Thursday, April 17, 2014

Leading a Processed Food Life

I'm a bad mother.

Before people who know me start defending me, hear me out.

In addition to letting my offspring view violent superhero movies and use technology that I read causes autism (that's a response post for another day), I do not provide a healthy diet. I know full well that everything from aspartame and salt to flour and fructose is hurting me and my family, and yet I continue to feed it to my family.*

The studies on the terrible effects of processed food are many, and the severe intestinal pain I suffer periodically is proof enough. I'm probably even giving myself cancer (down the road). You know what's even worse than severe physical pain? The anxiety I have about being a bad mother.**

Our current parenting culture is one of intense disapproval, from within as well as without, and it is crushing. God how I wish it were easier to read scientific studies than it is to read headline-grabbing articles about what the latest celebrity says is the best way to parent.

So, if I believe they're (somewhat) correct, why am I not heeding the advice of every know-it-all mom posting in my Facebook newsfeed? Why am I not eating fermented vegetables and gluten-free quinoa in six small meals per day? Because...
  • It's disgusting
  • I'd have to completely change the way I shop
  • I'd have to completely change the way I cook
  • I'd have to fight with my family
  • It would cost more (Don't even try to argue this one. It would.)
  • It would be a huge time investment
  • I don't have any f*#@ing time
But Lindsay, if you have time to write this post and to read about Alicia Silverstone and Jenny McCarthy and dozens of other pseudo-pediatrician celebrities, that's time you could spend cooking delicious vegan tofu for dinner. Right.

This post has been several years in the making, so don't ever talk to me about time management. I work two f%*#ing jobs in addition to caring for my children and not sleeping. Not sleeping. Not sleeping.

So what is the trade off for eating nothing but delicious empty calories that come out of lovely crinkly packages (besides my medically unexplained intestinal pain)? In reverse order of importance...
  • Weight gain (Minimal now. Will probably be much worse when breastfeeding is done.)
  • Lack of energy
  • Fear that I will die young
  • Fear that I'm hurting my children
  • Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety
The fact that nothing is worth more to me than my kids contributes to the anxiety. Am I just a lazy American? Do I need to shake up my entire world, my entire life, my entire family with a big lifestyle change? I can entertain the thought, but I just don't see it happening.

It's too hard. I never thought I was someone to shy away from something that's good for my family based on the fact that it's too hard. But it's too hard.

*In addition to what is traditionally thought of as processed food (Cheetos, McDonald's, M&M's, hotdogs), we also eat meat and the occasional fruit, vegetable, and grain from an average, non-organic, pesticide-filled grocery store.

**There are also several studies that prove that anxiety and stress cause physical pain. Vicious, vicious cycle.

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