Eating My Own Food, Walking My Own Path
Time to fess up. Time to even more obviously show my true colors. I care very little about healthy eating habits. The Mediterranean diet foods will not be found in my house. I generally eat a balanced diet. Generally. I am, however, passionate about carbs, fats, salt, and sugar. So shoot me.
The other day I had finished a burger festoon with sweet bbq sauce and caramelized onions along with a helping of steak fries. I topped off that yummy lunch with a “mile-high” ice cream pie. I took a photo of the pie and sent it to my friend Lin, the same person who wrote a nice piece on healthy snacks for this website. She nearly had a heart attack for me.
Unable to stick to a diet
If you are actually able to follow a healthy diet, by all means, do so. I cannot and I have stopped pretending.
The thing is, the number of people who cannot maintain a healthy diet is legion! I have already waited for a table in a said, artery-clogging food restaurant. When have you seen that happen in a healthy food joint?
I have said before: I am my father’s daughter. Daddy had a sweet tooth that was legendary. However, he walked back and forth to work, walked the dog nightly with me and walked as he mowed, shoveled snow, fished and hunted. I do yoga, cardio dance, and walk the dogs about five times a week. Like father, like daughter.
Exercise instead of dieting
I gave up long ago fighting the healthy diet war and losing any bad feelings about my weaknesses. Instead, I exercise. 40 years and counting I have exercised and felt good about myself instead of feeling like a failure in the diet wars.
Now I can hear you saying “she’s young.” 66 is not that young. “She doesn’t have all my health problems.” True, but exercise prevents health problems and improves some you already do have. “She’s crazy and a nag.” True and true. But I view all of the posts on healthy eating as nagging, so we are even.
I am not talking about anything as crazy as eating kale three times a day or, conversely, running a marathon. Dear God, no! I am talking about walking 30 minutes a day. The Arthritis Foundation gives us 12 reasons to walk including strengthening bones, improving circulation and lengthening your life. Weight loss, increased muscle strength, and improved sleep as well as joint support, and improved respiration are in the list. Add improved cognitive processes, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and increased stamina as well as also my favorite, improved mood. I find it hard to think that you could find a better value anywhere. This is especially because walking is free!
Exercise and macular degeneration
“But we are visually impaired!” So am I. The fantastic thing about exercise is it works for us, too. Sarraka Airi did research at the University of Eastern Finland on the beneficial effects of regular physical exercise on mental status in visually impaired and deaf-blind adults. She, or at least I think it’s she, discovered improvements in depression, anxiety and difficulties falling asleep as well as reductions in disturbed sleep. There were also improvements in physical conditioning, balance, and flexibility. How many win-win-wins are we at now?
Walking my own path
So, if you suspected the truth, you now know for sure. I say - proudly - I am a deserter from the diet wars. While some of you are munching your green salads, I am exercising - and eating cake. I have no problem with your continuing to fight, but I was done a long time ago. Hopefully, you will not object to my walking my own path. If you do...so shoot me.
How does your mental health relate to your physical health?