt the greatest cook so we did eat out a few times a week. When my parents split my mother was unable to get out of bed most days cause of depression. There was a lot of ordering pizzas and leaving money on the counter so my sister and I would go to Jack n the box, McDonalds etc pretty much for all meals everyday so my weight ballooned up around this time. I continued eating unhealthy until my mid 20's when I found out I have diverticulitis, high blood pressure, high cholestoral and landed in the emergency room. That completely changed my relationship with food. I havent had McDonalds or eaten red meat in over 12 years. If you had told my younger unhealthy self that my older self would look forward to going to the gym every morning and hitting the farmers market for fresh fruits and vegetables I wouldve said youre crazy, but here I am. Live and learn.
  • Cwilbanks12105
    Cwilbanks12105 Posts: 99 Member
    Ramen noodles, Vienna sausage, and chef boyardee and Mac and cheese is what stocked our pantry. Otherwise known as poor folks food lol
  • lstnlondry
    lstnlondry Posts: 1,794 Member
    I love this post! I am a child of the 70s and 100% mexican! We were raised on homemade tortillas, beans & rice and some kind of meat. We were a family of 6, both parents worked, no one was obese, we ALL moved all day long, no one sat in front of a tv, got a ride to school, and if we wanted a sweet treat from a stor we walked! Sugar cane was The Best! Mcdonalds was a yearly treat that WE SHARED!

    As a mother of 4 I have gone back to homemade beans & rice but I can't whip out tortillas like my mom!
  • fitnspin
    fitnspin Posts: 27 Member
    I grew up with only my mother and a lone child.
    At some point I was kept by a nanny who only made us eat spaghetti everyday which I guess was bad, plus was boring. I remember lots of pression on me, to not get "fat" from my mother or being told that others from my family thought I got "fatter". She would buy lots of candies still tell me if she let me eat what I wanted, I'd get fat.
    Fat fat fat. Lots of unwanted, scary advices on what not to eat (basically anything) but no restraints per say. I remember being sick for drinking too much aerated water one week, which I now despise. I think I ate normally for a kid, but sometimes if I ate one thing one time that she thought was too much she would get angry despite it was habitual.
    Still she'd somehow binge on food, though I'm not sure it is since I don't know whether she feels guilty, she has very bad habits of not eating the day and then eating lots of candies, chocolate; then I didn't have a nanny anymore and she worked the day, so she prepared something for me to microwave. Once I didn't eat enough because I was impatient to begin/finish a class project to be the first to show it, so I almost fainted presumably from that (or because I was scared because I cut my face, IDK, now it still happens that I hurt myself by error and almost faint but I've been told it was because I didn't eat enough) so for a while I was scared of not eating enough and eating too much...
    At 8 I thought I was too short, so I chose to eat lots of meat and yogurt, milk, etc. because I read it helped growing. Still for most my childhood I would also eat apples, etc.
    Then, well, I had EDs, etc. And here I am trying to relearn to eat.
  • AlayshaJ
    AlayshaJ Posts: 703 Member
    I was raised pretty damn healthy. Dried seaweed, oatmeal, fruit, and vegetables were my snacks as a child. My grandma made these light pizza dough stick things, with no cheese or anything, just herbs, as a treat. They were THA BOMB. I got white cheddar macaroni and cheese from time to time... The only late night snack we were allowed to have was chopped ham. Everything was home made. Store bought microwave ready food was scarce. We ate a lot of beans... all kinds of beans.
  • sarah3333
    sarah3333 Posts: 222 Member
    My parents grew up Amish, so you can imagine the food we ate. Delicious and huge portions!
  • Stagezz
    Stagezz Posts: 124 Member
    Love how this thread turned out!
  • princessdracos
    princessdracos Posts: 126 Member
    I was born in the late 70s, grew up in the country, and until I was 8 years old, it was Mom, Dad, my sister, and me. Dad did a lot of hunting, and we had a huge garden. Both of my parents were awesome cooks, but I only remember "snapshots" of eating as a child. For instance, I can't remember what we typically ate, but I remember liking cow tongue, squirrel pot pie, scrapple, country ham pot pie, and other country foods. I remember picking strawberries at my grandparents' farm and taking a salt shaker to our garden and eating leaf lettuce straight from the ground sprinkled with salt. I remember picking blackberries and "eating" honeysuckle. When my parents divorced, we moved in with my grandparents. That meant bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast and meat and potatoes for almost every dinner. Cookies, popcorn, and ice cream bars were an everyday thing. Salad was a special treat with Sunday dinner, and then only if we were having steak or spaghetti. I was extremely active, but I still gained a lot of weight...I rode my bike for hours, played basketball, and walked the neighborhood with a neighbor who walked every day regardless of the weather. I still blame puberty for spurring my weight
    I still struggle with the thought of eating salad more than once every day or two because of my upbringing. I also love to bake, so I make sure to share with my coworkers so I don't eat a whole batch of cookies! I really wish I could go back to my middle school years and log everything I ate and wear a heart rate monitor to see if I was as active as I remember. How interesting would that be?
  • _Thanatos_
    _Thanatos_ Posts: 166
    I'm a mid-80s kid. When I was really young I used to be a picky eater and didn't want anything. My mom had to make me eat. But then as I got older my appetite grew as well. I'd eat all sorts of junk. Lots of sweets, fast food, anything. I actually thought it was funny the amount of food I could eat all at once. Hmm.. :( But thank goodness I've fixed all that. I am in control of my diet now. I do not let my taste for junk foods drive me.