I have been dreading this blog entry for awhile….My wife and I decided a week ago that our family needs a drastic change when it comes to food. Why? Three reasons. First, as our family has grown it has been harder and harder to eat healthy. There are so many times we approach dinner and are so tired. Sometimes there is a pile of dishes we don’t want to wash just so we can cook and do them again. Sometimes things come up that make our day filled with drama and baggage. It is really hard cooking every meal everyday for a family of seven.
Dinner is especially a challenge. Kids are messy. The sheer number of people makes trash and dishes pile up like crazy. Cooking…that’s a lot of work too. Making sure we have enough. Making sure it is something that everyone will enjoy. Unfortunately, for us we have resorted to instant food, fast food, and restaurants. As parents we have gained weight which in turn robs us of energy. Because we have no energy, we resort to unhealthy foods. Vicious cycle.
The second reason we need to change is that my health has become an issue. We took it as a sign that I need to get healthier when every medical professional says that 90% of my health issues would disappear if I lost weight. Every time I saw a doctor the conversation went like this…
Me: So I have shortness of breath sometimes…Is that due to weight?
Me: So I have been snoring really loud and wake up exhausted everyday. What is that? What can I do?
Doctor: You probably have sleep apnea. Losing weight will get rid of that if you didn’t have it before.
Me: I wake up and my hands are numb and asleep. Weight?
Me: Hair loss?
Doctor: No. That’s just life.
Wife: So how was your check up?
Me: Dr. says I am too fat. Hahaha. (I am crying and laughing at the same time)
The third reason is that we want to spend more quality time as a family. Our kids love food. We want them to experience the joy of cooking and hosting. Though food can be a destructive thing, it can also bring people together and foster community. We want to teach them responsibility. We want to teach them math as we buy things and cook (conversions, measurements, how much change should we expect). We want to expose them to different cultures. My wife and I feel all of these things and more can be cultivated by simply cooking together each day.
Anyways, the reason I dread this blog entry is that we are committing to something and making it public which means we are accountable to that decision. Of course we can cheat and break our commitment, but something about our community knowing about our struggles and desire for change keeps me on my toes.
So what is our commitment. We have decided to cook at home for every meal for 40 days. No restaurants. No fast food. Gotta be prepared in our kitchen. 40 days. Why 40 days? I have lost 50 lbs once in my life. I have lost 20 lbs twice. I have lost 15 lbs three times. I am the Korean Oprah Winfrey. During my weight loss attempts, the one thing I learned is that the more I made it a lifestyle choice the longer the weight stayed off. It always took me about 40 days to break the bad habits and to incorporate change into my life.
This is gonna be a challenge for us. Father’s day is coming up. We are taking a trip as a family this summer, which is gonna restrict certain places we can go to (which is a good thing). I am a minister who is not home for dinner most evenings. We are gonna figure this out though. Keep us accountable. We will post pictures and updates. Fear, anxiety, excitement, etc. all fill our hearts right now. Hear we go.