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More Stories - The Way We Were
Is There a Terrorist in your Kitchen?
Not all saboteurs wear trench coats, carry dangerous weapons and slink around in the night. Most of them look just like you and me. In fact, you can find one in many households.
A friend, who had been obese all his life, was trying to keep his weight down after a heart attack. He maintained his poundage from greatly obese to just seriously overweight, which was the best he felt he could do. After keeping weight gain in check for some years he met a woman, also overweight and dieting, and they decided to live together. It lasted a few months until he realized his weight was on the way up again. She fixed delicious meals, slipping in fatty additions. She stocked the cupboards with chips and cookies, the refrigerator with cheeses and desserts. He reasoned with her. She replied, "So? You don't have to eat them!" He moved out.
A man is severely diabetic. Both he and his wife know what kind of diet he must follow to prevent blindness, heart disease and loss of limbs. But the cupboards are loaded with sweets, desserts and dishes high in fat and refined carbohydrates. After all, he has to keep his strength up, right?
A woman interviewed on Oprah's TV show got her weight in check, as she didn't like the way she looked. Her plump kids reached their teens and got in shape also. But Mom still cooked all weekend, encouraging everyone to eat, serving huge portions, complaining when they didn't clean their plates, and constantly throwing out huge quantities of foods that weren't eaten.
An entire family was on the plump side, except the 13 year old daughter who was truly fat. She was depressed and had a poor self image. Afraid to change clothes with the other girls during phys ed. Cried because her peers made fun of her. Just sat around and felt miserable. Her mother constantly was on her case about her weight and the amount she ate. But: the pantry was full of chips and other snacks, deep fried foods, ice cream and rich desserts. No one in the household exercised at all.
You get the idea. Right?
Of course there's another argument here. Should the whole family deny themselves just because one person cannot eat certain things? Probably not, but if you can't find creative ways to work around the problem, you may actually be a kitchen terrorist in disguise. If someone else does the grocery shopping, they may be the saboteur.
In fact, one can easily sabotage one's own better intentions: a half gallon of ice cream because "I might really want just one small dish", a big package of cookies "for the kids", a large bag of chips because "you're going on a picnic", a rich dessert because "company's coming". The grocery store is the supply depot for many a kitchen terrorist. At home, you nobly clean your plate because "it's not right to waste food". And everyone knows that goodies eaten while standing up in front of the refrigerator "don't count", right?
See some more hints at Ten Commandments for Not Sabotaging Diet Resolutions.
One of the very worst problems can occur when a family member has diabetes. It's all too easy to sabotage the diabetic's need to closely control his or her diet. Severe diabetics walk a tightrope. Eat too few calories and they may go into a life-threatening shock. Eat too many or the wrong kind, and they risk reduced resistance to infection plus a slow deterioration of the circulatory system, with eventual possible heart attacks, loss of limbs, blindness, or even a dangerous coma. But cooking at the same time those appealing meals for a diabetic and for a family with normal needs can be a real nightmare. "The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes" by the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association, and Ann Goulston, offers a solution. It contains more than 400 delicious recipes, technical data and helpful hints about keeping the diabetic's diet on track with foods the whole family can eat.
Meanwhile, make love, not war. In other words, don't be a saboteur yourself, and try to work things out with anyone else in the household who may be a clandestine kitchen terrorist.