Ruth’s Story: If You Give Up, You Lost

Something in the way my eight-year-old talked to me about food told me it wasn’t about food, it was about power. After 20 years in commercial real estate, I can recognize a power play when I see it. Only now it was about me standing between my son and his preferred nothing-but-carbs breakfast, different but similar to brokering deals with parties who want to close deals on their terms.

Four years ago, I closed the deal of a lifetime. After years of juggling a high stress job and a growing family, this event gave me the opportunity to take a new path. The juggling act had worked for years, but now I wanted something else. I decided in my mid-forties to fully embrace parenting, to take care of myself and to take charge of the family meals and health.

The children did not flock to me with cries of, “O goody, mommy is going to make healthy food for us.” And my husband – who bonds with the eight-year-old over a shared love of rapidly metabolized carbohydrates – wasn’t helpful. “How nice,” said he. “The children are going to eat healthy food. Where did you put the bagels?”

Changing the family eating habits required strategies very different from those needed for closing commercial real estate deals. I had two things going for me: My children grew up in a school where eating in the instructional gardens was part of the curriculum, and my career groomed me for staying power. “If you give up, you lost.” That’s my motto.

When I found out Suppers was starting a Moms group, I signed right up. I met a lovely group of women who needed strategies and support to stay on the path to better eating and better health. Here’s what I get from the program:

Support on a regular basis for cooking real food.
Learn by doing. (I read about cooking all the time. Doing is better.)
I have learned how to use new, once “exotic” spices (delicious).
I have a varied, healthy, delicious repertoire of meals the whole family eats.
I was ready when we got bad news.

The bad news was that my nothing-but-carbs-for-breakfast husband scored some very bad numbers on his lab work. His doctors scared the daylights out of him. The good news is that by the time he cracked open to eating real, healthy food, I was already in the habit of making it on a daily basis.

We still have our power plays. Only now it’s the kids telling me, “Mom, stop buying orange juice, didn’t you read the label? It has 29.5 grams of carbohydrate in an 8-ounce serving.” I just smile.