Friday, April 21, 2006

The War Against....Food?

That's right, the war in our home begins and ends with food. For Brian, the battle began before our paths crossed. He was overweight and sought to improve his health. He read Body for Life by Bill Phillips and that became his way of life. When we met, he was training to run a marathon and would run most days for an hour to an hour and half. The more important thing Brian did was to eat as well as he could. At that point, it was excellent to most people's standards - lots of fruits and veggies - low in fat and not a lot of junk food. At that point, Brian still liked to indulge from time to time by ordering a pizza or going out to dinner or getting a sundae at McDonald's or even by grabbing a big tub of popcorn and a soda at the movies. I think he'd keel over and DIE today if forced to any of those alternatives, except of course, for the movies. (I think that's the last hold out for least for now!)

Over time, as he's increased his training and as he's achieved goals and set new ones, he's slowly begun a war against food. I believe the first victim was transfat, which appears in most processed foods. I couldn't tell you when or where, only that it most likely came to him in his relentless online research into improving his training. I was instructed to not buy food with partially hydrogenated fats. Okay, seems like an easy task. But then you discover all those snacky foods and cereals you've grown to love have it. Oreos. Cheezits. Doritos. Even Saltines. WOW. It was, at first, a tough transition. It's simple enough not to buy it anymore, but to overcome that craving for a cheezit when it's in a bowl at a party? The self control and will power is difficult. But it's really only difficult at first I learned. Over time, I found that those momentary occasions where you want just a couple bites to satisfy the craving....they were great in your mouth, then you can feel your body's difficulty in digesting them. You feel sluggish. Your stomach is definitely upset. So you learn that the craving isn't worth the consequence. It's much easier for me to skip those momentary cravings now. It isn't always easy, but give me a break - undoing twenty plus years of bad habits is awfully difficult!

So a few weeks ago, I was to this point - feeling pretty good that I'm cautious and careful about my food choices and my body is healthier than ever for it. The catch you might ask? The next battle has been decided. Can I cry here?! The next battle will be against high fructose corn syrup. No more Rice Krispies :( No more Rice Krispie Treats?? :(

So the moral of this story for me is that where I thought there would be some calm on the battlefield - there is only another battle in store. I'm learning, I'm healthier, but some days - what I wouldn't give for a krispy kreme doughnut or a deep fried burrito! I can't even imagine what else we can cut out of our food, but I've learned that there will most likely always be a new enemy on the battlefield....

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