Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm told it's very healthy

After years of bad behavior, my eating habits are catching up to me. In early November, my doctor did her best to “scare me straight” by emphasizing that my triglyceride levels were through the roof. I have two beautiful young boys and if I want to make sure that I am around to see their major life events, I need to make a serious effort to change my lifestyle.
My doctor suggested that I follow a Mediterranean Diet. My first smart-ass instinct was to wonder if I could get my insurance company to sponsor a “research trip” to the Greek Islands.  My doctor’s instructions were far less glamorous.  She told me to “Focus on fruits, vegetables and beans. Eat a little bit of meat and dairy. Most importantly, cut out refined sugar and processed foods. A few good carbs are ok, but anything out of a box will spike your triglycerides.”
 I can’t eat anything out of a box?! 80% of what I eat comes out of a box! Not only are boxed foods convenient and tasty, but I am a picky eater and boxed foods are CONSISTENT. When I open a box of crackers and spread some cheese on it, it will taste the same every single time. But when I put in twenty minutes of effort to chop a salad, at least half the time the tomatoes are flavorless or the lettuce is wilted. This is one of my hurdles to healthy eating.
I spent two weeks mulling over what the doctor said. It’s not the first time I’ve heard it. Over the past ten years various doctors have warned me that it’s time to change my ways. What’s different this time is that I am finally starting to feel the effects on my body. I am experiencing hypoglycemic episodes more frequently and they are frightening.  I’m seeing the outside of my body begin to age and I’m realizing that the changes I can’t see inside are probably sobering. I’m tired all the time. And I am so in love with my sons that I really want to be around to raise them, see them graduate college, get married, etc.
I decide to take a first easy step. I go to the liquor store and buy a bottle of red wine. Hey, it IS part of the Mediterranean diet! The people in that region famously have a few small glasses with lunch and dinner.  I am easily amused, so I am cracking myself up with how I am subverting the system by focusing on alcohol as the first step to a healthy lifestyle. Since visualizing a beautiful, sun drenched olive grove is helping to inspire me, I skip the California Wines and head straight to the Italian section. I'm normally a white wine kind of girl, so I find my favorite brand of Pinot Grigio and check out the same brand's red offerings.  
I know that change has to come, but for today, this is all I can muster. One step at a time.

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