Alright, y’all. It is ON. As I’ve mentioned before, the breastfeeding diet was good to me for nearly 2 years of my life, (though they were not consecutive years) meaning I ate whatever I wanted and still lost the baby weight. And then lost a little extra. The pregnancy diet–also a considerable portion of the last few years of my life–was also good to me. I ate lots of friut, I watched my sodium and processed food intake…but i did enjoy a few (dozen) Oreos from time to time, and still gained weight at a healthy pace.
For the first time in nearly 4 years, I am neither pregnant nor breastfeeding, and i have gained almost 10 pounds in the past 4 months. Call me vain, but i do not like where this is headed. My clothes fit, but not comfortably. I have little energy, I’m not sleeping well, my tmj symptoms are creeping up on me… I recognize all these things as signs of stress and, thanks to some great self-care resoures, intend to address them before they get out of hand. Beginning with what I put into my body–I’m going to have to acknowledge that the great metabolism I’ve enjoyed all my life is starting to betray me as I creep towards 35. It’s ALMOST enough to make a girl try for a 3rd baby… but i know it will be alot less work to just lay off the oreos.
Here’s why I’m sharing all this in the blogging world (because, really, why do you care?) I promise, I’m not going to bore you with a diet and exercise journal. I’m not even going to bore myself with a diet and exercise journal. I’m not going to over-share about my clothing sizes or my measurements. I’m not going post pics of a reality-tv-worthy transformation.
What I am going to do, over the next few weeks, is to try and recount the best meals I’ve ever had. Not just as lists of ingredients, but as stories.
Here’s my theory–if I really dig deep and try to connect with the most memorable, meaningful, or just plain awesome food moments of my life, I will find that none of them involved a drive through. Or a pre-packaged snack food. Or any of the little things that creep into a busy person’s diet and, slowly but aggressively, add a pound at a time until the prospect of doing anything about it seems overwhelming.
Because I know–and you know, too–that the best part of most meals has alot to do with where you are and who is with you to share it. There is a sacred table at the center of all our best stories. Sometimes the food that graces the table is an afterthought. Sometimes it is a main character. But always, always…it feeds us with something more than salt, sugar, and artificial flavors and colors.
I’m filling up on these stories to remind myself that a McDonald’s breakfast burrito is not going to make me have a more productive day; that polishing off the kids’ Halloween candy before bed is not going to help me sleep better; and that an afternoon ‘pick-me-up’ from the bakery is probably not going to end well.
We know that eating simple, local, and colorful is good for our bodies. And the economy. And the environment. But there’s a heart benefit that reaches beyond the actual cardiovascular system, and a global advantage that is not just about sustainability. I mean, think about it; when we eat well, we’ve got far more energy for saving the world.
The best meal you ever ate: where were you, and why? Who prepared it, and who enjoyed it with you?
Were there leftovers?
Now: with the taste of that memory fresh on your soul, do you really want to reach for the partially-hydrogenated-soybean oil?
That’s how my new diet works. It may not lead to dramatic transformation, but it will be alot more fun than giving up carbs.