I followed the example of a weekly menu from the “Eat to Live” book with exactness. I made a shopping list (typed, two columns, it filled the entire page), and after nap time was over, the Baby and I headed out for our weekly shopping.
Several things quickly became apparent to me.
First- a weeks worth of Fruits and Vegetables fills up a shopping cart- to the brim if not slightly over flowing.
Second- I have a very inquisitive child, who wants to touch anything he can get his hands on, this has always been easy to deal with in the past (just keep the cart in the middle of the aisle, well I guess I had never filled the cart full of food before).
Third- I should have picked up my Bulk Food Items first, as the little ties on the bags, apparently, are not to hard for a 1 year old to get off and the bags are not “Teeth Proof”. Who would have known that my son would want split peas so badly that he would rip a whole in the bag, only a few peas escaped and I was able to get a new bag, no harm done. Two minutes later I realized that there was Half a pound of Barley on the floor…and a very happy little boy holding a bag which had once held a pound of Barley (…I twisted the twist tie, I really, really did, I twisted it several times…) It is very, very, very embarrassing to have to tell employees of a store that there is a clean up needed on Isle 3. (Isn't the little culprit cute, I decided that it was the Babies April Fools Joke, it was funnier this morning)
Fourth- Healthy food cost too much. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a $400-$500 food budget per month, it is more like $140-$150, so as I was at the checkout stand, and the clerk was praising me for what a great job I had done, purchasing so much good food so cheaply ($90 is cheap?) I actually wanted to cry- I didn’t because who wants to explain to the clerk at the store that you just realized that you are too poor to eat healthy foods.
I had 3 other stores to go to, I decided that it would be better for the Baby to stay at his Grandma’s while I finished shopping (she actually lives in between all the stores so it was easy to drop him off) and I went to the next store- realizing that I was truly on the verge of tears each time I crossed another item off my list, and as my 2 hour shopping trip had already reached 3 hours and I was less than half done, I decided that I would pick up the baby and go home, we would get the remaining items later in the week.
I was able to get home and start dinner, I actually had to make a concerted effort to get started before I told Ken my stories from the day because I felt like as soon as I started to talk, I would break down and be good for nothing. Ken took care of the baby and me, he hovered near me helping me stir, finding the right ingredients for the dinner I had planned to make. By 6 pm, we were eating dinner- I had only messed up once during the preparation process- forgetting to toast the sesame seeds before making the Orange Sesame Dressing (which is amazingly yummy even when the sesame seeds are not toasted). Ken, bless his heart, did not say “Yuck, I hate it, What is it?” in fact he said that a couple of the items we had for dinner were good. (Here is what we had- Roasted Bell Peppers, Portabello Mushrooms and Beans, and Spinach Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing)
I told Ken about my main frustration- that I really feel like this is something we need to do, for the health of our family, I know that it will work, that I will be able to lose and then maintain a healthy weight. I don’t want to get Diabetes and Heart Disease and I feel like, unless I make a drastic change, I am going to be on the express train towards those two diseases. But I just didn’t know if it was possible to do, unless by some spectacular miracle, the food I bought today lasted for the majority of the month. He listened, and reassured me that we would be able to make it work, whatever we had to do, adjustments we needed to make to our budget over the next 6 weeks (I wanted to follow the instructions strictly for 6 weeks and then we would make our own adjustments), we would do what we needed to do. I felt better after he reassured me, as I chopped I started to realize that there are little things I could do to make the grocery bill a little smaller. Like using canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh-diced tomatoes- especially if the tomatoes are going to get cooked anyway.
So, this morning I am back on track, praying for a miracle and hoping that any change we are able to make will be good for us, because we are trying and sometimes all you can do is try. I know, Yoda said, there is no try, only do, but I don’t think Yoda ever had to shop for healthy food, you’ve seen him, sure he lived for something like 800 years, but did he look healthy to you?
Anyway- by adding 1-2 large Salads and a good amount of fruit to my diet last week- I lost at least 3 pounds but I think it was actually 5 if not a little more. More updates on further weight loss to come, I am sure!