Are you a food hypocrite? I am one, I love food
I need to lose weight. There is no denying that fact. Extra weight is not a friend to any part of my body, from my vital organs to my muscles and bones, especially as I age. The next time you go to the grocery store, go to the baking aisle and pick up a five pound bag of sugar when you first get there. Don’t put it in your cart, but instead, clutch it in one of your arms and proceed to do your shopping. If you are in the store more than 20 minutes you will not be happy with that extra five pounds you are carrying around.
So I ask you, “Why would you want an extra five, 10, 20 pounds or more, attached all day, every day, under your skin?” Please know that I am directing this question to myself as well. We have it in our power to lose those extra pounds and “lighten our load” the same as we do to taking the sugar back to the baking aisle and putting it back on the shelf. We may put back the sugar, but we won’t do what it takes to lose the weight. Feeling the effect of the bag of sugar under our arm is troublesome, yet we think it different somehow than having the pounds on our body, under our skin. It’s not. Weight is weight. Ever carry a 10 pound bag of potatoes from your car to the house and think how heavy and bulky it was? How about 10 extra pounds under the skin?
So why am I sitting here, more than 25 pounds overweight, writing a column about the importance of losing weight with a big glass of sweetened tea to my left and an unfinished chocolate chip cookie on my right?
Because I am a hypocrite. (I looked the word up to see what Webster had to say about it.)
Yep. I am a food hypocrite. But I don’t want to be.
I want to be a successful, heart-healthy person. My children and grandchildren will love me no matter how large I become. My former husband used to make me feel a little better by saying he liked a woman with “a little meat on her bones.” How many times have you larger framed ladies heard that? I have an overweight friend who says she feels jollier when she is fatter. (I have yet to figure that one out). But the bottom line is, it is not healthy and it is not a laughing matter. Because of some health problems, I realize it makes it impossible for many to lose weight. I am not speaking of those situations. I am speaking of when we have a choice.
When my grandfather was living we used to buy him candy and fat-filled treats because he liked them. We thought we were making him happy. We never realized what it was doing to his heart, or at least I didn’t. When I was raising my children and they did something wonderful, we celebrated with ice cream and cake. “Oh wonderful, you got on the honor roll. Let me mess up your cholesterol.”
Thank goodness they are now smarter than I was then about food. Both of my adult children encourage their children to eat healthy. You would be hard pressed to find a supply of candy bars or a sugar packed snacks in their homes.
Recently at a reunion I helped my two smallest grandchildren fix their plates. I asked them what they wanted and they both opted for a chicken leg and strawberries and grapes from a fruit plate one of my relatives had brought. Me? I had everything else, including baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, some kind of wonderful looking salad with tons of cheese, pasta and a pulled pork barbecue sandwich. Did I mention the sweetened tea and the double fudge brownies that I had before we all started packing things up to take home? Oh yeah.
Eating like a glutton at a family reunion does happen in everyday life. And when it does, we just need to return to healthier choices the very next day and get out the fruit, cottage cheese, and turkey burgers. If we fall off the wagon, we don’t have to stay on the ground. Get back up on the wagon.
Cutting back on fat and starches, including fruit in our diets with its natural sugar for energy, and portioning our food is a really good start, in my opinion. Different programs and methods work for different people. But we need to get on one of them — for our health’s sake.
I love food. So I have decided that I am going to eat my “normal” food but will cut back on my portions. I believe they call this moderation. My sister Janet, as long as I can remember, has eaten off of a saucer. She has whatever everyone else is having, but she eats it on a saucer instead of a regular dinner plate. And she only fills it up once. She is thin. Need I say more?
Somehow I feel like writing these facts and feelings down makes it more “real” to me. I am hoping that sharing this tidbit of my personal battle with food and overeating, (what I eat isn’t the problem, it is the overeating that is doing me in) just might be the support I need to tackle the war. If you think it makes sense, join me.
My daughter’s go to afternoon snack.
Place a spoonful of lite whipped cream between two graham crackers (make several, you’re going to love them).
Freeze in a baggie.
Viola. A healthier, delicious snack.
Jeanie Merritt can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.