Sunday, February 24, 2008

You Are What You Eat - How Nice.

Take the challenge. Come on, it doesn't hurt, but it will possibly change your life or at least your eating habits, which could change your life. I remember seeing myself on the Montel Show and I weighed over 200 pounds. I didn't much liked what I saw, no I wasn't any taller that day than I am this day, but after losing over 60 pounds I can tell you there were changes that had to take place changes.

I will throw in a word of caution: It was the drastic food changes and the overt exercising that I was forcing on myself that may very well have caused my gall bladder to freak out and form an unwanted and very difficult to live with stone. I was literally on a road to challenge and the my body was responding in both good and bad ways. Where I did lose weight, felt better, slept better, ate and seemed healthier than I have ever been in my ... well, since my early adult years; I was also forcing my body to assimilate probably too quickly and it retaliated in a very aggressive manner. I have the scar to prove it....but the only thing I would change is the time I lost the weight in. However, if I could jump into a time machine I would (a) never say hello to my ex, (b) adopt the last two children from whomever gave birth to them since I couldn't, having never said hello to my ex, and (c) I would never have started the weight gain - which followed having the last two children, so see...having said hello in the first place could very well be blamed. Or, I could actually take full responsibility, and go with that.

We tend to go grocery shopping at the same places we've been shopping, and we tend to buy the same products, in the same manner we've always done it. Why? Why are we that way? Why do we force fatness and unhealthy foods down our own throats if we know full well that these foods will only end up in our middle section, our butts, our thighs, and under our arms? Are we that ignorant? Don't answer that, we are...we really are.

So, go to your cabinet, your refrigerator, your pantry and do this. Separate all the healthy and nutritious foods from the foods saturated with fat, carbs, and/or sodium. When you've got 90% of your food on one side, pray they resemble vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. If you're like me and had sugary cereals, donuts (for the kids) ice cream and heavy fatted dairy products - claiming they weren't THAT bad, you're in the same boat many of us were in before we jumped ship and decided, yes DECIDED to live a better life for ourselves. One without gall stones if you're doing it a little more carefully than I did. Take a full 4 weeks to lose 3 pounds, push the water, push the 30-minutes a day exercise, and sleep a full 8 hours every day. EVERY DAY.

OK, so what am I today? I'm a roast beef sandwich on whole grain bread with spicy French mustard, low fat Swiss cheese and lots of black olives. What does that say about me as a person? That some things barely change. The difference between my favorite sandwich now as opposed to THEN, back THEN when I was large and apparently NOT in charge of my health...the only changes are: The olives are black not green. I'm not even sure that makes a difference...but I prefer the ripe olives now, and I probably don't add as many as I used to, they can have a full content of fat themselves.

Some of the really bad things I found in my own pantry when I took the BBC sponsored challenge in 2007 were: Sugary cereals, I now eat Total or Special K. I had Campbell's regular soups which have 900 grams of sodium, go with the lower levels, and if you can, just dump their water and add your own, that cuts sodium out by leaps and bounds. I remember seeing snacks; potato chips, cookies, cakes in plastic wrap. Listen, if it's in an individually wrapped piece of plastic, chances are it's not good for you. I had boxed pizza (for the kids when I couldn't be there, but I ended up eating them.) I had peanut butter (not reduced fat) and frozen pot-pies and/or meals that have more fat grams than a Big Mac. Believe me, you want to check out the fat grams of a Big Mac before you pull up to that drive in window again...don't do it. You are a better person, you have it in you to go to Subway or to demand that McDonald's starts serving better food. (Oh, here's a thought...cook it yourself at home with the family, and have less trash to throw away.) Now I'm just preaching.

So, we are what we eat...thank God that doesn't change. If I had to go back I wouldn't. I would simply choose to die. I won't subject YOU to my way, but just looking at the cheesecakes in the bakery window used to cause my mind and body to salivate, not anymore...I see flags waving in front of me screaming "Fatty Pills, Fatty Pills, step away from the deli immediately. There is very little that can help you in this corner of the store. Find peace, love, joy, and contentment in the produce!" OK, so drinking grapefruit juice doesn't appeal to you, something will - but what does it say about me because I do? I'm sour I guess, maybe a little big headed, colorful, sweet but tart, perhaps even a little off the beaten path. I can take that...I'm just still trying to figure out why I've always loved olives on my sandwiches.

OK, I'm not saying you have to throw away all the foods with fat in them. Don't eat so much, that's all. Replace the butter with "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" and take ONE cookie from the box; you really can do that, it's allowed. One of the biggest shocks of our lives these days is the size of a real portion of food. We supersize everything and we actually believe in our heads (for no reason) that a hamburger patty is suppose to be 1/3 it's not. It's suppose to be 1/6 of a pound actually; daily recommended amounts are amazingly small compared to what you and I demand of our restaurants. If it were me, if I were King/Queen for the day, I would outlaw buffets. I really would. Next would be the fast food restaurants. They could be open on Saturdays only from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. and they could only serve one burger to a customer. You'd have to get a stamp each time you bought one too.

I'm a meany huh? I just think, no, I know, that our country is really fat. We are the fat Americans, and it won't stop unless we do it for ourselves. When the lawmakers in Mississippi teased us last month with the possibility of outlawing obese people in restaurants I laughed. How can a government do that? What would the standard be? Who would govern it? Who would write them up if they served the overly large customer, and whose to say they wouldn't just find a loophole. We're lazy creatures most of the us, and most of the time we take a path of least resistance. least do this: Go look at your grocery list, your pantry, or next time you go shopping stop and think before putting something in the basket....just do your family and yourself a favor and think first. (Oh, and you can't use the excuse that your family won't eat it if it's healthy...YOU'RE the parent.) LOL...mine tried that, they starved. I won.

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