Sunday, May 15, 2005

my new clothes

every year, it seems to get harder to fit into my clothes from one season to the next. i don't believe in being thin or starving myself to be thin or eating certain things to be thin. what's important is to be healthy and strong, with lots of energy because i want a great quality of life and i want longevity.

i've always gone to the gym religiously (i think it's the fountain of youth) and i've always kept one eye on fitness magazines and articles about diet and weight loss, amassing a mental file cabinet of information fine tuned to my body and what seemed to work best for me. over time, i figured out what my body likes: free weights and running almost every day; a variety of fresh fruits (i eat blueberries and raspberries like popcorn) and vegetables (i love broccoli); all kinds of meats but mostly lots of salmon; and really powerful vitamins. i'm not big on bread or pasta or sodas or even juices. i don't usually eat sandwiches. typically, dinner is a bowl of steamed vegetables (like bok choy) with a little chicken. i fall off sometimes but the need to fit into my clothes every season tends to make me fall right back on. basically, everything is a dress size 6 because i'm too cheap to buy myself a new wardrobe every year. sometimes i even buy things that don't fit but are the size i know i should be, and then i work out steadily until i fit into them.

to tell you the truth, if i had money, there's a strong chance that i'd be completely overweight. i love food and i love to cook. i love to watch the food network for fun. most of the time, it feels like cooking school on-the-go. and it gives me a lot of ideas.

now that spring is here and summer is on the brink of exploding, it's time to take off the bulky jackets and sweaters to reveal the layrer of bulk that's inevitably underneath. for some strange reason, when i threw my closet open and began to try things on a few weeks ago, i didn't have a freak-0ut panic attack. not only did everything fit me but i could wear things i hadn't touched in several years. what the heck happened?

as it turns out, i was eating most of The 14 Superfoods. i was also doing The Perricone Promise and i didn't even know it. all of a sudden, being healthy and staying in shape is a part of my life and who i am, not something that i have to pull out everytime the weather begins to warm up. as it turns out, maybe it always was.

when i was a little kid, my father had a heart attack. his diet changed radically and so of course that meant that ours did, too. my mother was never big on candy and junk food and soda -- we weren't allowed to eat sweets -- but everything that was fatty and fried went right out the window. so did most of what passes itself off as "soul food" nowadays. occasionally, we'd have a meal like that here and there -- i certainly learned how to make it -- but for the most part, that stuff passed right over my plate. when i spent time with my grandparents in charleston, sc there was lots of seafood and things like boiled peanuts and red rice. i was always physically active. our house was surrounded by land and trees and sky, so there was plenty of room to run around. so these good habits were planted in me very early on.

understandably, it's extremely hard to talk to my cousin damon about good nutrition after his heart attack a few weeks ago when he doesn't excercise, he doesn't know how to cook, he's surrounded by an endless array of fast food restaurants and he smokes (he actually chain-smoked his way through his brother's funeral). then again, it's possible to make healthy fast food choices nowadays. it's not easy -- but it's possible. he's got a workout room at his job, with free weights and treadmills, that he can use whenever he wants. it's all about discipline.

then again, being cheap really helps. it's why i never smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol and it's definitely why i never got into smoking pot. i would look at my friends who did that stuff and i'd see all this cash money flying out of their hands and it would make me a little nervous. once a friend of mine did the math and figured that if he'd invested the money he'd spent on pot and cigarettes alone, he would have been a millionaire about 8 years ago. but i digress.

my point is, i've got a lot of new clothes. and i've got so much energy that it certainly feels like i've got a new body. i've turned a corner. again. go figure.

No comments: