I don’t mind telling you that I’m in my fifties. Or that I grew up in a Midwestern family which, like Erma Bombeck’s, “viewed gravy as a beverage” (one of my favorite Erma quotes). Even though I’ve been bicycling since the 1970s, I can’t say I was especially fit despite the exercise. I mean, at one time I would eat two Big Macs the day before a 100-mile ride. No wonder I felt a bit sluggish.
In recent years, though, middle-age spread started to… well… spread. So I have really tried to work on my nutritional chops. No, not pork chops. I mean I’ve been trying to gain expertise in planning and preparing healthy food. Not being prone to gnaw on lawn clippings or bran muffins or similar “health foods,” Brent and I keep our eyes open for more appealing options.
Last year we ran across a book about the “Eat Clean Diet,” written by Tosca Reno. Peeking into the recipe section, we saw photo after photo of yummy-looking stuff. Seriously, it was both edible AND made with healthy ingredients. I tried the Mango Salsa recipe served over tilapia, and we both loved it.
As we added more scrumptious-but-healthy foods to our repertoire, an odd thing happened: most of my old, unhealthy favorites just didn’t seem as appetizing any more. For instance, I lost nearly all interest in Chicken-Fried Steak, which I had earlier designated a “once-a-year-treat.” In fact, most deep-fried foods just don’t sound very good. Yay, Jan is forming a positive habit!
But some days fill up with exercise and errands, and when lunchtime hits it will find a weak spot. Below is Exhibit A, evidence that the siren song of comfort food still rings in the air. Listen in while Brent and I chat on Facebook a few hours after a cycling workout last month…
Jan: Hi, Handsome!! I rode 8.42 miles today. It was windy.
Brent: Good! Nice warm day.
Jan: Yep! It was perfect (except for the wind)
Brent: Well you had a tailwind in some direction.
Jan: Yes, my avg speed increased all the way home.
Jan: I ate fried chicken for lunch. Grapefruit dinner for me!
Brent: You are the Yin and Yang of the Eat Clean diet!
So there you have it. Mood swings, food swings, whatever. But you know, I am not inclined to be too hard on myself. After all, fried chicken once in eight months is way less fattening than fried chicken every week. I’m making lots more fresh, healthy choices now than I was a couple of years ago. As long as most of my steps are in the right direction, why stress out about an occasional glitch?
I’d love to hear about how you have made progress toward a health or other goal.
Thanks for reading,
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