My husband and I have been making some changes in our lives in an attempt to be healthier people. Because, good health means a longer, more fulfilling life, and we both want that! Josh has a lot of weight to lose, and I still have a few pounds of baby weight to lose. But, we both see health as more than just numbers on the scales, because even though I may be “skinny” it doesn’t mean I am healthy. That is why I ran a 5k two months postpartum. That is why I am still running now. It is why Josh is dieting and exercising.
But, I confess: I have a problem. I dream about eating healthy, wanting to cook meals from scratch, and only eating “real” foods and so on. But, the reality of the situation is that changing one’s eating habits is hard.
So, while I can pin healthy recipes and articles on not eating GMOs and on clean eating onto my “Health” and “Food” pinterest boards, the reality is that I still eat the same things I always eat. And that’s a problem because I don’t eat many vegetables, like ever.
So, while I can buy broccoli or lettuce or spinach, carrots, and celery from the grocery store, the reality is that they often end up going bad or rotting in the bottom of my fridge before I eat them. So, while I want my children to have good eating habits, eating well-balanced meals, loving vegetables and fruits and whole grains, the reality is that they follow their parents examples. If I’m not eating those green beans, why should they? The thing is I wish and want to like vegetables, but I don’t really like many. Or would really just rather eat something else like 99% of the time.
And thus my healthy eating dilemmas continue, because I can’t stop eating my favorite go-to snack/meal/treat: cold cereal with 2% milk, aka the best thing in the world. Yet, I tell my children that they can’t have cereal three times a day, though some days, I still do that, at twenty-five years old. The compromise I’ve made here, is that we no longer buy super sugar cereal, aka no Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, etc. We buy healthier cereals – Mini-Wheats, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes (stop judging), Kix, Cheerios, Chex, Rice Krispy’s, Honey Bunches of Oats (called Honey-Boats by my kids), and Fiber One cereal. And wouldn’t you know? My kids don’t beg for cereal all the time anymore.
I want to make foods from scratch – fresh bread, mozzarella, homemade cakes – but, the reality is that I don’t cook. Okay, sometimes I cook, but really, my husband does 90% of the cooking. And while that makes me one lucky woman, it also means I’m at a distinct disadvantage on the nights I’m in charge of making dinner. I am not creative, never know what to make, and rarely serve those healthy sides with the meal. I generally do something quick and easy (see previous paragraph about cereal), so that I don’t have to be in the kitchen long, because I generally don’t like cooking. Because I don’t like cooking, the reality is that meals are rarely made “from scratch” or with “all-natural ingredients” or chocked full of healthy-anything. They are whatever I can cook, which really isn’t much. Does heating things count as “cooking”?
Now, please, don’t think I just sit around eating sleeves of Oreos, bags of chips, frozen pizzas, or bowls of ice cream. I really don’t eat much of that stuff (we don’t buy it), or much of truly “unhealthy” things. I just don’t eat as well as I could and/or want.
So, you see the dilemma I am facing? I want to be healthy, putting good, natural, whole-grain, rich in nutrients, foods, but I don’t like eating them. But, I am hoping by addressing my imperfections, I can start making changes and start eating more vegetables, and learn how to cook some (quick) healthy meals for my family. Baby steps, right? And considering I only ate corn and potatoes as my two vegetable mainstays as a child, I have come a considerable distance since then. And I blame the cereal for every meal also on my upbringing – my mom let me eat cereal for dinner when I didn’t like what we were having. And she didn’t make me eat my vegetables. Let me assure you, that is not going forward into my parenting.
So, as we become healthier by exercising, me going for two mile runs a few times a week, and Josh biking 80-100 miles a week, we realize that sometimes our wants are not reality, and that some things take time and commitment, especially when it comes to food. (Josh is much better than me in the healthy food-eating department by the way.)
What have you found difficult in your journey to be healthy? How have your wants not met reality? Is working out your health dilemma? Did you buy a gym membership, work-out clothes, and new tennis shoes, only to never actually work-out? Cause, I’ve totally been there too.