I am a true blue Southern Gal and I love food! As I mentioned in previous posts, I was a small child and never struggled with my weight. I was also not given the proper tools to a proper diet and exercise. So I grew up eating and eating anything and everything I wanted. Once I hit 30 years old, my body decided it was no longer "young" and the pounds started packing on. Now I have many reasons for putting on weight; late night eating, too many sauces, no exercise...the list could go on and on. But it is MY fault for being so stubborn and not watching what I eat or exercising. So now I've grown to a whopping 260 lbs...270 lbs at my highest weight. What's a girl to do?!
I love rich, spicy, fried, sweet, sauce-filled food. These are just a few adjectives to describe the kinds of food I love. Foods were rich and full and flavor. Lots of salt, pepper, garlic, hot sauce and special seasonings. We can fry anything where I come from. Fried foods used to be my best friend; fried eggs and bacon, fried catfish (fried any fish), fried chicken, fried steaks, fried cornbread (hush puppies), fried shrimp, fried alligator, fried apple pie...you name, we fry it!
Before I moved to Canada years ago I used to eat three full meals a day that were filled with grease and oil, fat, butter, salt...all kinds of BAD stuff! I guess that was what my body was used to. Then I married my wonderful Portuguese/Canadian husband who was not used to that kind of food at all. He ate healthy foods! WHAT?! It was definitely a shock to my system to not consistently eat junk everyday.
So he did most of the cooking when I first arrived! Haaa I had never had so many vegetables in my life; broccoli, asparagus, peppers and none of them were drenched in oil or soaked in melted butter. Really?! This is a possibility? I had only eaten broccoli drenched in cheese and peppers soaked and fried (saute') in butter...and really, who eats aparagus?! Where was the bacon grease? Where was the fried chicken? How was I going to live? I love Southern food way too much to leave it all behind. So my meals became somewhat more healthy. But then I just started eating more almost as if it were a way to replace what I was missing? I'm not sure. But I knew that I missed the food I had lived on for 30 or so years!
The first time I went back home to Louisiana after about 6 months in Canada it was glorious! I was back in the land of fried, processed and greasy food. I couldn't have been happier! I was going to eat and eat until I could eat no more. I was determined. I hit up every single restaurant for three meals a day! IHOP or Waffle House for breakfast, Cracker Barrel for lunch and anywhere I could get fried catfish for supper! I was in Heaven! My sister owns a barbeque restaurant so I ate a lot of BBQ in between meals and late at night! However, my stomach was not happy! By the time my trip was coming to an end I could feel it in my system. What had happened?! My body was getting used to eating healthy? NOOO! This could not happen because my taste buds wanted more, more, more.
What would I do now? My brain was telling me that I was going to have to just cook more Southern food for my family if I wanted to continue to eat it. But my husband did not like a lot of fried foods. Whenever I visit home nowadays I stop in at my local grocery stores and pick up a few things that I am unable to buy this side of the border. One of my favorite things is purple hull peas. Now there's something that's healthy that I love to eat but is not availabe in Canada. So I buy lots of them! I also pick up special spices and hot sauce and cornmeal mixes so that I can fry up some catfish myself when the mood strikes.
In general, I always thought food was my friend and was sad to see that it was not. Food is something that needs to be fuel for my body and exercise should be my friend.
This surgery is going to be a life-changing experience for me. Over the last couple of years I have learned to eat better and choose wisely. I may not alway like it but I love my kids and want to stick around for a while longer to enjoy them. I also know that I can still have certain foods in MODERATION. It is not something that should be done 3 or 4 times a day everyday...instead maybe I should replace all that eating with exercise :)
In the end...it's always about choices :)
Cheers and Much Love!