Let me start this right off by saying we all have a lot on our plate(s). Work-at-home, work-outside-the-home, stay-at-home or whatever other qualifier precedes the word mom—or dad/wife/husband/single-lady/bachelor/student whatever. We all have weak spots and strong suits, predisposed genetic traits. Fine. Done.

We also have responsibilities. We have to figure things out. It isn’t always easy.

Borrowed from Trigger and Freewheel

But we soldier on because if we don’t, we never get ahead. You push at work, or in school, you refuse to give up on that water stain in the guest bathroom (do you know about coke?) so the same should be true for your eating habits. The pyramid most of us grew up with was kind of a joke, you didn’t really use it or remember it other than that the fats and sugars were up at the top. I think a lot of us forget that the top didn’t mean “eat a shit ton of this.” It meant, the point, the smallest amount. We also forgot how to enjoy treats, creating such a wave of enjoyment in adding little extras here and there until as a friend of mine once said, “I don’t know what the hell happened, but I began to think I deserved dessert every night.”

We can attack Michelle Obama for butting into the family dinner, we can discuss the merits of the new design, but what we cannot do is continue to deny our role in the issue of childhood obesity and in the pervasiveness of gluttony as the norm in our culture. The debut of a new chart to help people figure out what to eat, or what to feed their kids if they choose to not be told how/what/when to eat is a good thing—not because it will fix it. It won’t.

Food, our understanding of it and the ways in which we are bound by things like availability of fresh produce and income capable of purchasing it, is only one fraction of the plate. We need to move, use our bodies in ways that require neither a remote nor a snack. We need to demand more from ourselves and our routines than traversing the same rut. I admit that I have never figured out the formula to determine my BMI, I doubt I ever will, but I did quit smoking. I do choose running over walking, stairs over elevators, working out over pigging out.

I have a responsibility to teach my children how to live right, a gift inherent in that message is how to treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be with something sweet, because really, when you wait for something it is sweet. So today I am celebrating the sweet victory of someone finally caring and demanding enough to take a step toward making a healthier life more accessible to anyone.