A few days ago I commented on Facebook that “better habits are built one choice at a time.” Though this could have applied to any number of habits and choices in my life I was mainly talking about my relationship with food.
I have always been – how do I put it? – a large-ish person. Not really large since, when it comes to shopping for clothes I fall at the upper range of what are “regular” sizes and the lower end of “big and tall.” I am, you might say, at that awkward, in-between stage. It tells you something about where we are as a society, genetics aside, when at nearly 300 pounds I fall at the lower end of “big and tall.”
Anyway, since I can remember, food has been a major player in my life. Not just eating, of course; almost everyone does that (and if they don’t, unfortunately, they don’t live long enough to write blog posts about it). I enjoy food – the colors, textures, aromas, and, of course, flavors. I mean, really enjoy it. Food is, and has been, a source of nourishment, naturally, but also a source of comfort and a distraction from other things. All in all, not a very healthy relationship at all. What’s worse is that I cook and I’m pretty good at it, so I end up spending more time with food. But it’s not just that. When I’m stressed, bored, or tired, I eat. And it doesn’t seem to matter much what it is, I find something.
Over the last few years I have, from time to time, kept a food log. I have also, at various times, kept closer track of how many calories I eat. My doctor has convinced me that, aside from eating healthier foods, it’s all about “calories in , calories out.” When I keep track of them, my calories in aren’t bad. But that’s the problem, “when I keep track of them,” because it usually isn’t more than a few days before my level of fatigue, stress, etc., reach the point where I just don’t care and anything that doesn’t move (and even some things that do) better watch out.
For the last couple of weeks I have been trying to make more mindful choices about what I eat, when, why, and how much, and write it down in the little notebook I usually keep close by. It’s up and down, and day to day, but at early middle age I have only a limited time (well, all of our time is limited, isn’t it?) to make a difference. I was down five pounds at my most recent office visit; making better choices, one at a time, hopefully, will continue to make a difference.