Comeuppance. Karma. A need to get way, waaaaay better behaved and healthier after a number of weeks of recklessly overindulgent behavior in the dietary realm. Whatever you want to call it, this is the time when I’m thinking I need to scale back and revamp my approach. For a few days, having returned Monday from the last of the summer’s travels bigger and much less healthy and fit than when I left at the beginning of June, I have been in the mode of, well, repentance.
New plans, however, can be exciting and inviting, too. What I have to try to discover now is what the true sources of my joy are when it comes to eating and how to access those without being so overindulgent and foolish. I know. I’ve promised myself before that I’d behave better, and it’s never stuck all that well, has it. Still gotta try.
Because there really is a lot of yummy stuff out there, and it’s not all bad for me. What I need to get smarter about is recognizing what leads to my downfall, what I crave and find most compelling, most especially when it seems inaccessible…and figure out all of the best possible ways to assuage my pangs instead of giving in to more self-destructive behavior. We’ll just see how I do.
There are a lot of delicious Beaver Tail fried dough treats out there, lathered up with maple icing or snow-dusted with cinnamon sugar just begging me to break my commitment to reducing my sugar intake and cutting out wheat as much as possible. Creamy desserts are flagrantly showing off their dangerously dairy-rich fabulousness at every turn, egging me on constantly to renew on my promises to myself that I will avoid more milk products that aren’t on the healthier end of the spectrum, say toward probiotic-loaded yogurt or a reasonably forgiving hunk of cheese. Pizza’s beauties are many, but one slice is seldom enough for me, even a slice as big as my head, and the one-two punch of wheat-rich crust and cheese’s oozing gooey goodness are too good at breaking my slim resolve. A magnificent slice of perfectly fresh fruit pie is pretty irresistible to a weak-willed piggy like me, but it’s loaded up with sugar most of the time and one slice—one bite—usually has the power to zap my strength. I just roll over and right off the wagon.
Now it’s time to embrace the new approach. Self-improvement in tiny, sustainable, and simple increments. Thinking hard for now. What makes me love wheat-based baked goods? Tender plus chewy texture. The scent of yeast. Crazy-good toppings and fillings. Thinking hard about what favorite other things can substitute for the wheat content. What makes me go crazy over creamy treats? Silky, fatty mouthfeel with a mellow sweetness that complements practically everything it touches. Thinking about substitutions. Things I already also love, but that aren’t quite so hard on the operation of my innards and the general shape of my outer shell, too. What is the real allure of sugary stuff? That little rush of energy, even though it is generally followed by a bigger fall-off; the bit of pleasurable serotonin buzzing up in me, and the flavor boost to other seasonings. Thinking, thinking…
Sure is easy to think about food. Now I hope I can think about it in smarter, healthier ways until I form a smarter, healthier relationship with it. But still while having as much fun as possible. Yep, not giving that up anytime soon.