Let’s talk about food

summer lunch
summer lunch (Photo credit: lorda)

So I invested in a scale yesterday.  And it was not pretty.  I’ve gained close to 10 pounds since starting my job.  I had gained close to 10 pounds after quitting my previous job, which I wrote off as being at home and having ready access to food as well as sitting most of the day.  That’s 20 pounds in about 5 years.  At that rate, in 20 more years, I’d be 80 pounds heavier than I am now.  And that is truly not acceptable.

While I was away, I logged my food, but did not count my alcohol intake.  Food-wise I did pretty good, staying under my preferred calories (usually by adding in exercise). With the alcohol, though, I’m certain I was way over.  I’m not finding it difficult, really at all.  I even had a scoop of ice-cream or two.  Normally, that would be two scoops a day.  The fact that I only had two all week is a victory.  The alcohol intake is problematic.  While I do go for days without drinking, in the summer, that’s more rare.  But I’m sure that the glass of wine or two or the beer or two a night is a contributing factor to that 10 pounds.  Not to mention the chips and dip.

Exercise is what I really need to work on because I can easily eliminate problem foods, even the alcohol, but it doesn’t matter if I don’t exercise.  But I need to do both.  I don’t think I can eat and drink whatever I want every day even if I exercise and expect to even maintain my weight.  My metabolism just isn’t what it used to be.

I’ve been exercising almost every day.  I at least take a walk every day.  I walk close to 2 miles, which takes about 40 minutes, so it’s a good pace.  But, I’m realizing I need to do a bit more, maybe something more active.  Running is out of the question.  I tried and it killed my back and knee.  I want to be able to walk when I’m 60 even if I am 60 pounds overweight.  I rented a bike at the beach and that worked out well.  I only rode about 10 miles or so at a time but still, that was better exercise (and more fun) than walking.  I do think the exercise thing is becoming a habit.  And that’s a good thing.  Hopefully, I can keep that up.

Yesterday, I read this article in The Atlantic, to which I said, yes, yes, yes.  I love organic and local food, but with a busy schedule and a tight budget, it’s just not possible for me to take the “moral high road” as often as I’d like.  What I’d like to see is processed food that’s better for you and still tastes pretty good and is reasonably priced, which is what the article argues for.  On the road, we resorted to fast food, stopping at a Burger King, a Taco Bell, a Subway, and a Cracker Barrel.  There are healthy, even vegetarian, options at all those places.  Usually only one, maybe two, but still it’s possible to eat healthy fast food.  Cracker Barrel had the most options.  All their meals in the wholesome menu were around 500 calories and low in fat and carbs.  And they cost the same as other menu options. We need more of that: a less fatty burger, side items besides fries, smoothies that don’t have 4 million calories even if they do have some additives.  I cook a lot.  We have vegetables all the time, which I cut and steam, etc.  But things do get busy and I need options that don’t make me feel like I’m poisoning myself or my family.

I will gladly support a fast-food place that’s working to be more sustainable and more healthy and keep costs down. And I will gladly put pressure on them to do so, rather than banning them from my diet altogether. To me, that makes more sense, because I don’t think McDonald’s is going away any time soon and I don’t think it’s going to be replaced by some health food version of it either.  I think having quick and easy and healthy options would help me–and a whole lot of other people.

Enhanced by Zemanta