So, I admit it. I’m one of those SparkPeople currently obsessed with monitoring every morsel that goes in my mouth. And running. And swimming. And occasionally hauling my body on a scale.
I don’t have a horrible body image, nor do I hate myself or ever skip a meal. Ever. I like to eat and do so fast and often.
Working in health, I get to develop programs to fight obesity in the US and malnutrition in Africa. Ah, the brutal mismanagement of resources is divine. I swear there are weeks when I’ve held a malnourished child days from death only to return to the United States and seen enough food in the airport food court to feed an entire village. Fun, no?
I love my job, but I am regularly embarrassed by America’s gluttonous ways. I don’t think a fat tax is the solution, but a good old dose of self control would do this country some good. I simply cannot believe how large we are getting. Everything suddenly seems a bit out of control (including our national debt, but I’ll leave that one for another post.)
To make my point: have you heard of Taco Bell’s new slogan? It’s called “The Fourth Meal. The Meal between Dinner and Breakfast.”
No joke. To point out the obvious, it can’t be called break-fast if you are eating all night. This sort of thing makes my skin crawl.
I don’t like that I’m becoming a bit crazy about the state of our nation’s health, but I can’t help but count the overweight people in public places when I’m waiting in line. It scares me. We are facing a huge health battle in the next 30 years and my generation very well may be the first to die before our parents from preventable disease.
So, not that you need my advice in a world teaming with “easy” ways to eat well, but here are a few things I’m working on. Some are easy, others take a good bit of effort. The effort is worth it.
1. Move, every single day. Even my one non-gym day, I take a walk. My heart and I are becoming the best of friends. I treat her right, she’s going to let me see 80.
2. Buy a pretty water bottle and use it. I drink at least a gallon of water a day (I live in the desert.) I also have become a big fan of Crystal Light. I carry this bottle with me everywhere.
3. Eat veggies and fruit daily.
4. Egg whites, grilled chicken, whole grains are good for me. They give me fuel and make my workouts better. Sugar-free fudge pops are the silver lining.
5. When I go out to eat, I immediately offer to split my meal with my dining companion. If he/she isn’t interested, I ask for a to-go container and take the other half home. Even if I don’t eat it, I surely didn’t need the entire portion.
6. I make deals with myself. If I’m going to stop for a bagel in the morning, I don’t drink wine at night. There are only so many free, fun calories a day and you can’t always have both without jiggle in the mid-section.
7. I find something I like about my appearance every day. I remind myself that I am healthy and take good care of myself and that is far more important than numbers on a scale or in the back of pair of jeans.
8. I try to only eat when I am hungry. This sounds like a “no shit” thought, but I have often found myself — especially now that I live alone — eating when I’m bored, eating in front of the television and eating because food is available. I’m not a camel. I don’t have to stock up. If nothing else, I can always drive through for that fourth meal…
Here’s to a healthier America,