Dear Macaroni And Chicken Tender Aficionado,
If there was one habit I wish I developed when I was young, it would be one of maintaining my health with better eating and exercise habits.
There are a few challenges I faced, that I think you will face as well so I’d like to share them with you and urge you to live a healthy lifestyle.
First, I am a “Super Taster” and based on your picky eating that is just like mine, I suspect you are too. I recommend you look up more about super taster traits online (or whatever it’s called at the time of you read this) as any links I provide are probably going to change.
I was tested for taste sensitivity in college, and was one of 2 people in my class of about 30 that could taste a certain bitterness on on our test strips. For me it was an overwhelming, “spit this thing out of my mouth immediately” kind of reaction, but most of the class tasted nothing at all.
It was only then that I realized then that this trait was the core reason I don’t like a lot of different types of foods and have a very simple, repetitive palette. I always thought I was just weird because everyone else seemed to like salad, vegetables, watermelon, oranges, etc…..
The biggest challenge I’ve faced with food is that no one believes me. They think I’m just making up stories as an excuse for not liking vegetables, but the reality for me is that most vegetables are simply inedible. Like I can’t even put them in my mouth inedible. This is magnified by the fact that I have some sensory processing issues that also make my experience with texture overly heightened and I’m prone to gagging on certain foods as a result of texture as well (steak fat being high on that list. Blech!).
Anyway, I recognize this isn’t ideal for my health, and I have intentionally sought out healthier foods to eat. While I still despise most vegetables, I have found a few that I can tolerate including roasted broccoli (if not on warfarin), zucchini, squash, edamame, bean sprouts, and a few others. I’ve always liked green beans and peas. Basically, I’m trying to incorporate whatever healthier foods I can into my diet. Hopefully I can find a few more.
I also have a weird relationship with exercise. I will go months staying super consistent and then I’ll go months where it’s the last thing I want to do. This bi-polar relationship with my body is also something that I don’t enjoy, so I’ve committed to just doing something every day, even on “rest” day so that the habit is simply required on a daily basis. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s getting better.
I have found that focusing on building my raw strength rather than an aesthetic look works well to keep me motivated. It’s easy for strength to increase linearly over time so there is always a positive result, and the aesthetics will come by default. The aesthetics are also controlled more by diet than the gym.
I started going to a Crossfit gym in 2015 and loved it. That’s where I learned about working with barbells and I’ve enjoyed traditional barbell strength training ever since. I believe Chris is also a Crossfit coach, and he and your mom currently attend a Crossfit gym as well. Even though you are a girl, I encourage you to not be afraid of weight training. It will give you a healthier body that cardio activity alone.
After my appendix ruptured in 2016 I stopped attending and am only now going back. I certainly wish I’d kept it up. I have found the social motivation of group training to be particularly rewarding whereas individual training tends to become boring and stale. My point in all this being, find the fitness home that resonates with you and helps you stay motivated.
My letter today has kind of been a rambling of thoughts so here are the two takeaways I want to leave you with:
1. Find healthy foods you like and learn to prepare meals for yourself. I suck at both of these and can confidently say it only gets harder to change these habits as you get older. Treat your food as a means for you to adhere to take away number two:
2. Move your body regularly. Go to fitness classes. Run. Lift weights. Bike. Swim. Row. Move. Anything. Make your body do things you don’t think it could do. Not only will you be stronger and better prepared for life, but you will gain mental and emotional confidence as well.
3. Bonus! Continue these habits your entire life. No matter how old you get, moving your body and exercising can only benefit you. One of the biggest mistakes in older people is they stop moving and they lose their strength. This leads to accidents and falls and sitting around too much. No matter how old you get, you can still improve your quality of life by maintaining as much strength as possible through intentional exercise.
That’s it for today! I’m off to the gym!
P.S. I was in the gym earlier and decided to jump on the treadmill. People started giving me weird looks, so I started jogging instead.
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