Okay. I admit it, like too many Americans I weigh more than I really should. Also, like too many Americans I’m not really managing to make significant changes in my weight. Last summer, I did manage to swim at the town pool quite a bit and I dropped a fair amount of weight, but when fall rolled around, I put the weight back on. Some of that is probably because I didn’t make any simple long term changes to my lifestyle that would help me keep the weight off.
All of these thoughts ran through my mind as I sat with about half a dozen women at the New Britain YWCA. They were taking part in CHC’s Food Smart and Fit® program. I asked them what were some of the most important lessons they had learned. One of the women spoke about the importance not setting goals so high that you couldn’t achieve them and being proud of small accomplishments. They spoke about losing weight slowly and steadily and then keeping it off. There was a lively discussion about not eating out of the bag, whether it be a bag of cookies or a bag of chips. They explained to me why eating three meals a day was important and why you shouldn’t eat after 8 PM.
One woman said she’d never eat pepperoni again. It just isn’t something natural, something you would see out in a field. They shared ideas about which stores had the best fresh produce and talked about preparing meals themselves more often and cooking differently as a result of the group. One person spoke about the infectious enthusiasm for eating more healthily that Paula, who runs the program always seemed to share. Paula, a coupon queen, also shared coupons with the members for various healthy food items, as well as shared some Greek Yoghurt with them. I’ll have to try some of that with my family.
One woman spoke about how she had spent her whole life caring for other people and how she was learning the importance of caring for herself as well. Yet even with that, she reflected an important truth. When we get together in groups, we can care for ourselves and at the same time, share that caring and help those around us. Perhaps that is part of what makes the Food Smart, and Fit program so important and successful.
As the group wrapped up, Paula spoke with the members about joining the YWCA, another benefit of this group.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit another Food Smart and Fit group in the future. Hopefully, they will be as excited about changing their eating and exercise habits as this group is and will share new tips with me. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be a little bit more food smart and fit myself when I visit another group and be able to share some of my successes.