You know you shouldn't be eating that right? I'm just saying, you are the one who promised to do better with your diet, and look at you doing the exact opposite. If you looked around with the guilty face, then keep reading, this is for you!
Let's face it, food is undeniably divine. The smells, the tastes, and the simple joy in knowing you are about to feel some type of way. Depending on what your food selection is, euphoric even. If you close your eyes you can remember the last time you were taken to this sinful point of no return. The endorphins in your mouth begin to explode and just like that you have fallen in love. The description sounds like a hot and steamy story about two star gazed lovers right?! Well, that's because it is.
The relationship you develop with food starts when you are young and will determine the effect and outcome it will have in your life. Growing up, I was a finicky eater. I didn't want what my mother prepared most of the time because quite honestly it wasn't appealing to me as a child. My idea of a gold star meal was chicken nuggets, and anything with cheese, however, in our household we didn't eat much fast food and were told if you didn't want what was cooked, you just wouldn't eat. Skinny and hungry, I ate the food before me and went on about my life without knowing the true impression that was being made. It wasn't until I moved to Georgia in 1996 that the very meals I used to turn my nose up to, I started to love, and cook, in huge proportions! It was just me, however, I didn't understand how to balance portion control with cooking or eating.
The events over the past two years have inserted a pause into our regular routines and for some, it hasn't eased up one bit. Saying that the struggle is real might be the understatement of the year. As the pandemic continues to forge forward, awareness of our overall health and well-being which started off as a high priority has unfortunately been the first of many things to decrease. Regular gym visits stopped only to be replaced by regular visits to the refrigerator. Motivated home workouts were replaced by motivated binge-watching. What started out as a cheat meal, eventually became a constant.
As controversial of a topic as weight has become it is vital to our well-being to keep those discussions at the top of the list. Let's face it, no one likes to be told what to do until they are forced to make a change. Breaking a habit is challenging, however, with proper planning and execution, it can be accomplished.
As part of my regular routine, I visited the doctor about 4 years ago for a checkup. I felt completely fine and ready for a clean bill of health. I was beyond shocked at the results of the lab tests which showed I was pre-diabetic. I was ignorant in thinking diabetes could/would not affect me because of my weight which by the way was not the best, but it wasn't the worst in my eyes. As I left the doctor I stopped to buy exactly three chocolate cookies which I looked at with those star gazed eyes I mentioned earlier. One of my weaknesses, fresh baked cookies! I knew that I was in for a challenge and told myself after this last binge I would have to pump the breaks on my wants and focus more on what my body needed. It would be six months before I returned to the doctor. The time in between was spent focusing on my health and how I was going to turn things around. The report the second time was astonishing. After losing 20 pounds I felt invincible. My doctor told me she wished all of her patients listened the way I did. My head couldn't have been any larger at that very moment.
None of this is a walk in the park. I still have struggles and times when I eat what I am not supposed to. What happened to those Sunday types of meals I grew up on and used to cook? I still cook them, just in different ways. I've learned to be creative while enjoying what I like, and adding a healthier flair to it. Lots of sacrifices, and many moments of being tired of roasted veggies and sensible food. Learning to play with your food becomes an integral part of your growth and success with weight. Experiment with different ways to prepare your food. Get to know your body type and what works for you and what doesn't. If you have gone from working in the office to now working from home the struggle is even harder. Step into the world of meal prepping! Although very time-consuming it will prove to be well worth it in the end. It is much easier to go to the fridge and pull out an already prepped meal and it prevents you from making a choice that might not be the best for you.
It's important, to be honest with yourself. If working out daily isn't your thing, try 2-3 days out of the week, start slow, and ease your way into a routine, increasing as you feel more comfortable. Perhaps meal prepping for an entire week is too much work, try it a couple of days at a time. Find your balance, research ideas, and implement. If you make a mistake, pick up the pieces and start over. Make time to visit and talk with your doctor and ensure you are doing what is safe and effective.
It doesn't always start or end where you think it will but the effort is what matters!
AJ is a creative writer and storyteller writing from her home in Indiana.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman