Fat to Fit to First Level: The Mental Side of Losing Weight, Part IV

On color.

Color is a beautiful thing. When I was a very small child and the county fair came to town, I could hardly keep still as I stood in line at the carousel ride! I waited impatiently as the circle of horses spun slowly in front of me and I looked at each steed to find the one I wanted to ride.

I glossed over the lovely greys and the golden palominos, the fierce blacks and the random polar bear. When I spied the flashy paint carousel horses, I would send a silent plea heavenward, “please, please, please don’t let anyone else jump on that one! That’s the horse for me!”

As soon as the ride attendant opened the gate, I scampered up to whatever paint horse I’d picked out and climbed aboard, petting its shiny wooden neck and quickly giving it a name for the duration of our three-minute fantasy ride together.

My beloved mustang, Kaliwohi, is a tri-color paint. When I was casually perusing the BLM adoptables web page, not at all “in the market” for another horse, I tried very hard to ignore the coat color of every wild one and focus only the eye. I believe the eye is the window to the soul, and Kaliwohi’s eye illuminates a very old soul.

Kaliwohi’s “snow lynx” marking. Photo by Esther Roberts

That soul is housed in a brightly-colored package that I love, even when the rich brick red, eclipse black, and blinding white are all muted by bright red Tennessee clay mud stains. Kiwi has a small leaping white trout on his bay forehead. He is forever hugged by a snowy lynx across his neck and left shoulder. His tail is a sassy plume of ebony and ivory that sashays as he ambles along.

Kaliwohi’s “leaping trout” whorl marking. Photo by Paige Kirkland

I love having a brightly colored mustang. Perhaps this is because, were I a horse, I would be a rather nondescript plain chestnut mare. I know some really fine, “plain colored” horses, and some excellent greys and blacks, as well. The time-tested adage, “good horses come in every color” is very true. But I’m glad Kiwi is so variegated!

When it comes to food, color is also a beautiful thing. Brightly colored foods like carrots, blueberries, beets, and sweet potatoes reflect some of the wonderful nutrients these foods contain. “Eat your colors,” is an easy and handy guideline for considering what foods will fuel the human body the best.

I used to roll my eyes when I would go to a restaurant and order a salad. The portions served in American restaurants, unlike many other countries, are ginormous. Sometimes “salad” means an oversized bowl overflowing with nutritionless iceberg lettuce and a pint of salad dressing. Ask for a “chef” salad and you’re likely to get several slices of highly processed meat which is chock full of sodium and preservatives.

These days, I’m learning which local restaurants offer an organic salad bar so I can build a salad the right size for me, which is typically about the size of a pint jar. I’ve also learned to judge my salad by how colorful it is. The deep green color of fresh baby spinach leaves. The bright orange of organic carrots. These and other colorful ingredients not only give one’s salad a rich variety of flavors, but this rainbow of colors also reflects the myriad nutrients you’re giving the body.

Small organic salad is just the right size and very colorful! Photo by Esther Roberts

“You are what you eat” is worth remembering!

When I consumed a lot of starches and sugars, my body was much more “poofy” – like the marshmallows I love so much. My food was often quite uniform in color, as well. (Helloooo, boring beige pancakes!) These days, as I’m learning to refine my eating choices to a much healthier variety, I appreciate an array of colors in my food as much as I appreciate the variety of colors in Kaliwohi’s coat.

Join me on this journey on Facebook: Fat to Fit at Horse Nation (page and group), and my blog www.appalachianchic.com.


Go riding.

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