Everything in moderation



I have never been very good at being told what to do. In fact, the chances are, when/if told to do something, I will choose to do the direct opposite. Call me obstinate, you wouldn’t be the first. I grew up hearing that I was destined to learn everything the hard way, and in some things so I did. But I like to think it has given me a certain confidence, finally, to make the right decisions (mostly), pursue those things I think will challenge and engage me and ultimately bring me fulfilment (full-time motherhood, writing, yoga, wine with friends).

This also extends to my eating habits, as reflected by dress size very stubbornly refusing to shrink. I signed up for Michelle Bridges 12 week something or other (can’t even remember now), in February and by the end of the month was joyfully singing ‘Done done done done done done we are done,’ as I deleted email after sarcastic email which said things along the lines of ‘uh-oh, looks like you’ve forgotten something…’ I am astonished at the popularity of such a programme when it employs a patronising tone such as this.

Another incredible dietary development I read about today is the new health star rating scheme being brought in by the Australian federal health department, currently voluntary but possibly mandatory within four years on all packaged foods. Please, are we all to be treated as such imbeciles and made to feel guilty to boot?

Of course there is a need to address and hopefully lower obesity levels. I understand the requirement to educate consumers, but surely there has to be a better way than this, by slapping a huge healthy/unhealthy label on things. There is a huge push in most schools to educate children in healthy choices which is fantastic and I’m sure a grass roots approach is the right one.

What I think is worrying, and becoming ever more endemic is food shaming. I will put my hand up here and say I buy my children Coco Pops, and even Fruit Loops (though the smell of them is enough to make me hurl so it’s a good thing it’s only ever at the weekend and in the holidays when they get their own breakfast as I laze about being a bad mother). I can see a day coming (after June) when a covert bad-cereal-buying operation will have to be launched in order to avoid the looks and tuts of other shoppers, ‘Really, wow, I didn’t, you know, actually think anyone really, you know, bought them these days, especially after seeing that film….’ The closest I’ve actually got to the whole quit sugar movement is the Katering Show’s take off of it and it’s got everything I need!

The thing is, I think I must be old fashioned. I still believe that, fundamentally, if you use more calories than you consume then all will be well (I know that is basic but surely it ultimately is?). I talk about balance with the boys, healthiness and providing your body with the things that will make it work to the best of its ability. I do also say that a few bowls of the ‘wrong’ cereal is fine if it is run/jumped/wrestled off!

Everything in moderation, where has this got lost?

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