Getting a Jump Start on Spring

Spring is here to stay, and there are plenty of NSVs to be had!

By Kenneth Selke 

The changing of the seasons is here, and I’m incredibly grateful that spring is upon us. Now that the torrential rains we experienced here in California this winter have passed, the landscape is now bursting into life. Just as the hillsides and the wildflowers paint our scenery with color, it truly feels like life has begun anew, even within my own being.

The longer days, later sunsets, and the beautiful scenery that surrounds our new home have all encouraged me to get out and improve our property, as opposed to getting home from work and immediately heading into pajamas. These last couple of weeks have inspired me, and now that the ground is finally dry, Erin and I decided to recuperate a couple of gigantic planter boxes that had been neglected by the previous owners. As you can see in the before picture, it was an overgrown mess! Even though it was a formidable task, never underestimate the power of a weed whacker! Well, the weed whacker, a hula hoe, two shovels, two different rakes, and a LOT of pulling weeds by hand. Our motivation and goal was to create a beautiful garden that will bear us PLENTY of vegetables throughout the summer. However, a byproduct of my project was racking up nearly 30 FitPoints® in one day.

kenny garden - before

Once the planters were cleared, Erin and I headed to our local home and garden shop, buying vegetable sprouts, and more than 500 pounds of fertilizer to refill these nearly empty planters. Loading and unloading the fertilizer bags was something I didn’t take lightly, pardon the pun. Each bag was over 50 pounds; knowing that I have lost more than 150 pounds, I painstakingly loaded a bag over each shoulder, and had Erin help me put another one on my back. I felt it all again — how far I had come. Quite literally, walking around my yard with these three bags on me, weighing me down, each step was unsure. I felt pain in the soles of my feet, and after what must’ve been only one minute, I was out of breath and had trembling leg muscles. I couldn’t believe that this was my everyday life just a few years ago.

How did I manage bearing all that weight for so long? Here I could hardly stand a minute of it, yet, this was my reality for years prior to starting my journey. Finally I had enough, and stood all the way up, forcing the bag on my back to fall to the ground with a formidable THUD. Then I dropped the bag on my left shoulder, then my right. I stepped back and looked at those three bags laying on the ground, and became a bit emotional. Those bags represented where I had been, and how far I had come. As I walked back to my truck, with the weight of the bags removed, I realized how much I’ve benefitted from my weight-loss efforts. Weight Watchers equipped me with the tools I needed to get rid of that weight, and it’ll help me to lose maybe one and a half more bags before I achieve my goal. I’ve made it this far, and I know I can drop those last final pounds!

kenny garden - after
After my little epiphany, episode, revelation, whatever you’d like to call it, we got back to work on the planters. We spread all the soil, watered it down very well and let it dry before we placed our sprouts into the ground. Having two large planters allowed us to plant A LOT! Four tomato plants of differing varieties, four types of squash, zucchini, cucumber, six bell pepper plants, two jalapeño plants, habaneros (I love spicy food), beans, garlic, onion, basil, and lastly fennel. Along with the vegetables, we also planted bee-attracting flowers where we could in between the plants, so that we can lure them in to pollinate our little garden. After everything was in the ground, we took a moment to admire what we had just created together — not only a source of nutritious foods that we’ll be able to use in our healthy meals, but also (and more important) a task we were able to do it together, and enjoy every minute of as husband and wife. 

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