Only Ten Pounds
I have been on picnics and I have been on adventures, but I have never been on a diet. I am not saying I couldn’t stand to lose ten pounds, but I am not unhealthily overweight, and furthermore, I am actually in pretty good physical condition, jenky knees notwithstanding.
The concept of “dieting” is a foreign one to me, partially because I am a grazer to begin with, preferring to eat smaller meals, more frequently, rather than three conventional meals, with nothing in between. Low blood-sugar is one explanation, but I’m not too sure about that. I just know that all of the years I was teaching, there was no way I could have gone from morning breakfast, to lunchtime, without some fortification at morning break.
In the fall, it was easy because of the cukes, tomatoes and apples coming from the back yard. But all year long, rice crackers and some celery, or carrots, or baby corn-anything to bridge the gap between morning meal and lunchtime-sufficed.
Then there was the after-school popcorn, microwaved, filling the air around the quad with its fragrant scent. It was the perfect snack, as long as salt was not a factor. How on earth would being on a diet affect either of these snacks? OK, remove the butter from the popcorn, I guess, or switch the dressing I dip my carrots and celery in, to a diet ranch dressing.
But dieting? Limiting the amount of food I take in, so as to lose ten pounds? I don’t think so. That sounds so painful to me as to be excruciating. I know that countless books have been written, extolling the virtues of this diet or that one. One year it seemed as though all of the teachers on staff were following the diet which required that participants eat nothing but meat, and lo and behold her who was foolish enough to take in any carbs.
But I can’t do it. I love to eat too much. I don’t eat rich food, and I rarely eat dairy products, like ice cream or cream cheese. But I prefer to eat as much as I like of salad, or tomatoes, or a rice dish and assorted vegetables, without having to stop when I am still hungry. I am just too physically active, and I require a lot of fuel to keep me in full-wheel drive.
I still walk most mornings with Annie up to Blue Rock and back, about a forty-five minute stint, so I do not lack for exercise. If I do not walk, it is because I worked the previous day, and my knees are swollen. Between working on my construction project, and at least an hour or more, out back in the garden, each day, I get a substantial amount of credit for being an active guy.
That’s why I maintain that I am in good physical condition, even if I pack a few extra pounds. Being heavier than the perfect weight is not necessarily good, but it need not be bad either. And feeling compelled to “go on a diet” remains in the background for me.
I also recognize that if I were seriously over my optimum weight, I would not be able take such a cavalier attitude about the whole thing. But unlike the days when I used to walk into Pompeii Pizza after a shift at Sunrize Market, and consume not only a large combination pizza, but a meatball sandwich, at the same sitting, I no longer need quite as much fuel. Moreover, the kind of food I am more inclined to pig out on is grown in the backyard.
It all adds up to me being able to thumb my nose at the concept of dieting, simply because I maintain a life style that allows me to do so, and because I live on a road with a lot of dips and hills on it, so that I manage to keep from packing it on in the first place. By luck or by design, I seem to be doing just fine, so long as my knees hold out.