I saw something the other day on TV with obese children and it made me think. Does it benefit our children to let them know if they are predisposed to things, such as heart disease or addiction? Will this allow our children to use it as an excuse? ”I was going to get it anyway so who cares?” Will it scare them? Or will it give them the proper warning and how early is too early to tell them about their genes?!
We know that certain diseases and personality traits run in families but we do not yet know how much is nature vs. nurture or why. There are some studies that link this to genetics. And, if you look at my family as an example, you would believe this.
I was taught at a young age to be careful of alcohol because of the alcoholism in my family. I don’t know if this was emphasized enough though! I plan to emphasize this more with my kids, but will this allow them an excuse to become an alcoholic? or cause them to feel out of control? or will I overemphasize something they don’t need to focus on? or scare them a little in order to keep them away from certain addictive substances and make them aware? I just don’t know.
I am scared of alcohol. I don’t drink it. Very rarely will you see me drink. There are too many alcoholics in my family. I am scared of prescription drugs too. I know my family history and it scares me. I am also very aware of my moods and depression. Again, I am super-aware. I am super-aware that there is hoarding in my family and I try really hard to be sure I show no signs of this! I am aware of obesity and heart disease that will be a part of my children’s genes. So, will warning them scare them? or allow an excuse? or is it the information they need? Will they “get” it?
I learned a lot during my contest prep over the last year. You can read about it here in my Figure Lessons post. One of the things I learned is that I don’t just love food. Yes, I do love food. I love beautiful presentations and combinations of it. But, I am also a food addict…a sugar addict really. I think many of us are…more than may know or admit it. I didn’t know this until the last year. It’s easy to eat enough sugar to get a seratonin release and feel better….for a minute. It makes me feel better knowing that we are predisposed to like sugar and that it is a drug, so I’m not the only one. But, I need to treat sugar like a drug and stay away from it like I do prescription drugs and alcohol. Work in progress….
Once I started paying attention to my sugar-eating and unconscious eating habits, I figured out I’m an anxious eater. If I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start on my list of things to do, I’ll find myself in the kitchen eating to fill the time and make myself feel better. I think it’s good to be aware. I feel better knowing about my weakness and working towards control over it. I’ve learned mostly that some people can control themselves around sugar cookies and I am not one of them SO I do not have them in the house. I don’t think I’ve had a sugar cookie in 1.5 years! I can’t have just one so I don’t have one.
I don’t know if we all have addictions or not. It seems like there are some people who don’t appear to have a problem being addicted to anything, but are they just better at hiding it than others? I don’t know. I do know that everyone has things they struggle with and I think many people struggle with different addictions and obsessions. I also know that I was aware of staying away from alcohol yet the “addiction” in my family is still a part of me…I just choose food and have to work on that every day of my life. Can I help my kids from struggling from this also? What do you think?