Ride My See Saw…er…Bike

xx_unicorn_riding_bicycle_cartoon_postcards-r8ffff6016b194370a9974d4be49ee33e_vgbaq_8byvr_512The other night I found out that riding a bicycle is not the same as riding a bicycle.

Silly me.

I haven’t been on a bike in a couple of years — maybe now or then, but more like waaay back then. Well, last weekend we went camping at a beautiful campground in Door County, Wisconsin. My grandson brought his bike, and I did, too. I had started a health kick the week before (fodder for another blog, no doubt), so why not get the exercise thing going too?

I road like a pro through the campground, down to the lake, around the “O” (the campsite circle) right behind my GB. Kept up with him, too. I was very proud. Came home, continued to eat better, walked during morning and afternoon breaks, feeling better and better. So I pulled out my bike last night and took a little ride up and down my little country road.

This was where real bicycling comes in.

If you have ever seen a Teletubbie riding a bicycle, this was a mirror image. The road has low hills — I mean, not the North Carolina kind — these are the barely-noticable-hardly-upgrade road.

I might as well have been riding up the North Carolina kind.

I huffed and puffed and whined my way past my house, my breath coming hard and shallow. What was up with that? What about all the walking I’ve been doing? The bike riding at the campground? I’ve even given up ice cream before bed!

As you all know, retraining a life-time of bad habits takes a lot longer than the perverbial three weeks. I am a believer that it’s never too late to change your path. I’m not giving up good food — I’m just eating less of it. Trash food (like chips and dip) even less. I figure I’m 63 and, Goddess willing, I’d like to see 73. And 83. Hell — even 93!

So back to bike riding. I must say it felt good to feel the burn, the weak knees, the pounding in my chest. It showed that I was still alive and kicking — or, rather, peddling. I am taking tonight off, though. A little weak in the thigh, perhaps. But the decision to change my ways is still strong. I’d like to think of myself more as of a unicorn riding a bike…proud, steady, perhaps a bit awkward, but always moving forward.

Like my desire to write.

I’ve managed to put a little of me in my main character in my novels. She’s middle-aged, witty, astral, and outspoken. She’s also a little thicker than most willowy leading ladies. My men like a little meat on their paramours.

I guarantee, though, she doesn’t ride a bicycle.

 

Bread and Butter Badlands

breadA funny thing happened this evening. I was all pumped up to write a blog about scheduling things in your life, when I read a fellow blogger’s (David Kanigan) blog called “Don’t Eye the Basket of Bread: Just Take It Off the Table” ( http://davidkanigan.com/2014/09/16/dont-eye-the-basket-of-bread-just-take-it-off-the-table/). It really is an article about how to exert self-control. Which, in that sense, makes sense. If it’s not in front of you you’re not tempted to eat the whole basket.

But I almost missed the point of the blog because I was thinking about fresh baked bread dripping with sweet, creamy butter.  Crispy crust, fluffy inside.  Which led me to daydream about my homemade spaghetti sauce, full of fresh tomatoes and veggies with a smattering of ground beef and/or Italian Sausage, dripping over vermicelli or linguine, fresh Parmesan cheese sprinkled delicately over the top, a small glass of merlot within reach, sitting quietly next to that basket of freshly-baked bread that I’m suppose to have taken off the table.

And suddenly I’m daydreaming about the wonderful world of food.

I’ve been on a diet — no — food behavior modification — for as long as I’ve been out of puberty. I have always had a love/hate relationship with anything that has more than 2 carbs and 35 calories per serving. It’s that homo sapiens thing…anything that is fattening is worth tasting. Of course, tasting, and indulging, are two different things.

They say one can survive on indulging in one tablespoon of anything. Buffet? No problem. One tablespoon macaroni salad, one tablespoon chocolate mousse, one tablespoon mashed potatoes along with one tablespoon gravy. Just think of what a decorative plate you would bring back to the table! One tablespoon from 50 different dishes!

But let’s face it. Living on one tablespoon of cheese souffle is like smiling at only one child at Christmas. Or having one cashew. Or hugging only one grandkid. Satisfying as a bath in ice cubes. We know we should be sticking to the one-tablespoon-rule for our health, for our diabetes and our cholesterol. And most times we do alright.

But sometimes our libido cries for liberation. It just cannot be satisfied with the one-teaspoon-rule. We try to tame it. We hide the food. We buy celery and apples and lean chicken and fish. We succeed where others fail. We lose weight, lower our cholesterol, add some years to our life.

But then something as innocent as a whiff of freshly baked bread or bacon frying and we’re whipped up into a frenzy of biblical proportions. Why is that?

I do believe in moderation. Fortunately for me, the older I get, the fewer things I can digest properly. A couple of cream cheese canapes is not worth the agony of hours in the bathroom later. Spinach Dip, Ice Cream Sundaes, Hot Cheese Spread, all no-nos with the digestive tract from Hell. Yet I have to admit, I cannot pass a chance to try a scoop or two. Just to check it out, you see.

I try to avoid get-togethers where rich foods are the center of attention. Most times I can say “no thanks.” But just as often I hear myself saying, “Just one bite.” Then my big-mouth libido takes over and bread and pasta and Ceasar’s Salads are the order of the day. And as I hang my head in shame, I still enjoy the crumbs at the corner of my mouth or the sweet slide of butter still on my tongue.

I guess I’ve lost the thread of this whole blog to the whims of the wonderful world of food. So let me ask you — what foods weaken your will power? Which sumptuous feasts make you moan with delight? Which part of the banquet table can you not pass by without sampling?

Think I will go bake a loaf of bread while I wait for your answer…

 

Ye of Little Faith … or Willpower … May Read

ice creamI am so weak. I am such a loser.

I’ve been sluggish lately; trying to adjust to my husband’s new job schedule (nights), my job schedule (days), cooking and not cooking, sleeping and not sleeping. All those things post-menopausal women go through.

I was going to try and do something about the sluggish thing. Diets aren’t for me. I love the taste of food too much. But common sense told me I can’t live on Fettuccine Alfredo and lasagna the rest of my life…not if I wanted to live to see 70. Or 80. Or, goddess be on my side, 90.

So I was going to go on that low-carb diet. Lots of meat, veggies, and water. I drink a lot of water at work already, so that’s not a problem. I started walking during my morning and afternoon work breaks. I was being a good doobie.

Then stress comes along. Too much salad too many days in a row kept me in the bathroom. Scrambling around in my frig for something that goes with the meat/veggie/water thing that is ready in 15 minutes more than impossible. Husband cooks dinner that I have to clean up. Can’t catch up with my writing or my friends or my sleep. So the crabbies hit me full force. And what do I do?

Meet my bff at McDonalds for an ice cream sundae. Then have a bowl of cereal (carbs!!) before bed.

What ever happened to MAKING A COMMITMENT? What ever happened to WILL POWER? What ever happened to the whipped cream and nuts that are supposed to come atop the sundae?

I admit my weakness will not cause the moon to slip out of orbit or get Gordon Ramsey to stop yelling at his Hell Kitchenites. But it bugs me that I can’t seem to stay true to trying to lose a few pounds. Oh, I know — tomorrow is another day. I didn’t fall off any wagon. I’m still walking and drinking water and eyeballing salads. I KNOW I have to move it or lose it. Cut proportions. There are already a dozen things I can’t eat any more because they mess me up in one way or ten.

But somehow it just seemed right to share my joys and sorrows with my bff over cheap ice cream. She, too, is swimming in her own pool of drama, but somehow we found comfort and support over a chocolate dipped ice cream cone and a hot fudge sundae. Seeking solace and laughs and camaraderie,  I would have willingly followed her to the local Italian restaurant, too.  That’s what friends do.

Tomorrow I will be back on the low-carb road. I chopped up some chicken for my salad and will have a burger for breakfast, along with some grapes and broccoli and whatever else my frig gives up. I will not be weak. I will not give up.

But I will be looking for my next excuse for a plate of Shrimp Scampi. With noodles.