Reading Food Labels

How reading labels and exercise leads to great health results.


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Just Call Me the Food Police

My father is a retired state trooper and my brother currently serves on the force, so I thought it was quite fitting when one of my students called me the “food police” the other day, after I had yet again read the ingredients on the back of a snack package that one of my students had brought to school. 

I like the fact that they are listening to what I am telling them about making healthier choices, and that I am making a difference for a healthier lifestyle.

I find myself constantly being aware of ingredients in packages, and I often bring it to light to those around me. So often we put foods into our mouths without any thoughts or considerations as to the nutritional value that it may or may not contain.

If only I had known about the nutritional importance of foods and exercise when I was younger, maybe I wouldn’t have ballooned up to 249 pounds. But at least I have learned, and I want to encourage each of you to always be wary of what you are eating and to be sure to exercise regularly.  

Healthy lifestyle changes, knowing you’re worthy of being healthy and happy, and staying focused on becoming healthier is truly all it takes to become trimmer and stronger. 

Notice that I didn’t say thinner, as we have to get our mindset off of weight and being thin. That’s not what this is about. Our focus should be on becoming healthier. If we keep our focus on becoming healthier, weight loss will come. Depending on our body type we may never be bone thin, but we can be healthier.

When reading labels, be careful not to eat foods containing high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, or msg. Stay as close to the natural form of the food as possible and eat foods baked, broiled, or steamed. You really don’t have to starve yourself. If you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables you won’t crave unhealthy foods.

Keep in mind also that exercising is another very important step in the process of becoming healthier. If all you can do in the beginning stages is walk for 30 minutes three to five days per week, then start with that. Just continue to build as you get stronger.

As I continue my journey from being an obese, unhealthy, unhappy, and insecure 249-pound woman to a woman who now weighs 183 pounds and is healthier, happier, and more confident than I’ve been in years, I hope to be able to encourage all of you who are just like the way I was. 

It can be done—just take it one step at a time. And remember, this is no DIET—it is a lifestyle change that must be done for the rest of our lives in order to get and stay healthy. So, read those labels, and remember that you never know if the “food police” is watching you!

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