Our Childhood Environment – We Have No choice

So there I was last week, I finish work early for once, I have no social plans with friends and I go home excited about spending a night with my feet up on the sofa watching the TV (it’s hard work building a weight management empire you know!).


Flicking through the channels, and not being particularly inspired by what I see, I end up on BBC3 watching a programme about difficult teenagers being shipped from the UK to stay with, as the programme tells us, ‘The Strictest Parents in the World.’


This programme showed a boy and girl from England staying with an Orthodox Jewish family in a Jewish community in Israel. It was fascinating watching the tantrums of the teenage girl as she clashed with the values, rules and concepts of her new makeshift home. Several times she struck out against the new way of seeing, perceiving and living life – understandably it was very different to the way she was brought up.


Eventually, after being told to leave the Jewish home and community because of her refusal to respect the acceptable behavioural boundaries of her temporary home, she apologises and understands that by behaving in a different way she gets a different outcome. It really was tear-jerking stuff! (OK, I need to get out more!)


On being interviewed at the end of the show, this teenage girl explains that if the Israeli girls had been brought up in her home, they would have a different outlook on life – they would have been brought up with different values and beliefs on the way to live life.


Upbringing is a major factor in the way we develop eating behaviours. The culture of our family, culture and community all play a big part in how we learn to eat food, perceive weight and shape and how we use food to dampen the emotional rollercoaster of life.


As a child we have no choice, we do as our parents tell us. However, as an adult we do have a choice. Our eating behaviours become our own – we can choose what and how we eat.


Sadly for many of us, the behaviours and habits of our childhood are so ingrained in our psyche they are difficult to change. We have invested much time in reinforcing their patterns in the way we think, what we believe and how we perceive our body image.


I see many clients who have been brought up in one ‘community’, which has caused them to have issues with their weight and body. Like the teenage girl in the TV programme, my clients eventually stop fighting the ‘community’ of their adult life and they do something different that gives them a new outcome. The first seed of change has been sown, and the first shaft of healing light is doing it’s magic.


So if you were brought up in a different family, culture or country would you have a different outlook on life? Can you relate to this story? Tell us your experiences of how upbringing has affected your eating habits.


The Eating Therapists at WeightMatters help you change the way you perceive the world, how you behave around food and eating, and how you feel about life. It’s a journey of transformation!