My Summer Goals
I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle a few weeks ago. The premise of the book is that a family of four did their best to only eat locally grown food for a year. It was eye-opening and motivational. It was exactly what I needed to read.
I’ve found my exercise groove with bootcamp and trail running. I get my people interaction and encouragement and practice in self esteem on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. I love bootcamp because it’s exactly what I make of it. It can be as easy or as hard as I want it to be. The instructors are encouraging, but not threatening (like I imagine Jillian Michaels is). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I run densely wooded trails alone, without music, and I let my brain relax. I’ve been doing this routine for 5 weeks now. It’s become second nature. I actually look forward to working out, whether its trying for a record at bootcamp (I currently hold the burpee record – 55 in a row. Not that I’d ever rub that in ) or reconnecting with myself and nature on a nice long run.
Food remains my biggest… err… area of opportunity. Or cluster fuck. Whatever.
For those of you who read my personal blog, you may remember me whining a few times about how my boyfriend can eat 5,000 calories a day and only gain a pound every few weeks. He’s a freak. He works hard and he does the best he can to eat enough to put on some weight, even when he doesn’t want to.
I, on the other hand, am not blessed in that way. I work from home now and I get bored during the day. And there are bread and muffins and ice cream and beer and chips all over my kitchen. Sometimes I eat them. Ok, I eat them often.
It shouldn’t be that way. I shouldn’t feel compelled to eat something just because I see it. But I do. Sometimes I almost feel like I must eat “forbidden” food, just because I’ve seen it.
And you can ask my ass and jiggly arms, that mentality isn’t doing anyone any favors.
There’s a really long, steep, sandy hill on near the end of the trail that I run. It’s so hard, and it sucks so much. I tell myself two things each time I run it: 1. If it weren’t hard, it would mean meaningless; and 2. If you can make it up this hill, you can do anything… including not eating a muffin today. And yet, every day, after I’ve caught my breath and have taken a shower, I forget how hard climbing that hill was. I forget how hard I worked to gain just a little ground, and I ruin it by shoving a bunch of garbage in my mouth.
They always say the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Well, folks, I have a problem. I work out hard, consistently, and then I undo my work by eating poorly–or just nowhere near as well as I could and should.
Now what’s the next step?
I opened this post by mentioning Animal, Vegetable, Miracle because it’s really inspired me to take control of what I put in my refrigerator and my pie-hole. I don’t have to eat it just because it’s there. What a novel concept.
My goals for the summer are to reestablish my good eating habits. Three years ago I was in control. I could order at a restaurant, plan meals, track calories, all without having a nervous breakdown and feeling deprived (uh, guilty of both recently).
I want to reconnect with the earth that grows the food that feeds my body. I want the food that I eat to be deliberate and to have purpose. I want the life it once contained to better the life I’m living.
That’s deep shit, I know.
So, how will I do this?
First, I bought a CSA share this year. It’s a half share, and I’m sure I’ll take the majority of responsibility for cooking and consuming it. I am bound and determined to not waste a bit of it, which means this girl needs to learn to preserve food and cook some vegetables I’ve never even seen in person before.
Second, I planted a small garden in my back and front yards. It’s mostly tomatoes, sweet peppers, and fennel. Those are the vegetables I eat the most year-round, so I thought it worth while to plant a few (or a dozen of each… I can be a very impulsive shopper). The area I have to garden is pretty small, so I want to share some tips for gardening in a small space, which means I also need to learn about that.
I’m super excited that I already have a few tomatoes starting!
Thank you, hot and humid Virginia weather.
So, there it is. Buying the “right” food at the grocery store, trying to the avoid delicious, sugary, foodlike substances in my cubbards, and tracking calories hasn’t been working for me. I need to be more involved in my food procurement to start rebuilding my relationship with it. It shouldn’t be about what I “can’t” have, but what’s best to have. I feel like I’ve been avoiding food for months/years, just interacting with it when I have to and when I’m highly emotionally charged.
It’s time to break the ice and to start to build something real. Hi, real, nutritious food. What are you made of? What can you offer me? Tell me your story.