Most of us eat several times a day. Any slight sensation of hunger and we feed it. It’s even recommended to eat six smaller meals a day to keep our metabolism revved up.

Here in America, the land of the plentiful –- we have an abundance of food. And a number of places to get the food: stores, restaurants, gardens, and farms. The latter, unfortunately, are the least likely places most of us get our food. Our connection to our food is severely limited. Our knowledge of our food, not much better.

When I think about all the food choices I have I feel pretty spoiled. I mean, I get to eat whenever I want and almost effortlessly. My biggest challenge usually is what am I going to eat? The choices almost make it more difficult. Sure, I have to go to the store, select, buy, and prepare the food. But, really that’s pretty easy.

I think back to the Incas. They were some pretty sophisticated thinking people, especially when it came to agriculture. They developed hand made tools to cultivate the land. They worked in systematic groups to plough the fields. They were very in tune with nature and crop seasons. Since they were so close to their food they planned their meals according to what was available at the time. They weren’t guaranteed maize or quinoa year round. It wasn’t every day they successfully hunted a Llama.

They worked hard for their food. They understood how valuable, precious food was to their survival. They didn’t take food for granted. They appreciated their food. They even chanted and sang while working for their food. Food was at the heart of everything they were.

We are a culture obsessed with food, but we don’t honor food the way the Incas honored food. Am I suggesting we return to the ways of the Incas? Well, yes and no. I’m suggesting at the very least we start honoring nature, the animals, and respect the seasons. And, perhaps we could stop complaining about a simple trip to the grocery store where we get to chose from all sorts of goods. Never mind they aren’t in season. Perhaps we could take some time to cook food from scratch at home, and enjoy a sit down meal together.

It’s a far fetched notion to return to the ways of the Incas, but at the very least let’s be more mindful and conscious of our food, and food choices. At the very, very least remember it hasn’t always been this easy.

Chrisetta Mosley

Chrisetta Mosley

I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures... Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!

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