Although all stories of weight gain are different, I’ve seen many demonstrate the following traits:
- Over-consumption of food
- Unhealthy food choices
- Decreased awareness
- Neglected self care
- Poor relationships (specifically with food)
Are there times you have crashed on the couch after work with a bag of microwaved popcorn and as you stare into the TV just go to town on the whole bag? Do you feel as though there isn’t enough time in the day to exercise? Do you love ice cream but resent it for being so damn delicious because one taste can easily lead to a whole pint?
If you can relate to any of the above, I’ve got an exciting suggestion for you! Probably unlike any suggestion you’ve ever heard before, and you may even see it as a bit of a stretch, but I’m going for it. I believe you can start to shift the numbers on the scale by taking an environmental approach. Enter: composting.
A mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.
composted; composting; composts
to convert (a material such as plant debris) to compost.
Wha-wha-what?!? Stay with me, please.
Composting is the act of recycling food scraps. So what does this have to do with achieving a healthy weight?? I find that the practice of composting is a tremendous way to build awareness of how much food waste one household can produce, as well as how much time, energy and care goes into the growth of food. Composting strengthens your relationship with the earth, food, and thus yourself!
I wish I had thought to take a picture of these two basil plants I had growing in different locations in my backyard. Some basil seed must have flown into my daughter’s sandbox, and so grew a surprise basil plant! Now in the soil where I typically plant my vegetables and herbs, and also lay down compost, I had planted several basil plants for this year. The differences between the basil growing in the sandbox and the basil plants growing in the nutrient-rich soil was incredible! The sandbox basil’s leaves were a dull green, the leaves looked relatively flat. The basil growing in the nourished soil had bright green and shiny leaves, they were bigger, the plant had a fuller body! That right there is a good sign of what better nutrition can do for a plant. And it works the same for humans, too!
It’s little signs like these that inspire us to treat our body better. As you see the quantity of food waste your household generates, you can then infer the quantity of waste that is generated collectively by households, restaurants, businesses, etc. all over the world! You’ve seen pictures of landfills. And just to briefly point out the stats, the USDA estimates that in 2010, the US wasted about 133 billion pounds of food, equating to about 161 billion dollars. Those are some of your dollars in there. A heightened awareness of food waste has the power to motivate you to consume a little less, more consciously, and even save a few bucks!
Consider the two basil plants I just described; as you see the impact compost (or, recycled food) has on plants – bigger size, more vibrancy, greater yield – it can be inferred that good nutrition does just the same for your own body. Yes, you probably already know that many of the foods you have chosen to eat aren’t doing your body any favors. But by witnessing it daily, you have your own personal reminder and inspiration to treat your body just as well.
Here is an easy resource to help you get started. And although composting may be associated most with the summer months, I don’t see why you can’t get started in the fall or winter. I think it’s the perfect time to start, actually. By the time the warmer temps of the spring roll around, you’ve got a decent heap of scraps that will surely decompose into nutrient-rich compost within a month or so. Use your black treasure as you plant new flowers, vegetables and herbs.
Is it obvious this process will also save you money in the long-run? If you love big, beautiful, floral blooms, compost is always recommended – and now you don’t have to buy it! If you’re on a pathway to better health and don’t know where to start – start with composting. I could liken this to the classic storybook, “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.
If you start a compost pile, you’re going to have to use it for something, so you plant some tomato seeds. You’ll probably get carried away and also plant some beans, cucumbers, peppers, cantaloupe and broccoli! Over the next few months, your little plant babies produced such a good yield of food that you are now enjoying more vegetables and fruits than ever before! Eating more fruits and vegetables will energize you. You’ll probably want to start exercising more. So you’ll wake up early the next day and go for a jog. Starting your day off strong motivates you to carry it through the rest of your day…
I could go on, but I’d rather leave this artistry to Ms. Numeroff. I’m sure you’re seeing my point!
And hey, if you really believe you have nothing to use compost for, that’s okay! You can still reduce rotting food smells from your home. Some folks might want to take it off your hands for a couple bucks, or you may check with your community and find out if they have a local food scrap recycling program. Buffalo’s got one – check it out right here!
So what do you think? Am I reaching here, or are you seeing the connection? I’d LOVE to hear your opinion. Leave a comment or contact me privately below. Join me on Instagram. Whatever your preferred method of contact, let’s connect!