Watch Your Diet, Part 3

Last week, I talked about my physical and exercise diet. Getting outside every day helps a lot. The fresh air and brisk pace get my heart pumping, but it sets my mind free. I’ve had an epiphany more than once while being dragged along by the husky.

However, this week, I want to share the third part of my diet: What I eat.

I grew up with daily sit-down meals with the family. Except for Sundays, my mom cooked a balanced supper every night. Sunday was reserved for leftovers. Whatever was left in the ‘fridge was fair game—first come, first served. Whatever was left either went into lunches during the week or was tossed out. Very little got thrown away. Mom also used some leftovers in other meals, but not often.

Over the years, my cooking has evolved into the same type of dinner. We have a protein, usually in the form of meat. Then vegetables, the fresher, the better. Finally, we had a starch—rice, potatoes, pasta. If starch was on the plate, it was smothered in gravy or butter.

After reaching a weight-loss plateau and getting stuck trying to reach my goal, I changed our suppers and stopped cooking the starch. At the same time, I increased the number of fresh veggies I cook. I don’t know about First Reader and Best Riding Buddy, but I can tell the difference after just a couple of weeks. I can tighten my belt another notch, for one. And more importantly, I’m beginning to lose that belly fat that plagues many older women.

(C) 2022, JJ Shaun
A typical supper.

Since I’ve adjusted my diet, changed my snack habits, and started exercising daily, I can feel a difference in my overall health. I still have a few concerns to take to my doctor, but the difference between a year ago and now is noticeable. I can tell if I indulge in something I shouldn’t, and now that I know that, I can be prepared and decide whether the consequences will be worth the indulgence.

I am also learning my new limits. I don’t know about you, but I have certain pleasures I am unwilling to compromise on. I will, however, honor those limits because I despise feeling crappy. I can have an occasional (small) glass of wine—just don’t make it a regular habit. I can have one donut hole, but that’s all the carbs and sugar I’ll have for several days.

These adjustments didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken me a year to get where I am now, one change at a time. I’m still a work in progress, and some days are harder than others. Still, I’m going in the right direction as long as I keep moving forward (with the occasional and inevitable step backward).

This next week will be an added challenge as First Reader, and I are hitting the road for a much-needed vacation. Being the Road Warriors we are, we’re driving to Las Vegas to spend time indulging in a luxury condo, buffets by the dozen, and dropping a few coins into a machine. Don’t worry; I’m a lousy gambler and limit my losses to twenty bucks a day. I’ve been known to pocket my chips and walk away when I win.

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