Attempt #2 2: The Realities of Being A Healthy “Adult”

31 Dec

Kenz’s post got me thinking of course about health choices and how the body of a late twentysomething is far different than that of an early twentysomething. While I have to say that I did progressively become healthier after I turned 22 (and left the weird schedules of college) I feel that I have actually lost some of my good habits this year, despite what Kenz may say about my food choices. Full disclosure: the only reason I just had a tamale was because I had made a trip to La Mie, a lovely French bakery in Des Moines, that morning for some avocado tartine (not nearly as healthy as it sounds) and a chocolate brioche (just as bad as it sounds if not worse).  Also, I was planning on heading over to Funaro’s Deli afterwards for my favorite meal there: chicken salad on marble rye with pickles and lettuce, a bag of vinegar and sea salt chips, and a cream soda.  ALSO, who was the person who brought up ordering another round of queso? Yeah, that’d be me. 

It’s true that I usually budget a lot of extra calories around the holidays since I basically eat my Great Grandma Marge’s famous frosted oatmeal sugar cookies nonstop and return to all of my favorite food spots back home; however, usually “budgeting” means I eat very healthy options before the Christmas food extravaganza, but that didn’t really happen this year. I partially blame my new-found bad behavior on my schedule this past semester (Yes, semester. As a teacher I still maintain this kind of schedule). I have been teaching composition and rhetoric at a local community college and I also tutor kids with learning disabilities, and my work time was heavily tipped toward the afternoons and evenings. I really really hated it because I am by nature a morning person, and all I want to do is get all of my work out of the way first so I can do what I want the rest of the day.  You’d think that having my mornings open would make me more motivated to run but (HA!) you’d be very very wrong about that.  I usually used those mornings to catch up on How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, and The Mindy Project (yes, I know only one of those shows has been having consistently good episodes this season, but leave me alone). Not only did I hardly ever run, but my odd schedule made consistent meal times as elusive as a silver unicorn. Not so great for the ol’ metabolism. Kenz may think I’m disciplined, but which of us ran a marathon this year, hmmmm?

The other thing that I blame my laziness on (because I shift blame like the adult I am) was that I had an unexpected roommate in my boyfriend Will for just over three months.  Very sadly, Will was one of the many people here in Colorado severely affected by the September floods. In fact, his complex was THE hardest hit, and since he owned a garden-level unit, he was pretty devastated by the disaster. (On a side note, when donating money to a disaster, try to give the money directly to people who you know were affected. My faith in non-profits has plummeted since Will received nothing from those groups. Don’t even get me started on FEMA and insurance companies . . .)

Anyhoo, since Will was out of his place, and I was also out of my own place for a while since my carpet got soaked, we spent several days staying in the guest rooms of different friends and eating the (usually unhealthy) food that people so sweetly made for us.  Once we got back into my place, I think the combination of stress about rebuilding and the need for comfort food created a perfect storm of bad meal choices. Will is not a picky eater, though for some reason he claims to be, but I felt bad feeding him the kind of meals I like because he tends to eat more than I do and tends to burn it off a lot faster (I swear he loses a pound if he just bends over to pick a toothpick off the floor). This led me to make meals with a lot more carbs than I would usually ever be okay consuming, and to keep a little too much ice cream around since Will always wants dessert. We also share a deep love of ice cream which we will eat at any given time. Just a couple weeks ago we went to an ice cream shop when it was literally 11 below. Didn’t stop us. Another thing that happened was I remembered how much I love bagels. Oh bagels, how I adore thee! Once I found out that my favorite Boulder bagel place (Big Daddy Bagels, you complete me) sold day-old bags of bagels by the dozen for only $3.00, it was game over. Our routine began to be getting up, making coffee, eating bagels, Will heading off to teach, and me bumming around until I had to get ready for work. While I’m a firm believer that having serious carbs in the morning is best since you will tend to work it off throughout the day, I wouldn’t advise doing this every day like we were doing. On the whole, having Will around along with my weird schedule meant I cooked less, opted for easy (re: unhealthy) foods, and took up pilates for only a few days before getting too lazy to push my coffee table out of the way every morning so I could look like a spandexed monkey. Should we ever live together, I will need to get my willpower (get it? Will-power?) firmly in place, and he would agree that more greens and less bread would be best (which is saying something for someone who doesn’t enjoy eating green vegetables except for asparagus (yum) and frozen peas (laaaaaaaaame).

On the bright side, these days Will’s place is almost completely rebuilt, and I’m glad to have my happy, non-stressed Will back. This means that I am also not as stressed (it felt very weird to me to have stress because the guy I’m seeing was stressed -definitely a new feeling) and can focus on regaining some of my better habits in the new year. I will be teaching more in the mornings which will help a lot, and I have also shed some tutoring clients who were giving me unnecessary stress. (One lady actually called me at 7:30 in the morning after the flooding had begun and after I got about two hours of sleep from trying to stave the flooding of my own place and hearing about Will’s place getting progressively worse. Her question? If I could come in to tutor her son since there was no school. Keep in mind there was no school because we were experiencing A F*$%ING DISASTER. Will was able to remain calm about his own place, but got ridiculously angry upon hearing this story.)

Another reason I want to get back to being healthier and generally more put together is my new nephew, Nolan. He was born just a few days before the floods hit, and I started thinking about what kind of role model I want to be for him. It’s amazing how much a kid who isn’t even my own makes me want to adult-up and be a good example.


Would YOU want to disappoint that face? Surely not!

***On a side note, my family is good at making cute babies. To be super honest, I think that anyone else who proclaims that their *insert baby relative* is the cutest is just lying to themselves. Can you make a baby as cute as this? If you can’t, then quit now. (Yes, I have become THAT aunt, and I’m cool with it.)***

As far as 2014 goes, my goals are these: be healthier through my actions and what I eat, find a job that will launch me into a career I love, find more great healthy recipes and cooking tips, and to write more. I love to write, and it’s silly I don’t do more of it. Expect more from me here in the next year. With that, I am off to make some very unhealthy toffee I was given into cookies which I will make other people eat. How’s that for a healthy option? 🙂



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