Tag Archives: eating habits

It rarely pays to argue with a goddess

One of the interesting things about Freyja acting as my patroness and primary guide is that she often puts in her two cents on my health and any matter related to it. And while she certainly reaffirms my right to make my own decisions about what I should do, she both makes her opinion about the best course of action known and is brutally honest about the consequences of a bad decision I’m considering.

Consider, for example, a brief exchange we had tonight at dinner. After working at the shop all afternoon, Belinda, Amy, and I decided to go to dinner at Red Lobster tonight. The three of us sat in a comfortable booth enjoying our meals. After I finished my chicken linguini alfredo (one of the great ironies of my life is that I eat at Red Lobster at least once a month despite the fact that I don’t like seafood or fish), I pondered the possibility of dessert. After all, I absolutely love their ice cream sundae with the big chocolate chip cookie on the bottom. I considered it when Miss Thing decided to make her thoughts known. The exchange went something like the following.

Her: I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Me: But it’s so good!

Her: Yes, but you’ve already had enough to eat.

Me: I can manage it!

Her: You also had the pina colada with dinner.

Me: I know, but I probably won’t come back for a few more weeks, and I really want the sundae.

Her: Okay, let me lay it out for you. Then you can choose whatever you want.

Me: Lay it out for me?

Her: Your digestive system is already a bit out of whack due to your recent changes in exercise and eating habits. You’ve eaten a large meal and had a drink. Before you order the ice cream, you might just want to stop and ask yourself how much time you really want to spend in the bathroom this evening.

Me: You mean….?

Her: Well, let’s just say that if you have the ice cream, you might want to move the television in there as soon as you get home so you don’t miss your shows.

I eventually saw reason and went without dessert tonight. Hey, it was my choice. But all the same, it sure feels like she play dirty some days. 😉

Lifestyle changes

Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done in almost two and a half years. I went grocery shopping.

I tried grocery shopping and cooking for myself when I first moved to Rochester. I think that lasted for about a month before I decided it was too much bother. I just found the idea of running home after work and cooking my own food to be a nuisance. So I started ordering takeout, ordering delivery, grabbing a sub on the way home, and even eating out most of the time. I even started buying food items for lunch and breakfast at convenience stores.

And for two and a half years, this arrangement worked perfectly for me. I had the excess cash flow to support expense of that kind of lifestyle, so it was comfortable. However, now that various factors — like starting to contribute to my company’s 401k plan and the extra expense of taking dance classes — have altered my (non-existent) budget to the point where I’m just barely breaking even each month.

As such, I’ve decided it’s time to change my eating habits. This week, I decided to start with something simple: Buying groceries and putting together my own lunches and breakfasts rather than buying something “on the run.” The net result is that I covered two thirds of my meal requirements this week on about one fourth of my typical food bill for a week. It’s actually kind of depressing to realize how much money I have been wasting due to overspending.

I figure I’d start with just lunches and breakfasts for now, as well as dinner for the two nights I need a quick bite before dance class. For most dinners, I’ll still buy something or eat out for the next week or two. So my spending won’t be completely minimized, but I’m hoping to at least put a bit more of a buffer between my income and my total expenses.

I’m also working on bringing my own snacks to work, which is my other big expense. This will have the advantage of being cheaper as well as healthier for me. Granted, I don’t expect my trips to the candy machine to disappear immediately. (If that was the case, I already failed on my first day.) But overall, I hope this will help cut down on my spending even more.

I actually got a huge compliment from the woman in front of me in the checkout line. She glanced over my pile of items, which consisted mostly of yogurts, fruits, and stuff to make salads (as well as a couple pre-made salads at real good prices) and wraps. She smiled and said that I had an extremely healthy selection. In fact, her exact words were that her nutritionist would be pleased and proud of my groceries. I smiled and thanked her. Eating healthier isn’t one of my primary goals in doing this (I actually feel I do pretty good at that anyway), but it should be a nice side effect of the process.

Being turned on by my younger self?

Thanksgiving Day, I had a bit of a personal experience. After I had gotten to my parents’ home and was seated in the dining room chatting with them, I began to look around the room. On the one stand next to the interior wall, I spotted an old picture of me. If my mother is right (I mentioned it to her later), it was the casual picture I had taken when I had my senior pictures taken in high school.

When I first saw the picture, I did a double take. “That was me?! Damn, I was cute back then!” In fact, I was so taken by the picture that I almost had trouble believing it really was me. I looked rather different back then. It was before my hairline had really started to recede and before I put on an extra 70+ pounds. This realization was somewhat depressing, and for a moment, I even mourned the fact that I was no longer that young man in the picture.

What’s more, I mourned that I never realized how good looking I really was back then. I never considered myself ugly (and never have), but I did consider myself pretty plain. Part of that was because the school nurse kept harping on the fact that I was “slightly overweight” every year. Add that to the fact that none of the girls in school really seemed all that interested in me (nor the boys, but I wouldn’t have been ready to pursue that possibility anyway), and it just never occurred to me how great I looked. Of course, that made the realization rather sweet now, even if I did wish I would’ve taken better advantage of my looks back then.

But then Miss Thing (Have I mentioned that I love having a patron goddess who let’s me get away with calling her names like “Miss Thing”?) began pointing out to me that I’m still very good looking. Despite the decrease in hair and the increase in weight. And besides, I’m slowly, very slowly, doing something about that latter part. It is entirely likely that in three or four years, I could be that “slightly overweight” (in which case I will party) guy in the picture again, just at twice the age. But it’s going to take time, patience, and a lot of self love. After all, if I try to rush things, I’ll only get frustrated and sabotage my own efforts. And besides, I need to accept I already look great so that it becomes a matter of improving on an already great thing rather than some struggle against myself.

So I will continue to do my exercising (which I admit I’ve been bad about for the past couple weeks). I’ll get back to eating healthier. And I’ll continue to do so because I enjoy it (I’m already pining for longer days and warmer weather again so I can return to my walking). But at least now, I do it with a glimmer of hope that despite not being my primary goal, there’s proof that I could really enjoy the fringe benefits in the long run, too.