I had a post ready for you all. I was so moved by Shauna‘s recent post where she poured out her heart and soul about her life; it was exactly the wake-up call that I needed. I immediately wanted to share with you all my story, and my struggles with my own body. For, while not nearly to the same magnitude of hardship as Shauna went through, over the past few years I have had extremely valid reasons for maybe finding a little too much comfort in food.
I let two of my best friends read it first. I wanted to make sure it was still relevant for you all. And I think it is. But, I’m not ready, not just yet, to share all the gory details. It’s a story for sure, but one for another time, a different day. Not this day. For now, I give you the brief version.
There was a time when very suddenly, several instances of tendinitis in my legs all at once rendered me unable to walk, let alone even stand on my own. It was not so long ago. Eventually, after some harrowing and some fantastic experiences, the problem was fixed – only a momentary disturbance in my well-being. Though I remember that summer, not just for the experience I went through, but also for how those events marked the time when food became my comfort. I remember the strawberries at the farmer’s market were heaven that year. My mother and I gorged on them every weekend because they were as sweet as candy. As time went on I could stand and walk a little, and after several months found the strength to stand and make a quiche for my darling now-husband. I watched a lot of TV that summer, and taught myself to make risotto by watching Gordon Ramsay. Cooking became an outlet. This was something I could do, when so many things were so far out of my reach. While I was cooking I got excited about the possibilities that presented themselves, and for a few moments each day, the pain went away. Cooking, creating, and eating, took away pain for me, and gave me hope that things would return to normal. Maybe too much so, and it continued to be this way with each major life-changing event that occurred from then on. Even now, the role food plays in the status of my emotional well being is a bit out of whack.
(we interrupt this regularly scheduled program for a Technorati claim token – wooo Technorati!) SMEAARW4R7P4 – I promise this will be removed once verified….For now please keep reading the rest of this post for some delicious shrimp & avocado salad
So this day, I do not want to dwell on past events (though they will make for a grand story), for things did return to normal, and all became well. No, today I want to talk about excuses. For, my reasons then as well as now, however valid they may have been, however deserving I was to enjoy comforts of many dishes of pasta or bacon or butter when I was feeling homesick, at some point devolved into excuses. My reasons transformed over time, ever so slowly, hardly even noticeably, into the excuses they are today. Excuses for not exercising, for letting my eyes rather than my stomach dictate my appetite. I’ve clung onto them like crutches, unwilling to let them go – afraid to let them go. It’s amazing how a few certain events can be so profoundly life-altering – when you go through and successfully overcome a change you almost want to reminisce about it – it can be incredibly difficult to put those events behind oneself and simply move forward. But at some point there comes a time when one has to make the decision – do I keep letting such things dictate my life, or do I strive to live life freely and to its fullest potential? Heck, before this week it didn’t even occur to me that that’s the decision I was postponing in my sub-conscious. But I have been, and for a while. I’ve been letting life and its stresses get in the way of my own happiness and health.
I certainly have had my reasons for accepting, even encouraging my current physique. But how does one discern when it is time to look back, and see that they aren’t enough anymore? I think I need to just get over my fears, know it’s going to be rough to start, and just do the exercise. Even when I work 10 or 12 hours a day. I am going to need your help. Heck, I’m going to need everyone’s help. Thanks to my awesome nutritionist a few years ago, I know exactly what proper portion sizes are, and I know how to enjoy great fresh vegetables and produce. Now I just need to know how to not go back for seconds, and how to take the time in my day to go for a walk, or a short run, or whatever exercise it is that I can muster. But no matter what, I have to do it. I need to do it.
Thank you, Shuana, for causing me to realize that my reasons aren’t reasons anymore. They are now officially excuses. It’s time for me to wake up!
Today I share with you a slightly smaller, simpler recipe, but a good one nonetheless. It’s one of my favorite salads – I’ve made it 3 times this week. I’m addicted. So easy, so satisfying, bright and fresh, perfect for this warm weather we are having!
Ingredients (2 servings):
1 dozen shrimp, cooked and chilled
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c. olive oil
a few springs fresh cilantro. chopped
1 avocado, cubed
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste
1. In a bowl toss shrimp in lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro and let sit in the fridge about 15 min.
2. In a separate larger bowl combine avocado, mozzarella and tomatoes.
3. Bring contents of both bowls together, add salt & pepper to taste.