Aging Gracefully

March 8, 2013 at 9:58 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty, Life and Living | 2 Comments
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In recent weeks, I have been actively involved in throwback Thursdays on Instagram.  This comes as no surprise to my friends who might remember the old photos I started posting on Facebook five years ago, as I always had a camera on me as a youngin’ (some things never change).  It appears that my inherent need and desire to document life comes in many forms and has become a constant in my life for a long time.

And what’s really interesting about looking back at old photos is seeing how much we have grown.  I’ve had many people say to me recently that I look the same as I did in high school, some saying I look better now.  When I look back at these photos, I see lots of bad phases, some awkwardness as I grew into my body, and some periods where I had things going just right.  Sometimes, I looked really young, and boy was I skinny!

Overall, I think I have been aging pretty well.  In many ways, I have to agree that I don’t look all that different from when I was a senior in high school.  There are small changes — gray hairs sprouting, the beginnings of creases in my face — little things that freak you out when you look in the mirror, but are to be expected.

I consider myself pretty lucky that I haven’t fallen off the deep end, but it takes hard work to ensure a graceful aging process, and it takes knowledge.  What can I expect to happen to my body as I get older?  I can already feel how foods affect me differently now than they did when I was young. McDonald’s sounds like a good idea at the time, but now I immediately regret it after I eat it.  My body is less forgiving in many ways, so I need to think twice to make sure I care for it.

Bottom line — you can’t wait until you are old to start doing good for your body.  I am in a constant battle between enjoying all of the deliciousness this world has to offer and in making healthy choices.  I’ll do really well for a week, and then allow myself to cheat.  This cycle has been working for now, but I know at some point I’ll have to tip the scale towards the healthy side more often.

But I’ll probably always sneak a piece of chocolate. Old habits die hard.

Is there a 12-step program for foodaholics?

June 29, 2010 at 7:56 am | Posted in Playing with Food | 7 Comments
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My boyfriend and I enjoying taco night

The first step is admitting it.  I am a foodaholic.  I eat food for the pure enjoyment of taste. I think about food weeks and days in advance of consuming it. I research the best wings, best mac and cheese, best pizza, best sushi, best chocolate, best ice cream, best cupcakes – you name it.

I can remember as a kid having contests to see who could eat the most slices of pizza. In day camp, whenever we took a trip, we’d stop at McDonald’s and I always got a #4 (a McChicken sandwich).  In high school, I would always go to my favorite pizza place to hang out with friends during lunch, eat a slice of pizza and a pepperoni roll up.  On the days I didn’t go there, I went to the local deli and got an Italian combo.  In college, wings were the thing. So many flavors! And every so often, we’d order in from the calzone place at 3 in the morning. Basically, I ate like a growing boy.

Now that I’m older, I’m much more aware of when I’m eating something I probably shouldn’t. It doesn’t stop me, but I’ve been working on controlling portion sizes and trying to make healthier choices.  At some point, my metabolism will give out and I don’t want to be caught off guard, so I’m taking a preemptive step against instant weight gain.  My weight has remained consistent since high school, give or take 5 pounds.

Eating better isn’t just about maintaining a healthy weight.  It’s about giving my body the nutrients it needs.  Eating salmon because it’s good for my skin, or blueberries for the antioxidants.  I don’t do diets.  They have never worked for me. It’s probably because I don’t really need to lose weight. Of course, everyone can afford to lose a little weight, but I think that’s really a societal pressure to be skinny or perfect.  Have you seen artwork from the 1700s?  Women were not toothpicks. If they were, they were seen as poor and of a lower class.  Carrying a little junk in the trunk was a sign of wealth and wellbeing.

I also feel that life is really too short not to enjoy food.  One Twinkie once every three years won’t kill you. I had a fried Twinkie in Denver back in January. It was amazing, so I probably won’t have another Twinkie until 2013 at the earliest (since it was fried, I should probably tack on a couple years for good measure).  But there are just some foods I simply cannot live without.  I have to have chocolate almost every day.  I crave pizza, cheese, bacon, sushi, avocados, ethnic foods.  I enjoy smoothies on a hot day and hot chocolate on a cold one.

It’s just about balance.  Now, if I eat healthy for 2 meals a day, and I have French fries for dinner, I think it’s ok.   Food, like travel, is about adventure and enjoyment. Not everyone is so lucky to have so many choices of food at their fingertips so live it up while you are still living!

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