Why Eating Quick, Cheap food is actually expensive

So… I was in the grocery store the other day picking up some fresh fruits and veggies.  I was next to a mother and daughter (mother older than me, and a daughter around Kyle’s age).. I heard the mother say that she would like some avocados.  Obviously the child laughed and didn’t know what she meant.  So she made her way over to the avocados and immediately said “No way! 3 for $5, not worth it.

She put the avocado back and walked away from the vegetables.  I watched her, she walked toward the aisles full of dead, boxed, canned, packaged goods.  These are the aisles where we are able to buy thousands of calories of poor-quality, nutrient-poor, factory-made, processed foods filled with sugar, fat, and salt for the same five dollars as those healthy avocados. This is the scenario millions of us struggling to feed our families face every single day.

The odd paradox is that food insecurity — not knowing where the next meal is coming from or not having enough money to adequately feed your family — leads to obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease. Examining this paradox may help us advocate for policies that make producing fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole other foods cheaper, while rethinking the almost $300 billion in government subsidies that support the production of cheap, processed food derived from corn and soy.

Anyone see the commercials by Jamie Oliver?  Well he’s a chef who’s trying to show Canadians and Americans that you CAN eat healthy – and afford it too.  He’s showing us that cooking and eating whole fresh foods at home can be cheaper, more fun and simpler than most people think.  Google it, google him, I love him.

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So I want you to ask yourself this: Have you ever made poor food choices because of cost? What is the REAL cost of this cheap food — the cost in dollars, on our health, on our environment, and even on the fraying fabric of our social and family systems?

This is what you need to remember:

  1. The true cost of unhealthy food isn’t just the price tag — in fact, the real costs are hidden.
  2. Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more.

Sure, I know it seems cheaper to eat a burger, fries, and a pop from McDonald’s than to eat a meal of whole foods.  Especially when there’s all these value menus out there.  Of course we think it’s better to purchase a meal for $3.99, but there are healthier, cheaper options. Lets look at why the true costs of eating unhealthy food are hidden, and lets look at some ways that will help all of us save money and stop suffering by eating well for less. Poverty or financial limitations do not preclude eating well, creating health, and avoiding disease.

Let’s start by looking at how our economy and public policy are geared toward the production of cheap, unhealthy food.  
(I did some research and found this from the net)

Government Policy Supports the Production of Unhealthy Food

Unhealthy food is cheaper because our government’s policies support its production. We’re spending nearly $30 billion a year to subsidize corn and soy production. Where do those foods go? These foods go into our food supply as high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil (trans fats), that are the foundation of almost all fast food and processed foods that are “manufactured” by the food industry.

Since the 1970s — when our agricultural policies where changed to support corn and soy farmers — we’re consuming, on average, an extra 500 calories (mostly in the form of cheap, artificial high-fructose corn syrup) per person.

When you eat unhealthy foods like these, the costs of medical visits, co-pays, prescription medications, and other health services skyrocket.

Corn and soy are also used to feed cattle for the production of meat and dairy. In fact I found that 70% of the wheat, corn, and soy farmed in this country is used to feed animals used for our food. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people — more than the entire human population on Earth!

The Hidden Costs of Eating Poorly

We all know that bad foods are bad for your health.  Actually, when you think about it, bad foods are also bad for your bank accounts. For example, one expert has estimated that healthcare costs related to obesity are $118 billion per year. That’s nearly 12 percent of total healthcare expenditures — and more than twice that caused by smoking! Seventy-two percent of Americans are overweight and over one third are medically obese. One in three children born today will be diabetic in their lifetime and the life expectancy of our population is declining for the first time in human history.

So what’s the REAL costs of obesity?  Think about it, sure, you save $4 by buying an already prepared, processed burger by buying it from McDonalds… but think about what poor dieting can lead too.   It can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and osteoporosis.  Here’s some facts on obesity:

  • Obese people account for a disproportionate share of health-related absences from work.
  • Obesity accounts for 7 percent of lost productivity due to sick leave and disability.
  • 7 percent of all of North Carolina’s healthcare expenditures are related to obesity.
  • Obese people visit their physicians 40 percent more than normal weight people.
  • Obese people are 2.5 times more likely to require drugs prescribed for cardiovascular and circulation disorders.
  • Liposuction is the Number 1 form of cosmetic surgery in the US, with 400,000 operations a year.
  • Over 100,000 people a year have gastric bypass surgery.

 

As these facts prove, the costs of eating fast, junk, and processed foods are often deferred until later. And that’s the key point: When you go to McDonald’s for a cheap burger and fries, you might immediately compare that lower price to whole organic foods which are more expensive in the short term. But the total cost isn’t reflected in how much you pay for your meal in the immediate moment, it’s the cumulative cost of what those decisions cost you over a lifetime.

For example, when you eat unhealthy foods like these, the costs of medical visits, co-pays, prescription medications, and other health services skyrocket. There are other non-economic costs of eating poorly as well. You reduce your ability to enjoy life in the moment due to increased fatigue, low-grade health complaints, obesity, depression and more.

The biggest advantage of eating well now is not just preventing disease and costs later, but simply enjoying each day to its fullest. You can make that happen. Eating well doesn’t have to cost more.

So, to sum up my blog, it’s just known that eating well is not just good for your body, it’s good for your wallet, too! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Four Tips to Start Eating Healthy for Less Today

  1. Listen to Gandhi. Yes, Gandhi! He said that we should never mistake what is habitual for what is natural. Case in point: Some Chinese are very poor and yet they eat extremely well — small amounts of animal protein, with an abundance of vegetables.
  2. Be willing to learn. We have to learn new ways of shopping and eating, new ways of ordering our priorities around our health and nutrition that supports our well-being, even if it is hard at the beginning.
  3. Do your research. There are ways to find cheaper sources of produce, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean animal protein. You just need to seek them out. It doesn’t all have to be organic. Simply switching from processed foods to whole foods is a HUGE step in the right direction.
  4. Make an effort. Eating healthy does take more planning. It may require you to find new places to hunt and gather for your family. You might have to reorder your priorities regarding where you spend your money and your time so that you can make healthier eating choices.

Remember, eating healthy foods without spending a lot is possible-and you can do it.

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How People Pleasing Fuels Overeating

Co-dependence is defined in many ways. A common definition is being overly focused on other people in a way that inhibits the quality of your life and your relationships (sound familiar, over-eaters?). Another way to think of codependency is People Pleasing: Saying yes to others without consideration of your own wants and needs.

The concept originated when mental health workers observed the partners of alcoholics and the ways in which they sacrificed their own health, happiness, and well-being because of someone else’s disease.

What’s the four patterns of co-dependency?  They are denial, low self-esteem, compliance, and control. Truthfully, we all have a bit of “codependency” patterns in some way or another. However, I’m going to explain how each of these patterns relate to overeating.

People Pleasing – Denial Patterns:

    • I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
    • I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
    • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.

When you are disconnected from your feelings for too long, any feeling starts to be intolerable. Since food numbs feelings, a pattern of denial can contribute to overeating by insuring that you’ll be distanced from your true feelings. Food stops you from feeling and keeps you in a denial pattern.

People Pleasing – Low Self Esteem Patterns:

    • I have difficulty making decisions.
    • I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
    • I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
    • I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
    • I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
    • I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

When your true needs are not being met, food can feel like a quick-fix way to fill yourself up. Overeating in this way defers having to develop the skills to treat yourself as worthy and lovable, and to trust that you can ask for what you want. In this case, food stops you from sticking up for yourself, and keeps you in a low self-esteem pattern.

People Pleasing – Compliance Patterns:

    • I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.
    • I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
    • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
    • I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
    • I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
    • I accept sex when I want love.

Overeating is often a consolation prize for not getting the things you truly want in life. If a genie came out of a bottle offering a wish, would you pick a brownie or true love? A cookie or a fulfilling career? A piece of pizza or peace of mind? The answer is clear. Every time you choose food instead of creating a life you love, you’re confirming that you’re not important; therefore food keeps a compliance pattern going.

People Pleasing – Control Patterns:

    • I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
    • I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel.
    • I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
    • I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
    • I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
    • I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
    • I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.

You are worthy of love. Period. You don’t have to do anything to get love. You don’t have to make yourself indispensable. You just have to be. This simple realization can stop you from busying yourself with everyone else’s needs. And when you do, you might have the time to avoid overeating by eating well and exercising.

Here are three simple ways, then, to start breaking the people pleasing pattern and the overeating it can cause:

1. Use “I” statements. It can be so difficult to own our own feelings. “I feel lonely” instead of “you never spend time with me during football season.”

2. Practice making simple requests. “Can I have a kiss during the commercial break?” instead of “Be more affectionate.”

3. Do a Temperature Check. Check in with yourself. Stop to see how you’re feeling in both body, and mind. Use that temperature check to help you use “I” statements and make simple requests (or simply to get some rest when you need it).

Feelings, your feelings, are important guideposts. If you shut the door on them, whether by being overly focused on others, or by overeating, your compass gets stuck.

My confessions

So I just posted a very long status update on Facebook.  Pretty much feeling the need to explain my weight gain.

WHY?
Please help me understand why I still feel the need to explain everything that needs to do with weight loss/weight gain?  I feel like it’s a vicious cycle.  I hate constantly worrying about what others think of me.  Why do I even care?  I shouldn’t.  The only opinion that matters is mine.. but what if I’m my own worst enemy?  This is a problem.

Why do we struggle so much with self acceptance?  Why can we not just be happy with who we see in the mirror?  I need to learn to truly love myself.  Remember my previous entry.  We all need to explore the meaning of true self love.  It is achievable.  I know it, I’ve experienced it.  Unfortunately, due to recent challenges, my self acceptance and self love has deteriorated a little bit.

However, it shouldn’t have.  I should still instill the confidence I once had.  I should still SMILE, LAUGH, SHOUT, DANCE, DREAM exactly the way I did when I was at my lowest weight.  I’m going to work on it.

I’m going away to Punta Cana on the 17th.  I’m so excited.  Sure, I’m not going to be able to wear the bathing suit I bought in July.. but that’s okay with me.  I have my normal bathing suit, but I’m OKAY with wearing that one.  I’m going to enjoy this trip.  I’m going to go to the Dominican with a smile on my face and faith in my heart that I’m going to have an amazing time with my family.  I’m going to enjoy sitting pool side with my son.  I’m going to shut out all negativity that surrounds me.  I’m not going to worry about what others think of me in a bathing suit.  I’m going to laugh, eat, drink and be merry.  

I’ve already set a goal, and I went public with it on Facebook.  When I return (give or take a few days) I’m dedicating myself to recommitting to the strict, healthy life.  I’m going to be FIT BY 30.  March 28th 2014 I say goodbye to my 20’s..  I start a new Chapter in my life… the dreaded dirty 30..lol.  I remember how motivated and excited I was when I first embarked on my weight loss journey back in 2011. So I’m going to have that same excitement and dedication during the last half of my weight loss journey.

It’s going to be a lot of sacrifices.  I will need a lot of will power.  But I’ve done it before.  No reason I can’t do it again – I WILL do it again.

I’m ready.
Are you ready?
I’m doing it.  
Goodbye to the “fat girl” I feel like.. and hello to the wonderful, amazing, healthy, fit chick I’m going to be.

LOVE yourself Healthy

Many people eat the way I used to eat.  They’re compulsive bingers, not because they’re hungry.. its because they’re emotionally hungry.  Some suffer from being overweight and have spent so much time to try to “fix” their eating routines.  But it’s hard, I know.  I know some feel their lives are complete chaos, due to food.

Do you love yourself enough to learn to make better choices?  Do you truly feel worth it to do so?  I have decided to write this blog to help you learn to love yourself and live the happy life you deserve.

Silly question, but what does it mean to love yourself?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to find that exact answer.  But I think sometimes it means to have self-respect, self-confidence, keeping your body healthy, and believing in yourself.  KNOWING you can do whatever you put your mind too.  If you don’t love yourself, I believe that life will always be hard to live, agree?

What do I think self love is?  I believe that self love keeps us from getting sick.  As a working definition, self love is any action we take for our physical, mental, and spiritual enhancement.

I’ve been reading a book, “Just 10lbs” and this is where I got the idea for this blog entry.  In this book, the author – Brad Lamm – stated different examples of some self love.  So I will pass on some examples of self love to you, my readers.  Can you relate to any of these?

  • I eat body honouring foods.
  • I take care of my body and my health by healthy choices and fitness.
  • I don’t ignore my needs at the expense of others.
  • I’ve shed the need for approval or recognition.  I am not who others think I should be.
  • I focus on body’s assets, rather than it’s liabilities.
  • I avoid self-criticism.
  • I concentrate on where I am now and where I want to go.
  • I reward and praise myself after any and all achievements.
  • I focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses.
  • I love my body and everything it does for me.
  • I value the spiritual side of life.
  • I don’t procrastinate, I know that accomplishment is the result of activity.
  • I believe I deserve to have what I want.
  • I view myself as a winner who sees every circumstance, good or bad, as an opportunity.
  • I experience joyful days.

Now, if you’re like me and read through these statements you may have felt a bit overwhelmed.  There are some of these that I know I need to work on, in fact, many of them.  The way I look at it, if you’re enacting even a couple of these points, you’re doing great.  The more you can add over time.. the better, right?

I can tell you this, this journey on the way to self love definitely follows a crazed, twisted, bumpy road.  Please don’t sit there and be thinking that you can’t do this, or you don’t have enough time to take care of yourself.  I promise you, it will not take long.  That’s the beauty of it, it’s simple.  Once you apply positivity, you’ll gain insight into yourself and you’ll suddenly understand why you’ve been acting and reacting the way you have.  

I believe that no matter how crappy you feel currently about yourself, please..start acting like you love yourself.  Sometimes you have to fake it before it actually becomes the real deal.  Sounds silly I know.. but it works.  What do I mean by faking it and acting?  Well you will be taking on the mind set of what you wish to become and allow and encourage your behaviours to follow.  If you practice long enough, your acting is no longer acting, it’s true love.

Now what’s the next step?  Well.  I suggest practice loving yourself with simple actions.  Pamper yourself with little things every day. For example: snuggle up with a cup of tea and curl up with a favourite book.  Dance around to your favourite music, have a nice hot bubble bath.  Pick up a flower at the local florist, one that you love.  This way, every time you look at it, it makes you smile.  

Before you can actually succeed with this, you need to decide for yourself that you ARE INDEED worth loving.  Pretty much, this is a “just do it” kind of thing really.  This isn’t something you can do merely just to please your parents, your spouse, your boyfriend, your best friend or ANY ONE other than YOURSELF!!  If it’s not for you, it won’t happen.

Do it with me, right now, declare today “From now on, no matter how tough life may be or how imperfect I may feel, I am going to honestly love myself.”  Did you do it?  I did.  So from now on, we’re working on loving ourselves.

We need to start practicing listening to our inner voices to ensure we discover the ways and means of achieving self love.  All too often we are our own harshest critics and truthfully we are more judgemental towards ourselves than anyone in our lives.  These thoughts will definitely stand in the way of achieving what we want the most in our lives.  This includes a healthy body and healthy mind.  Negative thoughts are unproductive and hinders success.  It can make us feel hopeless.  However, if you’re continually thinking positively, it produces the opposite: HOPEFULness.  Change starts within, and what better place to address negativity than in our head and hearts?

We need to start asking ourselves loving questions such as “Why not me?  What’s good about this situation that I’m probably overlooking?  What actions can I take right now to improve my weight?  Even though I’ve got some weight to lose, what am I thankful for in my life right now?”  We do not want to focus on the unloving questions.  A couple of these are “Why can’t I ever lose weight?  How did I screw up so badly?  What can’t I stop this terrible habit?”

Questions are at the core of how we listen, behave and relate.  Everything we think and do is generated by questions.  Questions can push us into new territories, help us reach greater goals, and trigger positive life change.  Questions are truly magical, but we must know how to ask the right questions.

So lets start thinking positively about ourselves instead of negatively okay?  I can go on and on about this topic, but I don’t want to bore you.  Lets just think about this entry as a first step to self love..a first step to Loving yourself healthy.

Until next time, thank you 🙂