As a kid, and growing up, I always wondered how my mother, who gave birth to 9 kids, stayed as thin as she did. Sure, she ate like a bird and was ALWAYS running around chasing us, but I, being a breastfeeding mother with a toddler to chase myself, know that all that activity makes you hungry! Maybe she had a better metabolism than I, or perhaps she just knew how to say no to all of the cravings. Whatever she was doing, I wanted it. My friends were, and still are, always raving about how great she looked and how they wish they look like her when they have kids, and we all shared the same dream. But how, oh how, did she manage to keep that size 5 figure when all the other mothers of that many children looked like cows? Well, I’m happy to say, I figured it out.
I had realized that she ate very little whenever she did it, but I had always assumed that it was because she was trying to lose weight. But now that I have 2 kids of my own, both very close in age, I figured out her secret without even looking for it. I was making breakfast for the family, my husband was getting ready for work, my toddler was sitting at my feet crying because she was “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry), and my almost 2 month old was in her bouncer loudly announcing that it was her time to eat as well. I got everyone’s food on their plates and made sure they were eating, then I went to tend to the baby. Once I got her happy, Chloe, my toddler, was done and ready to get down. By this time, my husband, Chris, was already halfway to work so I couldn’t depend on him to get Chloe cleaned up. I put my now happy baby back in her bouncer and proceeded to clean up Chloe. As soon as I was done with her, the baby had completely filled a diaper and it was in need of serious repair. So, I sent Chloe off to play, and once again tended to the baby. Once I FINALLY, got her cleaned up (two diapers and a new outfit later), it was my turn for breakfast. By this time, it’s almost 10:45 and technically I could have just waited a bit and had lunch, but who knows when I would have another chance to eat if I missed this one! I fixed myself a plate, and like clockwork, Chloe came prancing into the kitchen wanting nothing other than a bit of my food. If you don’t know Chloe (or any toddler), a “bite” translates to “your whole plate plus some”. So, I sat her up on my lap and tried to get a few bites in before she had devoured my entire plate. She scurried away leaving me to take the last bite and clean up the kitchen before the baby got hungry again. This was my timeline for the rest of the day. I think out of the entire day, I ate the equivalent of one whole plate of food. It was while I was snacking that night during our movie that I realized it; This is how my mother stayed so skinny.
Just imagine! I only have two kids right now and only one of which can eat my food, but what if I had 9?!?!? I’d be giving away my food PLUS fixing more for them! I’d be -4 plates by the end of the day! I’d be pooping more than I was eating!. As I sat there thinking about it in depth, I came to the conclusion that this must have been our life through my mothers eyes. She would wake up and fix breakfast for 9 hungry kids, which I might add is NOT a quick and easy feat!. Then she would go get the baby fed and happy, then go clean up several children under the age of 6. Next, she would make sure the older siblings were getting started on their school work. After that, she would jot down a few things that she had to do that day so that they wouldn’t get lost in the crazy schedule in her mind. Once she was done with that, she would FINALLY stand at the counter to try to eat a little while she was washing dishes, and she would turn to find that one of us kids has absentmindedly eaten her breakfast. Instead of making more, which she had no time for, she would down her cup of coffee (which has also become a part of MY morning routine) and she would continue to cross of the many items on her list for the day. Once we were all in bed for the night, she would sit down to her movie, and eat a bowl of almost carb-less popcorn. This was my mom’s meal for the day. No wonder she stayed so thin! The woman never EVER got to eat, but she was ALWAYS on her feet moving! It’s a miracle she didn’t turn into thin air.
My mother had many secrets to life, like how she stayed so sane (which I have yet to figure out), and one by one we will try to learn them. I was lucky enough to figure out her weight loss program! Little did I know, I was part of it. So, the moral to the story IS…. If you want to lose weight naturally, just have more kids. They will never let you eat, sit, talk, have uninterrupted date nights, or have a life of your own again. But they will also never let you be lonely or sad, cry, sleep alone, or feel unwanted, and those reasons right there are enough to make up for all the struggles they might cause 🙂