I have fond memories of being a kid and going out to eat with my parents. Hitting the usual fast food fare was a normal thing, probably three or four times each week. We would even occasionally go during the holidays, if my mom didn't feel like burning another roast (just kidding mom, love ya!).
I remember one specific time we were at a restaurant. I was in the "watch me blow bubbles in my milk with a straw until they overflow onto the table" stage, and man was I good at it. Unfortunately, my dad didn't appreciate my artistic dairy expertise.
I had a good froth going over the cup and onto the table cloth at this nice restaurant and my dad had enough. He gave me that firm "index finger of death" kind of point any parent who means business is surely familiar with.
Little did my dad know, I was quite the star comedian, too. I immediately pointed right back at him, with my best faux-scowl I could muster... and I promptly knocked my glass of milk over and all over the table and floor.
I'm pretty sure my father turned the deepest shade of red that I'd ever seen, but luckily my mom knew comic gold when she saw it and absolutely lost it. Her head tipped back, she busted out laughing and got the attention of a nearby waitress who ran over with a towel and a fresh glass of milk. She's also probably the only reason I'm still alive to tell you this story.
So why am I telling you this story? Well, for one, because I love my parents and I think it's a great story. But it's also a great way to show you that even if we have the best of intentions - milk-art, juvenile comedian hall of fame - things don't always work out like we'd like.
In relation to my career, my parents and many others like them have set us up for failure. I even see a lot of current young parents do the same with their children.
I was always told to fill my plate at a young age. I was also told about how there are plenty of less fortunate kids all over the world and that I should be grateful for my food and make sure that I eat it all. Even if I didn't like it or if I was full.
It wasn't until my 20s that I understood that I didn't HAVE to fill my plates to the edge or my cups to the brim. Yes, I'm a slow learner at times, but that was an eye-opening realization for me and one that when I share with clients still triggers an "A-HA!" moment.
Sometimes simply having a bite or two, a small nibble, will suffice. Of course, if that small bite will lead to another, and another, be smart and be proactive. You have to know yourself and what works best for you.
Just remember you don't have to eat everything on your plate. You don't even have to keep it in the house. Take it to work, take it to a shelter, just take it out of your sight. And for the love of God, don't blow any bubbles in your milk!
Andy Frisch, NASM CPT, CES, PES, WFS, IFT, NESTA FNC, is a successful personal trainer and nutrition coach who enjoys working with clients of all shapes, sizes and ages. He currently train clients at Sports Village Fitness in Lebanon, works with clients online at www.FreshEvolutionFitness.com and has a budding YouTube channel.