Back in 2011, I was deep into the process of losing the weight I’d gained during the 11 years of hidden teeth infections (1998 to 2009). My goal was to lose 100 lbs, and that summer, I’d hit the halfway mark. For some reason I can’t account for, the first milestone along this journey that I celebrated was when I hit a third of the way to my goal, and I did it by stacking up a pile of books that weighed the same as I’d lost so far. I did the same at the half, 2/3rds, and goal weights, and with the final one, I stood on the piles that represented 100 lbs of books. (It was a fun picture, but extremely precarious, and I’ll never do that again, heh.) But books weren’t my only way of marking progress, and at the halfway mark in the summer of 2011, Jason and I decided to do a similar photo set, only with our table carrying 50 lbs of food.
At the time, there were a lot of photos going around social media that said stuff like, “This is what 20 lbs looks like in sticks of butter,” and you’d have people taking photos with boxes of butter around them to represent what they’d lost so far. It was uniform, easily identifiable, and a fairly universal concept. However, we didn’t want to buy and then store 50 lbs of butter or some other individual food, so we used a smorgasbord from our pantry and fridge to make up those 50 lbs.
We took a couple different photos, and because I was so entranced with how different I looked after over a decade of being unable to control anything my body did, I ended up keeping them all. They’re fun photos to look back on, but honestly, I like them better now because they serve as a kind of family food time capsule. In the summer of 2011, my kids were 10, 9, and 7. Morrigan was about to start his last year of elementary school, and he’d just had braces put on for the first time. I used to throw “dance parties” for them in the living room, and I still brought them with me down to the park to walk (before they started complaining that they were bored of it). Food is an ever-evolving item in a household with children as they grow and accept/reject foods, as you discover food allergies or intolerances, as you introduce new things, as old things stop being made, as you get tired of some meals and move on to new ones.
These photos show me what we ate in the Gignacery 11.5 years ago. Cereal and milk was a staple. Back then, we could get big bags of frozen chicken breasts from HEB. You still can, but in 2017, the quality of the chicken changed and half of it would be unusable, so we stopped getting them. I can’t remember the last time we bought Greek Gods yogurt. Mini bagels used to be a staple of my snacks, but I never eat them anymore. We were drinking fat-free milk then, and have moved to 2% or whole milk now. I have absolutely no idea why we had a giant jug of Ragu because I can’t remember ever using that for spaghetti. I also have no idea why we had Great Value oats because we tended to avoid that brand as much as possible. And so on.
It’s great, having these little time capsule photos. Not only do I see the spread of food, but it’s also a throwback for me to see those ridiculous chairs we had (which came from the mormon church, heh), and the stupid curtains that were up on our house when we moved in (2006) and we literally never bothered to take down the entire nine years we lived there. There was that shirt that I loved, and hey, this was back when my hair was really curly and not nearly so grey, ha! Anyway, I’ll stop strolling along memory lane, but I quite enjoyed this. It makes me think I need to document food over time a little more often (even if not in a plunked out pile like this one!).