Monday, May 4, 2015

The White Stuff

One of the many perks of the great company my husband works for is the awesome health benefits. They pay for their higher-up executives to have this extensive, day-long medical examination, where they run all sorts of tests to assess their physical well-being. Last week, hubby had his meeting with the doctor to go over the results of all those tests, and they invited the spouse (that's me) to be there, too.

Among the things this doctor suggested for him -- and actually, US -- was, of course, changes in our diet. "Basically, you need to eliminate the white stuff: bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. And of course, sugar. That goes without saying." Of course.

Eliminate the white stuff. Sounds easy, right? Just eliminate it. Eat something else.

Do you know how much of that "white stuff" we eat everyday?

Since that appointment last Wednesday, I've taken note. There is something from that category in every single meal we eat. Sometimes it is the primary item in that meal. We eat lots of pasta. Something bready is my usual breakfast. Rice, maybe not as much. But our dinner out last night at the eldest's workplace: burgers and fries. Bread and potatoes.

It is NOT that simple to just eliminate the white stuff from our diet.

And, of course, he talked about adding fruits and vegetables. "But not orange juice," he said. "That's practically just plain sugar."

Great. Orange juice is my COFFEE in the morning. How can you tell me to eliminate my orange juice?

I mean, eliminating the sugar is hard enough. I'm definitely a sugar and carb addict. I tried for a few months to limit myself to just eating sugary desserts on Saturdays. That way, I knew I was going to have one sometime, so when I said no, I wasn't saying no forever -- just until the end of the week. That worked pretty well for a while. But even that has been a failure lately. I just love sugar.

I KNOW I would feel better if I ate better. I KNOW I would feel better if I exercised regularly. Why don't I do it? Seriously -- why is it so hard for us to do the things we KNOW will make our lives better?

The comedian Brian Regan has a bit about the optometrist, and he talks about how great it is to see. "Why would 'immediately improve vision' not be on the top of our priority list?" he asks. Indeed -- why? Why would "increase energy level" not be there? Or "improve mood and attitude"? Why should "clean out the garage" and "pick up the dry cleaning" take priority to our daily well-being?

"For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. . . I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do -- this I keep doing." Paul nailed us. Fallen humanity. And yet, we still live under the delusion that we're evolving . . . every day in every way we're getting better and better . . . the world is more just and righteous that it's ever been . . . we CAN pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and be a better us . . . we CAN be good enough to earn our way into heaven. Yes, we can!

Yeah, right. We can't even eliminate the white stuff.

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