As a mature woman, I can really relate to, “You are what you eat.” I can remember not to long ago I could eat whatever I wanted to eat and never got bigger than a size 8/10. If I gained a pound or two it was never in the mid section area. Grant it, I did not have a completely rock solid stomach after my last child, but it was nothing to worry about. I would always get, how do you keep your stomach so flat and your weight down so nicely? I would smile, remembering my secret, my little pooch, and say, “I must have a high metabolism or something.” What I ate didn’t matter even in most of my forties. It didn’t matter what time of day I ate or that I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake after dinner. It didn’t matter if I went for seconds on any dish. It was wonderful. It is over. Now at my current age, the new forties, I’ll say, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth. I can look at a piece of cheesecake, two pounds.
Can you imagine what a woman that has never had to diet in her life is going through at this time of my life. This food war has been going on for almost a year now. With all the other things going on with me, premenopausal issues, I must say it has been extremely hard. I am dealing with hot flashes, night sweats and possible mood swings, well I shouldn’t say possible, just check with my husband to confirm that. The hardest thing for me is this food/eating thingy. Just thinking about not eating makes me want to eat. Having to eat right makes me want to eat all the wrong things. Some days are better than others. It doesn’t help that my doctor keeps telling me the importance of eating right, at my age. I know all that and believe me I know he means well. I looked at the list of health problems he said I could possibly avoid just by eating right. I know and I agree with him. But, someone needs to tell my mind.
The thing that puzzles me the most is that the older I get the more connected to eating I become. I have discussed this with my girls and even with random women on the street, in the malls, in restaurants and even in elevators. It seems that I am definitely not alone and most women are so eager to talk about it. It doesn’t make it easier knowing that other women are going through the same thing. Bottom line, the older I get the more I enjoy eating. Several years back and beyond I ate to live and know it seems I live to eat. I know, it sounds cliché right? It’s true. Before I never desired textures, crunchy, smooth or desired salty, spicy, etc. I just ate because I knew I needed to. Now I am graving things that I have never graved before. I am worst than any pregnant woman.
The funny thing about it is I do not remember anyone warning me about this. So, I make it my business when ever it is appropriate and whenever I see a younger woman with her nice small waistline to “warn her” about what she has to look forward to when she gets “my age.” I am sure I need to check my motive in doing this. They always look at me with disbelief and laugh. That was probably me back then and I dismissed it with disbelief and a smile, as well.
Now everything is about my weight and health. I hear things like shop on the outside of the grocery store because the majority of grocery stores are set up with the whole, unprocessed foods on the outside of the store and the processed items are on the shelves on the inside of the store. I head for the inside isles. There are new programs like the Smart Choice Program that aim to highlight foods in stores that are healthy and the Life Time Fitness Nutrition Philosophy that say that the majority of food people consume should come from whole foods. I won’t even mention the countless diets out there. It is confusing, stressful and it makes me hungry just trying to keep up with it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of good nutrition and learned that early in my life. Previously, I’ve never been on a diet in my life. This year I have tried two already. Just when I think I have made up my mind to leave sweets alone, eat more fruits and veggies, we have a pot luck at work or my husband says, “Hey honey, let’s go out to dinner tonight.” It is a conspiracy, I know it, I know it….to get me to give up my girlish figure……Okay, Uncle.
Seriously, we are what we eat and we definitely need to eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise. Our health is one of the most important things we should be concerned about these days. So, eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise (now that’s another story all in its self).