13 Mar 2013
I had a friend once who confused me. She actually seemed to like making healthy food choices. She spent hours outside in the broiling Florida summer tending to her small vegetable garden, she ate lots of green foods, and she even had the opening date of the farmer’s market penciled in on her calendar.
Of course she confused me. I weighed 300 pounds and hadn’t eaten a truly fresh vegetable in years. I was busy buying canned green beans seasoned with bacon, opening up boxes of macaroni and cheese, spending as little time as possible outside, and did not even know where the farmer’s market was. Or even what it was. I was so far away from healthy eating that her lifestyle made no sense to me.
I still remember watching her unpack the foods she got from the farmer’s market one Saturday afternoon. Corn on the cob, tomatoes by the bushel, little tiny potatoes, huge long green beans, and heavy round watermelons seemed to make her happy. With the exception of the watermelon, all that food just looked like work to me. Why bother cleaning, preparing, and cooking all that food when you could just buy whatever you wanted in a can?
My weight loss journey to lose 150 pounds was one learning experience after another. Sure I learned to eat smaller portions and the value of exercise. But I also learned that eating real, natural foods was a joy, not a chore.
The first time I visited the farmer’s market I was not even sure what half of the foods were. I remember walking through the vendor’s tables thinking, “What do you do with that? How do you cook that? Where are the onions?” I got brave and asked different vendors questions and learned so much. In addition to learning what some vegetables were, I also learned that there are seasons for foods. Who knew that onions did not grow year-round in northern Florida?
I went home that first day with foods for weight loss: a few bags of vegetables and a lot of knowledge. I snapped some green beans, sliced a fresh-from-the-ground zucchini, and tasted the distinctive sweetness of a freshly picked cantaloupe. That first foray to the farmer’s market was my initial baby step toward understanding that healthy food was more than just low-calorie food.
Healthy foods that helped me lose weight did not have to come from a can or be packaged as a diet food, but rather could come right from my own garden or from the farmer’s market! Yes, those from-the-ground foods did require some work to prepare, but it was so worth it.
All that was part of the learning process as I lost weight. Granted you can lose weight by just eating processed foods at the right calorie level, but why limit yourself when there is a world of natural, healthy foods out there waiting to be tasted?
Did you have to learn to enjoy healthy, natural foods or have those kinds of foods always been part of your life?
DianeCheck out my latest posts here