I’ve always thought I was overweight.

 

Smaller in stature than most of my peers and paired with a round face, I always felt fat even as a young child.  The truth being told, I didn't start holding weight until I was in my teens. When my breasts arrived, it was game over. It was like the rest of me enlarged to keep up with my sizeable assets.

 

Every Monday, I begin a new lifestyle and by lunchtime, on the very same day, I have failed in one way or another. Food is my addiction and I’ve never been able to overcome it. I would probably give off the impression that it doesn't bother me.  It does, yet I lack the ability to change.

 

When my first son arrived, my focus was very much on doing the right thing food-wise even though I wasn’t leading by example. I fed him home-cooked everything while I munched on take away while he napped. I was determined to start him off on the right foot so he wouldn’t have to suffer from the issues I have.

 

Number two popped out and my focus lapsed. Tiredness and the stress of a difficult relationship made me reach for the easy option. The microwavable veg pots were a quick fix. The water-only rule was diluted with juice for my toddler, and treats were becoming more and more frequent.

 

By the time number three was born in a flurry of pink, I had lost all sight of my pre-parenthood aspirations. I loved the look on their faces when I produced a packet of buttons. I could think of nothing better than sharing my junk food with them as we watched a movie. Once the initial thrill of the treat was over…… the guilt was overwhelming.

 

I scold them when they look for the second packet of crisps knowing the only reason they do is because I’ve given them the second packet many times in the past. I am horrified when they eat like as if they’ve never seen a piece of chocolate and then realise that must be the way I do it.

 

They say that half the solution to a problem is admitting that there is a problem in the first place. I know there is a problem and I know it’s within my control to make changes. I’m at a time in my life now where I’ll be at home five days a week and working two. A delightful mix and I’m thrilled about it.

 

I have vowed to make better food decisions for me and my children. I control the food that comes into the house so the buck stops with me. I’m not one for blaming mothers but in this case, I have to take ownership of the mistakes I’ve made.

 

I may have an addiction to food, but I can simply change the type of food I eat… (she says to herself unconvinced).

 

I may not be salvageable, but I hope I can change the habits of my children for their own sakes. I want healthy happy children - I just hope I haven’t left it too late!

 

Ellen Brophy is a mum of three; She calls them her sun (eldest boy) her moon (youngest boy) and her stars (her little girl). She has just qualified as a beauty therapist and make-up artist and loves to write about everything from mental health issues to life as a single parent. She describes her writing as honest, funny and fearless and we tend to agree.

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