Today I moseyed on home to rejoin my husband and kitties. In celebration (and because I didn't want to go to the grocery store and cook--okay, not great I know, but who hasn't been there?) we decided to eat out for dinner at one of my favorite places, Panera. I ordered my favorite salad and for the same amount of calories as my disastrous (and tiny) sandwich yesterday, I got a very large, tasty, and filling salad with lean chicken, pecans, and gorgonzola cheese. I got at least twice as much food for the same amount of calories and felt satisfied after the meal rather than empty.
After dinner, we headed over to Borders. When I headed in the store, I really had no intention of looking at anything in particular or buying any books, but on a whim I headed over to the cook books and perused the Cooking Light recipe books. Soon I was seated in a chair with a pile of cook books in my lap, flipping through the pages with newfound glee. I purchased a book and I plan to end the evening picking out some recipes to try this week and making a shopping list for ingredients. I'm really excited to try some new things like apple and horseradish grilled salmon, baked "fried" chicken, or winter potage (a food processed blend of several veggis, rice, and seasonings).
As the first week of this lifestyle change (not diet) comes to a close, I've been reflecting on the reasons why I haven't stuck with it in the past. I know it's critical to my health. I know I look and feel better about myself. I know it's the right thing to do. If I know all of this, why do I lose sight of my goals? I've come up with several reasons, but the one that's related to my cookbook is simple food boredom. I select foods that are low calorie and healthful and I eat them again and again (and again!) for months until, to be honest, if I never saw another spinach salad in my life, I'd be just fine with that. While these simple, low-fat foods and meals get results, they feel lackluster and dull over time. First, I lose interest in food altogether (which sounds like a good thing, right?) and then my taste buds rebel and I dearly crave all the things that put me here in the first place. My will shaken, everything falls apart. I've repeated this cycle over and over. Now clearly, there are other reasons why my lifestyle change collapses, but I truly believe a lack of variety plays a role in the cycle. This time one of the key things I want to do differently is to be more creative about my food choices. To experiment more and find things that really taste good. The only way I can do this forever--eat healthfully--is to truly enjoy the tastes and sensations that I experience. I know that food is fuel, but food is also life. Life should be enjoyable.