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If it Looks Good Don’t Eat It

19 Sep

In the past few days I’ve been forced to give more consideration to my mortality. Just yesterday I learned that a library director passed away at the age of 36. 36! Stress is definitely not my friend. I’m 31 yet I feel considerably older. At least it’s my assumption of what older would feel like. My body also feels as though it can ignore all rhyme and reason and eat whatever it likes at its own whim. I think that my mind and body operate independently. My mind wants to be a size 10 and my body simply laughs.

Like many I stress eat. When I’m down I throw caution to the wind and the wrong foods suddenly become my best friend. Gone too is any concern for a healthy diet. I eat what I feel like with no questions asked. Even as I see the added pounds my mental state listens only to my stomach. Today as I ate lunch I thought, why is it not possible for someone to create a product that makes healthy foods taste like the things people crave and want to eat? I’m not talking about alternatives like garden burgers. I suppose I’m talking about a spray or sauce that makes the most bland healthy items taste like filet minion. I suppose it’s possible but I’d like it to also not end up giving me cancer (as it seems everything does).

I really wouldn’t mind eating a large assortment of fruits and vegetables if they tasted more like a McRib or something that my body feels like it wants to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I actually do have times where my body wants some healthier food. However, I compare those times to that of when my body is completely dehydrated and I crave water. It’s just not something that happens a lot. My now three year old niece had the pleasure of being introduced to candy and sweet foods when she was two. Now that’s all she wants. Once it was introduced into her diet there was no turning back. It’s like a drug, she is cognizant of where the candy is stored and if you don’t watch her carefully she’ll deplete all of it. At her age it’s cute but watching her also makes me think about how difficult it is as an adult to deny ourselves the things that look or taste good. Self-control is not my friend.

I’ve recently downloaded an iPhone app to assist me in reaching my weight and healthy living goals. I was floored when I saw how many calories I was taking in daily and what I had to do in order to get more control over my caloric intake. Some days I’d eat well over 3,000 calories without realizing it. Many years ago the American Average Daily Diet was around 1,850 calories. It has since moved to around 2,100. However, you must consider that given our differences in sex, age, etc. it’s not one size fits all. While 3,000 calories may be sustenance for one person, for me it’s apparently too much. There are plenty of online tools and resources that are low or no cost if you’re interested. But also remember it’s more than just counting calories. I suppose if it was that easy everyone would be doing it. Too much of a good thing, despite it being within your calorie limits, is truly bad. You miss out on some of the other nutritional content that your bodies need to survive. Argh, so much to consciously consider.

I just don’t understand why it is that everything that I love to eat is so bad for me. I love pasta and ice cream and everything that makes you gain weight just by looking at it. I also love corn but some argue that it’s a starch and so it’s not a vegetable that’s really all that good for you. I could eat corn all day but it’s not advised. It just makes no sense that the foods we eat are essentially killing us. If only pasta tasted more like lima beans and ice cream tasted more like bananas (which I really hate by the way) then I’d be far better about my eating habits. Until then I’ll have to try and curb my stress eating and as my mom would say, just drink water.

Originally posted as a Web Exclusive on 10/19/11. Article revised and published in the Union-Recorder 9/19/12 on page 5A.

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