Luckily, I’ve evaded most of those poor choices that I’ve named, though I do tend to speed in the sweet car I currently own. But by far my worst habit is eating. I love to eat. And the bad news is: everyone has to eat in order to live! With drinking or smoking, you may feel like you need those activities, but you’ll still survive if you don’t do them. Not so with eating. It’s a necessity of life.
That’s not to say we must have Twinkies or Eclairs in order to make it through the day. Hardly. But we do have to go into stores, past racks and racks of improper food choices just to buy the right food. And I’m easily diverted. In one of the supermarkets I frequent, I have to go past the bakery and deli to get to the fresh produce section. That’s a disaster! The apples and oranges may look shiny and delicious and good for me, but they sound even better in the form of apple pie and orange soda! And don’t even get me started on the taste differences.
Likewise with deli chicken choices. A baked, skinned, boneless chicken breast on a half cup of brown rice with spinach would be the perfect lunch combination. Too bad it’s sitting next to a fresh, hot batch of fried chicken, skin still attached. I’m a goner. I don’t come out of that deep rabbit hole until the bones are picked clean.
Cooking choices aren’t a whole heck of a lot better. While it is recommended to use ground turkey instead of ground beef, I can’t wrap my mind around that mental picture of what exactly is ground up from the turkey. So I compromise by buying ground sirloin. But then making a nice, juicy grilled cheeseburger on a bun isn’t exactly dietary. Nor are the frozen potato puffs and barbeque baked beans as sides.
My husband and I both grew up on comfort food. Roasts, meatloaves, fried “cowboy” potatoes, or mashed potatoes. Salads were also present, but delicious dressings accompanied them. And it was the same when we went out. Why buy the lean, heart-healthy, six ounce top sirloin steak when the signature prime rib was oh, so much more flavorful? You had me at “prime rib.”
Now we are in the middle of our lives, and paying for our past transgressions. Olive oil has become my cooking companion instead of Crisco. Fresh carrots and salads comprise my lunches, with a nod to my former self in the form of a half cup of chicken or tuna salad balanced on top. And eight cups of water float me through my day.
My neighborhood gym attendants know me by sight. I’m the stationary bike lady who reads her kindle instead of watching the talking heads on the TVs, or plugging into music. My neighbors wave when I walk by. They’ve seen me lose weight, then gain it back, and now making the attempt to lose it again. It’s a battle many of my acquaintances are familiar with.
Yes, eating has to be done. It’s something none of us can do without. And when you get on the wrong path, it’s a devil of a time finding the right one. There are so many delicious distractions, I can fall off the wagon daily. Exercise is the only way I can combat my bad habit. Yet here I am, sitting on my behind typing this instead of out walking. And if I do go out walking, or head to the store for a health conscious snack, I still have to run the gauntlet of all those cute little Girl Scouts begging me to buy their cookies. Don’t I have to support their worthy cause?