It all started a couple weeks ago. My mom uttered those 7 words that every girl loves hates to hear: “I think you should see a nutritionist.” I told her it’s rude to make fun of the handicapped. She repeated her statement. I told her that this conversation was better to be had over pizza. She repeated her statement. I told her that I don’t need a nutritionist to tell me to move more and eat less. I need new legs to move more.
Ok, earlier I said I need new legs to move more. Did you fall for it? I’m the queen of excuses. Did that one make you feel bad? It doesn’t make my mom feel sad. She tells me to move however I can. For example, getting from the floor to the sofa gets my heart rate up. She sat there today to see if it’s something we agree I could do while I was home alone without the fear of being the next “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up spokeswoman.” I wasn’t in the correct attire for this attempt, however. I was wearing nylon warm-ups which kept sliding all over the floor. I couldn’t get traction to save my life. I finally managed to wedge a pillow under my knees which gave me enough traction to hoist my upper body onto the sofa. My therapy dogs (which are really just my dogs during therapy time) thought I was playing a game and both decided to sit on my back. They’re always looking to lend a helpful paw. Or for a new place to rest. After shooing them off of me, I managed to finally get myself onto the sofa. The whole thing took about 5 minutes and probably got my heart rate up enough to burn 100 calories. Probably not one of the exercises I should do unsupervised, unless we want the hubs to find me half sprawled on the sofa in my new occupation of “dog bed”.
Since move more isn’t the best solution right now, eat less is definitely the solution. There’s just one problem: I love junk food so much that it’s practically against my religion to not eat them.
A few weeks ago, I was hanging out with my friend Kiki (not her real name, but the name she plans on her grandkids calling her one day. Her kids are under 10.). We were talking about dieting and losing weight and all those other things girlfriends talk about when they get together. She told me how her mom and sister told her that being skinny feels better than anything tastes. I wish I had that mindset. I would probably pay money if someone could reprogram my brain that way. But, I love the taste of cake. And ice cream. And pizza. And those are all way better than being skinny. Yes, yes. Being skinny is wonderful. But, so are Oreos! Literally, they’re so delicious that after I wrote that last sentence, I got sidetracked on the Oreo website and found that they have recipes for delicious desserts! That’s how addicted to junk food I am!
To be fair, after Kiki and I had this conversation, I made her a spinach and goat cheese salad with balsamic vinegar and a hint of Italian seasoned olive oil. So, I am not opposed to eating healthy. I try to do it pretty often. I just believe in moderation. One thing healthy, two things junk food. One thing healthy, two things junk food. Etc, etc. I usually find ways to justify it. I’m in a wheelchair; I deserve those cookies. I’m home alone; I need Skittles. I had a hard workout so an extra scoop of ice cream won’t hurt. It’s Wednesday pizza day. It’s someone’s birthday somewhere in the world so let’s buy a sheet cake. I can literally find any way to justify any junk food decision.
But there is one way to get me to cut back on the bad food. And no, it’s not health related. Yes, I do acknowledge that losing weight would help walking when I’m using all upper body on the walker. And that’s a benefit. Is it enough to get me to stop though? Nope. And yes, I acknowledge that putting on my clothes without using my legs would be easier if they fit looser. Again, not enough to change my habits. The one thing that is enough? Having my mom bring up the fact that I need to go on a diet. She’s not the type to let things go. She will bookend every conversation with reminders. She’ll bring it up at all times of the day when she calls to check in. It is worth it to sincerely cut back on the intake just to have those nails on chalkboard conversations friendly reminders stop. And believe me you, she knows this and is precisely the reason she persists. After 33 years, she knows every trick and has me beat at every turn. So mom, you’ll be glad to know that tonight I am passing on the cake for dessert and instead having a bowl of strawberries.