Friday, September 28, 2007

Eat Up, Lil' Girl . . .

Joy took Ava to a new pediatrician (Dr. Barker) yesterday. While Ava is not wasting away or skin and bones - she's by no means heavy and she is small for her age. We had been concerned that, especially having taken Ava off formula and with her teeth coming in, etc. that she was not eating enough or taking in enough calories, etc. and that she might actually be losing weight.

While Joy was at the peditrician's office, an interesting thing happened . . . we got SCHOOLED in the ways of eating. It seems that our previous pediatrician had given us some very "personalized" advice (and by personalized I mean that it was their professional opinion for us but was in complete contradiction to the opinion our new pediatrician gave us) that, as was explained to us, was just short sited and stupid.

You see, dear reader, our previous doctor had suggested that we feed Ava all the fatty foods we could get down her to help boost her weight gain. You know - chocolate and peanut butter and mayo and butter and gravy and mashed potatoes and milkshakes and french fries. Sounds delicious, right?

RIGHT. But it might also have been a very stupid decision on our part that we appreciate Dr. Barker talking us out of. As Dr. Barker explained, we are, right now, setting Ava's eating habits for life. Will she eat three times a day? Is breakfast important? What is a good snacking option while watching The Backyardigans? Why do we only have certain foods every "once and a while"? Etc.

I thought back to my own childhood - to test Dr. Barker's theory - and I honestly can't remember when I started eating poorly or when I started making terrible food decisions . . . I guess I just always have. Overeating and eating the wrong foods, etc. have sort of always been a part of who I am.

Is it the fault of my beloved parents? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I have two brothers that grew up in the same house and had the same food and the same options and the same parents available to them. Neither has a weight problem that I can see and certainly they have never struggled with their weight the way I have. In my parent's homes my mother had a brother and a sister - both older than her - that seemed to do okay with food. My father's four siblings have all struggled with their weight - to varying degrees though. Hmmmmmm.

What Dr. Barker said (and Russell Crowe said something similar in the movie Gladiator) about what you do today can impact the rest of your life does make a lot of sense though.

I'm very appreciative that I nipped my eating with this surgery. I am grateful that my wife has always been much more sensible with food than I ever was and that we have a chance to raise Ava to better understand and better appreciate food. To understand that a few pounds today could mean lots of problems tomorrow but that a few extra pounds is okay too - in moderation, etc. I don't want her to every worry about or struggle with her weight (too high or too low) but I DO want her to understand and appreciate food and eating.
Today and for the rest of her life.

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