One year of “eating is good”

“Not eating is a vice, a drug of sorts–with her stomach empty she feels quick and clean, clearheaded, ready for a fight.”

–Michael Cunningham, The Hours

I like to eat. I live to eat. I started saving recipes from Sunset Magazine when I was a kid. But I’ve worried about keeping my weight down since I was a teenager. That’s a distraction.

And I don’t like feeling heavy or weighed down. That distracts me from everything, including writing.

A year ago today, I started a new eating and exercise approach. Notice I’m trying not to say “diet,” which implies something temporary and hard to do. This is ongoing, not hard, and does not require strict adherence or perfection. I make my choices and I live with them. (And I break the rules often enough that there’s no high horse in sight. I mean, if I bake the dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, I’m going to eat a dinner roll.)

But it’s a little weird.

I’m eating a little more protein and a lot more vegetables, and I’m cutting way back on all the standard starches–rice, potatoes, pasta, bread. In the general view of the current populace, a little weird. If you stop eating bread, you might feel like a social deviant. (Which is harder to live with than an absence of bread.) I’m eating snacks so I don’t get as cranky or tired or glum. I feel a little more balanced.

Have the results been radical? No. But they’ve been good (see the earlier part about breaking rules).

Do I feel better? Decidedly. And stronger.

Do I need to work out all the time? No. Which means I have more time to write! And I don’t feel bloated and awful.

Do I struggle with the moral and environmental implications of eating mostly meat and fish as opposed to more vegetarian dishes? Yes. Still working on that one. Although Tom made a delicious lentil soup last night. (I was a vegetarian for 14 years back when it was still unheard of in the mainstream, so I should be used to feeling weird.)

I’ll check in again next year. Now it’s time for me to make dinner.