Mar. 23, 2017

Monkey-See, Monkey-Do

This one is for all the women out there: When I first got married, I had terrible eating habits. It was largely due to the fact I had no restrictions. I used to drink a two-liter bottle of Pepsi a day, every day. Then I realized I wasn’t the only one drinking it.

My husband didn’t like for me to buy things he didn’t use. For instance, I preferred Jiffy Peanut Butter but he liked Peter Pan so, that’s what I had to buy. I had to buy Bounty Paper Towels, Charmin Toilet Paper and so on.

Here in the south, they don’t eat a lot of hot cereals like oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. It is almost unheard of. But, they do eat a lot of grits which I do not eat. Even though my husband didn't eat Cream of Wheat, I bought it anyway. Pertaining to hot cereals, my husband always said, "That’s a Yankee thing.” Being a Yankee, I bought a box of Cream of Wheat and my husband had a fit.

“I’m not eating that,” he declared. “My mother made that one time and it was nasty. You should have asked me first and I would have told you not to get it.”

“I didn’t get it for you,” I replied.

When I made it, he stood over me and watched what I did. “My mom didn’t make it like that,” he stated as I started off with milk, not water. I added a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of sugar (to help the cereal go down). “What are you doing? My mom didn‘t make it like that.”

“Well, it’s a good thing I’m not your mother then,” I said with an eye roll.

Needless to say, he tried it and now, he loves it. He knows how to make it perfectly too. He’s better at making it without lumps than I am.

He frequently eats off my plate. If I am eating something, he’s eating it too. When my blood sugar spiked, my doctor insisted I stop drinking the Pepsi and said if I were going to drink sodas, drink diet ones. I switched to Diet Coke - so did my husband. Years later, I quit drinking Diet Coke and started drinking diet root beer because there is no sugar, caffeine, or sodium - so did my husband. Now I rarely drink sodas. I cannot drink iced tea because my husband complains I’m drinking his (you have got to love the irony there) so, instead I drink a lot of green tea or herbal tea from Herbal Life.

When I was pregnant, I had developed a craving for Oreo Cookies. I fought it, refusing to succumb to my tasty desires. His grandmother, upon learning of my craving, bought a pack for me; he ate them. He would drink my protein drinks too, or eat the fruit that I bought to mix in my protein drinks.

Over the years, I’ve just learned he’s going to eat whatever I eat. Even if he doesn’t like it. We’re married, share and share alike. Every now and then I’ll get a little lippy about it but for the most part, I just share with him.

I think one of the times I snapped at him was over some chocolate. Once in a great while I want a piece of chocolate. Since I’m diabetic, I get a small bag of sugar-free chocolate. There are only five or six pieces in there. My husband, a true chocoholic, keeps stashes of chocolate all over the house. He has his own but he was dipping into mine too!

I got mad and told him, “You have all this chocolate in the house. I buy a small bag of sugar-free for me and you have to eat that too!”

We were out and about one day and he had brought with him a mug of coffee, a glass of tea, and a bottle of Gator-Ade. He stopped somewhere like McDonalds or Hardees to get something. He knows I do not eat at these places. I hardly ate there before my Lap-band; I sure cannot eat there now. He knows that food gets stuck in my band and I will spend the next hour hacking and hurling until it comes up. But, he will ask me every time, “Do you want something?”

I realize he’s asking to be polite and not rude. On this particular day it was like 101 degrees and I was parched. I do not like drinking after people, nor do I like them drinking after me so to avoid drinking any of his drinks I asked him to get me a small Diet Dr. Pepper. As we pulled away from the drive-thru window, I moved his coffee mug to the back cup holder and set my drink in its place. He still had his glass of tea next to him. When he wanted something to drink, what did he reach for? My Diet Dr. Pepper!

As I said, I don’t like drinking after people, especially when they have a mouth full of food and my drink has a straw. Talk about your backwash. I grabbed my drink from him and said, “No! You have something to drink, drink that and leave mine alone!”

He was upset with me. Maybe I did come off a little too harsh. I’ve used this as a tool though; knowing he will eat and drink what he thinks is mine. I get healthier snacks and foods so he’ll eat them instead of the other things he prefers to munch on. Not too long ago, I posted a little something on Facebook - I even put it in my Random Thoughts blog too.

While out grocery shopping with my son, he noticed I was buying boxes of bran cereal and whole grains. He asked why I was doing that, “You never eat cereal! Dad always eats it and he doesn’t even like that kind of cereal.”

“That’s why I am buying it,” I replied. “Otherwise he eats Coco Puffs or Fruity Pebbles. If he thinks it’s for me, he’ll eat it.”

Guess what my husband had for breakfast yesterday?