Monday, January 17, 2011

Aspiring Foodie, Hopeful Soul

Momma B and I sat down one night and laid out our health goals for this year.  We ended up with 17 total, but one in particular struck a chord with me and I've found a renewed vigor because of it.


Goal #1: Eat at home.



I've always collected cookbooks.  I simply cannot go into a book store without at least walking through the culinary aisles.  Sometimes I think if I just touch one book, I will acquire an innate sense of possibility.  Yet somehow over the course of the last couple of years, I've let convenience and excuses override my passion.  I've talked and talked and talked about how much I love cooking, but it was just talk mainly.  I was a fraud.  No more.


This last week, I planned a fairly simple menu.  I went shopping for organic, fresh foods.  I've enthusiastically prepared meal after meal ... and posted pictures of my creations on my Facebook to share my amusement.  What I've found is that by eating richer, more flavorful meals I actually end up eating less!  What a concept, eh?!  Rather than gobbling up inferior bites that are gooey, greasy, or just full of empty calories, I'm going the total opposite direction and using full fats and rich, organic meats and produce.  A friend of mine posted on my FB that she basically assumed that what I was making was not "diet-friendly" or "bad for you" because it looked too yummy.  Well, it's been an extraordinary finding: real food is good for you!  Trust me, it sounds overly simplistic and kind of stupid, but I was like so many others that believed the opposite for a long time.  This is revolutionary, in my mind.   



My joy of cooking is just the first step.  Our goals are simple and sometimes I look at them and think how sad that something so obvious needs to be a goal of mine ... but I don't look at it negatively, but rather as a moment to realize the importance of the basics.  This is for my health: physically, mentally and spiritually.  Somehow I've been able to rescue my enthusiasm and put it to good use.  It's a new prospect, this inward focus I've taken on.  I've decided the best thing for our future children is a healthy, confident, happy momma ... but more than that, it's the best thing for me!


What started this spark of retrospection was a book I started, called The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.  It got me thinking about my life. 


I have a good life: a career that I love, a spouse that embodies unconditional love, good friends (though few), and loving family members.  All in all, I feel content, but I don't always feel happy.  I don't feel like I appreciate fully those wonderful things that are in my life, and I feel I've lost some beautiful things along the way because of it - mainly friendships.  I certainly don't appreciate myself.  


Growing up, there were always the "if onlys."  If only I were skinnier.  If only I were smarter.  I was told so many times I came to believe it myself and always felt I would never be that girl that people found attractive or the woman that anyone would want to talk with.  I internalized all of this lack and have been holding onto it far too long, letting it keep me from forging new friendships and from taking care of my physical self.  I've recognized it's presence for several years now, but always fought against it - which merely served as an avenue for my self pity to take over.  It has been no way to live, especially in light of the juxtaposition of my external and internal worlds.  

Yet this book started a tangent of thought that allowed me to look at my feelings and realize that I need to appreciate those feelings - where they came from, what they've meant to me, what security they've provided.  No fighting, no struggling, just nurturing.  It has been quite the eye-opener, but more than that it's been an inspiration.


I finally have momentum again.  Simply amazing.




So I've started three of our 17 goals already.  I have sparkly stickers for my calendar to remind myself of my own importance and reward my progress.  Juvenile, perhaps, but it makes me smile so much seeing those happy faces line up on my date planner.  


Now I know this is all new and wonderful and roses and butterflies at this point, but that is why I knew I had to write it ... not just to myself, but put it out there.  Not for accountability, but to make it more real, more solid somehow.  So here it is.  Something to look at, examine, and remind me of the excitement of beginnings when I may get bogged down in the work of middles. 

5 comments:

  1. awesome!!!!!!!! What a great post!!! Cooking is fun, and it is AMAZING how much less you spend and how much less crap you buy when you have a menu planned out and a list in hand. It's tricky the first few times you go, to avoid those few t...but once you do it just one time, it is like a small mission ("stick to the list! stick to the list!") Our favorite part was saving the difference...we were able to cut about $50 a week from shopping by making menus based on the grocery store ad. A vacation comes into sight a lot more quickly when you can throw an extra $200 a month into the pot!! :)


    Are you willing to post your other 16 goals??? I love me some goals!!! :) Congrats again, mommas!!

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  2. You are an amazing person! If people can not see that then they do not deserve to be part of your life. You are kind, sweet and beautiful...inside and out! I see this and I do not know you all that well. Great post.

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  3. OMG! your post made me want to cry!! I totally agree with you though, once you start to belive those horrible untrue things about yourself it is so hard to believe anything else. Keep up with the goals and I hope you reach every single one of them!! Also I LOVE to cook!!! We should so swap recipes sometime!! lol

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  4. If you are doing more cooking, you should check out my two favorite cooking blogs, thepioneerwoman.com and smittenkitchen.com. They are both great and have lot of pictures. Trying new exciting things is what keeps me cooking!

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  5. L, I love the pioneer woman! I hadn't heard of smitten kitchen, but OMG total love! thx for the tip. ;)
    It's all about going out on a limb ... and variety. They say ppl eat the same dozen meals over and over (or something like that), but I have a hard time remembering when we've eaten the same thing twice - well, other than leftovers. lol ... It doesn't happen often! =)

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