Today's prompt for Diabetes Blog Week asks us to identify "One Great Thing" - something to do with diabetes that we do really well.
Well, mine is still a work in progress, though I'm closer to the end than to the beginning.
I am learning how to feed myself, both well and healthily.
A couple of years ago, I came to the deeply painful but ultimately freeing epiphany that, after well over 30 years of obesity, I am never going to be skinny. Further, I had to recognize that weight loss was not an emotionally healthy goal, at least as the center of my wellness efforts.
An inescapable corollary of that conclusion was acceptance of the reality that I am no good at dieting, that sooner or later I was going to eat what I wanted to eat. At that time I ate most of my meals at inexpensive restaurants. Though I was not totally without cooking skills, most of what I knew how to make for myself was pretty low-quality in terms of nutrition AND tastiness.
As I slowly absorbed my new objective of trying to be a healthier fat man rather than a skinny man, it became clear to me that I had to learn how to cook my own food. About a year and a half ago, I took up this effort in earnest.
I have established for myself the following principles. I realize that they are somewhat questionable logically, but treating them as true is working for me:
- Any food I prepare in my own kitchen is, by definition, better for me than what I might purchase from someone else.
- Even indulgences, that conventional dieting wisdom would have me banish from my kitchen, is healthier if I make it myself.
- Food that is genuinely delicious is far more satisfying to my soul than the compromises I'd been living on for most of my life.
I've worked really hard. I've learned to cook whole grains and a host of vegetables, and I've also learned to fry doughnuts. I'm learning to use healthy herbs and spices I'd never have dreamed of tasting, and I've made an angel food cake that would make you throw rocks at your corner bakery. I'm eating out less and less, primarily because what I have waiting for me at home is often better than anything I'd get on the way. I'm slowly learning not only cooking as such but how to plan meals that will help me feel good. And the last time I had a Quarter Pounder from the Arch People, it seemed, well, underflavored. I haven't ordered delivery in months.
Has all this magically dropped a bunch of weight off my waistline? No, it hasn't. But I'll tell you this: I'm a lot happier eating my arroz con pollo than I was trying to pretend that I didn't want a package of Twinkies.
(If you should be interested, you can follow occasional updates to my kitchen adventures at beginnersskillet.blogspot.com.)