There are only a couple of other Core folks at my meeting so the flexers can get very fixated on what you can fool your body into thinking is food.....I've had it with the fat free cool whip cheers. That's not food...
I find you particularly interesting because we share something: a sincere commitment to healthy foods, and yet we're both pretty overweight. I can't get my head around that really. Sometimes I think that I'm overweight because I'm obsessed with food, (that comes from my family,) and the localvore CSA slowfood movement just helps me to channel that obsession away from cookies and into making yogurt. On the Core I still get to think about food all the time, but in a positive way; that works for me. Nonetheless, I'm still fat, and the other people in this movement around here are not. If we're who we claim to be, how can we be fat in the first place?????
So how did I get so fat? It certainly wasn't from eating locally grown, organic foods in moderate portions like I am now. Before I started to learn about agribusiness and the industrial food industry, before I understood the importance of buying local, I was the woman who ate everything. I was a chubby baby, kid, teen, and young adult, slipping into obesity somewhere around my 16th birthday and never getting back out of it. I was on Weight Watchers half a dozen times before this, starting with the Exchange program when I was 12, but it never stuck. I never had the determination. I knew what I should be eating and patently ignored it.
I used food in a lot of ways, but filling physical hunger wasn't always at the top of that list. I was not picky, and unfortunately ate fast food, junk food and processed crap far too frequently and in huge quantities. Why I am heavy is not such a surprise to me, although there is certainly more to it than this, and it is not because I ate whole foods in reasonable amounts.
It took becoming a mother to get me to wake up to what I was eating, how I was living my life, and made me step back and evaluate. I was feeding my son all organic baby foods, carefully making sure he received balanced nutrition, but I wasn't giving the same nurturing care of my own body. I realized that as his role model, it was my job to demonstrate healthy eating habits so that he doesn't grow up overweight and with the food issues I've struggled through. Also, if I didn't get healthy, I couldn't be the kind of parent I want to be. I couldn't easily chase him around the park or get on the floor to play with him, and I wouldn't be as healthy or live as long if I remained obese. I didn't want that for him, and I started to change my eating habits not for me but for him. In the process, it has become about me.
At about the same time, I read an article about the 100 mile diet in the Utne Reader while waiting for a doctor's appointment and it resonated with me. I'd never considered the source of my food before, and didn't think I could do it. It was the push I needed to do more research, and I read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, the book that changed my life and view of food 100%. If you haven't yet read it, I highly recommend it. I learned about industrial agriculture, monoculture, subsidies, and our entirely screwed up food system, and I wanted out! I went into it with no notion of how food got to my plate, and I quit eating industrial meat cold (pastured) turkey in January of this year. I wasn't watching my weight, but I was watching where food came from and started buying organic and paying attention to buying local.
In May, I rejoined Weight Watchers with a commitment I'd never before had, and with a new way of looking at my food. I'm making conscious food choices not entirely based on the calorie count, but on the quality of the food, and I've found something surprising: I don't need a huge quantity if the food is high quality. A small amount of good, real cheese is so much more satisfying than a whole package of fat free cheese product.
Another surprise to me: I've become picky! My list of things I will eat is now smaller than the things I won't for the first time in my life. (I never expected this!) This is wonderful for my health, and for the first time, I'm eating according to my values. I don't want animals to live in inhumane conditions so I can eat meat, but I don't want to give up meat. I don't want to eat genetically modified foods or chemicals dressed up as foods. I want nutritious, flavorful food that hasn't spent weeks in transit, hasn't been sprayed with toxic chemicals, and isn't leaving the environment (and people growing and harvesting it) irreparably damaged. I'm enjoying the "hunt" for new sources, the success of new recipes, and real, whole food - none of it individually packaged and frozen. So I skip industrial meat, conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, genetically modified foods and artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners/preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated fats, and so in short, almost all packaged foods.
I've said the same thing as Vickie: I'm still obsessed with food. I am not sure that will ever dissipate, but it has found a new focus. Instead of constantly wondering how I'd get my next fix of sugar and deep fried (fill in the blank), I'm searching for new sources for healthy, sustainable foods. I'm excited when I find local beans and pastured chickens. The obsession may never leave me, but my life and the lives of my family members are better off for the obsession finding this direction. I am not cured of my food issues and I still struggle with fast food cravings and wanting to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's to console myself over bad news, but I'm now making conscious choices and learning to feel the feeling instead of feeding it. That hard work is outside of the scope of this blog and I'm not getting much into it here, but it's going on behind the scenes.
My son, who will be 2 years old this month, is a great eater. He'll eat just about whatever I put in front of him and eats the same daily menu that I post here with a few modifications - more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and whole milk, for example. So far, he loves fruits and vegetables and has never had a chicken nugget. I'm striving to keep it that way.