Until then, I'm sorry for not having posted earlier, I'm sorry for being really behind in my blog-reading, and I'm sorry for making lame comments (when I have the presence of mind to make them at all). Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
The folks in my
But today I'd like to talk about how some great bloggers - Hanlie prime among them - have been inspiring me to make some important life changes to improve my health. I don't think I really need to lose weight exactly - the numbers on the scale are okay. In fact, after my depression left me at a semi-alarming low point last January, I've finally smoothed out and remained steady at a weight range that is appropriate for my height and build. Unfortunately, the numbers on the scale are only one small factor in determining my health.
What I need, then, is not a diet or weight loss program, but a healthier lifestyle in general. For me, this means two major things: making better food choices and being more active in my daily life.
Changing my eating habits is going to be very difficult. Once upon a time, when I was still living with J., I/we cooked and ate at home most evenings. Back then, I ate a lot more veggies and a lot less fried fat. But after moving, that all fell away. At first I was too depressed to care much about food, which was probably for the best, since I would have been too busy with school to do anything about it if I had cared. Then I was enjoying a brief period of laziness (hello, Mr. Delivery Man!) before going back to work. My job, you might remember, first exhausted me then frustrated me, to the point that I never left in the evenings with enough energy to do more than microwave a frozen dinner or stop-off at a nearby drive-thru. Kraft macaroni and cheese was as intricate as meals ever got for me.
But I kept reading about healthy recipes and low-fat snacks and I kept thinking that I could that too!... if not for the disaster area that WAS our kitchen. I say "was" because Monday night I had had enough. I went through and cleaned the place up enough to be livable (by my admittedly low standards). Mostly this consisted of throwing away old disgusting food, such as the cottage cheese from last July, or the yogurt whose expiration date was December 3, 2006. Yes, you read that right.
And when it was all done, I had a nice clean kitchen and a cat in the fridge, because wouldn't Tenny just have to jump right in once the bottom shelf was empty? I ask you, who of you wouldn't have done exactly the same thing? (And no, that picture isn't of him. I wasn't quick enough to capture him in the act.) Now if we can keep the kitchen clean - and the cats out of the major appliances - I'll be one big step closer to better food choices.
The other major step is, of course, what I choose to buy when I'm actually in the grocery store. Standing in a clean kitchen and saying, "I'm finally ready and willing to cook!" does me absolutely no good if I have nothing but Cup O' Noodles and Fritos in the cupboards. But I solved that problem on Monday as well with a trip to Safeway. Armed with my plans for a healthier future, I came out with fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grain breads, and low-fat dairy products. My food pyramid is finally looking more complete!
That night, I made myself pasta with chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms in a light vodka sauce. Quite tasty, and I'll be having some of the leftovers for dinner tonight. Safeway makes a great low-fat chicken stir fry meal in a bag, and Mission's whole wheat tortillas make yummy quesadillas. I'm also a fan of mixing strawberry yogurt with chopped-up bits of apples, pears, and walnuts for a light breakfast or lunch. Once I'm stocked with the necessary ingredients, there are lots of things I can make for myself that are significantly healthier than my Spiderman mac n' cheese.
Overall, I'm happy with the changes I've put into place in my diet. I just need to stick with them, even when I feel busy and tired and lazy. While my metabolism is pretty good now and I can eat tons of junk without gaining a lot of weight, I won't be able to do it forever. And all that junk is just building up to cause me problems later in life anyway - heart disease, high cholesterol: Who needs it?
I'll save my exercise / activity plans for another post. In the meantime, how is your daily diet? Are there any changes you want to make to it? Would now be a good time to start?