Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coming soon to a theatre near you - Potato Dodgers

original run date December 6, 2011
Chariton Valley News Press

Remember when you were a kid and you thought everybody was “old”. Then as you reached your teenage years, you realized those people you thought were “old” were really just in their 30’s and 40’s. Now that I’m in that age range, it certainly doesn’t seem to be that old. That is until I decided to get back in shape.
I had been telling myself for several years now that the extra weight was just post maternity weight and I could hold on to it for a while for the sentimental value. Now that my “baby” is 16, almost 17, I think I’m beyond using that as an excuse. Add to the equation that I watched one of my best friends drop several clothing sizes last winter and I had some motivation. She assured me she would help me do the same so I jumped on the bandwagon with zeal.
I have it in my head that I can do this – well, Cindy has me convinced anyway. I knew where I was starting from and have my goal set on where I want to get. The next morning, bright and early, I rolled out of bed and made it to my first Cindy mandated workout.
Now my family will tell you, I’m not a morning person. I can count on one finger the total days I have gotten out of bed before 7 a.m. and actually had a smile on my face. It just doesn’t happen for me. I have always wanted to be a morning person but that usually doesn’t mix well with being a night owl so after 22 years of marriage, Larry has just accepted the fact that talking to me before 10 a.m. is at your own risk.
I made it through the torture of my first workout on the journey to getting back into shape. I even made it through a second workout the next day that included the high school track - and stairs - without keeling over. So far, so good – I’m still moving on Sunday. Maybe I’m not as out of shape as I thought?
Monday morning rolled around and I rolled out of bed – with a thud. Oh the agony! Larry made the mistake of laughing – out loud – as I made my way around the bed. If I could have reached him, I probably would have smacked him. The comment about how I looked like a frozen toed rooster trying to get away from a fox didn’t help matters one bit.
Thankfully, ibuprofen comes in fairly large bottles because I went through quite a bit that first week. I have stuck with the five-day-a-week regimen of various degrees of working out and have made it past the frozen toed rooster stage for now. I know Cindy will be upping the degree of difficulty soon so I’ll probably be breaking out the ibuprofen again but that’s okay, as long as I get results.
When I started this, I really thought the workout regimen would be the hardest part of the whole ordeal. I have always been a somewhat active person, just not in an athletic sense. I’m more the run after the kids, ride the horse and walk to the pond to go fishing type of personality. That’s active, right?
I have to admit though, I don’t mind getting up early quite so much when it involves working out with a friend and not having to dress beyond sweatpants, a t-shirt and my tennis shoes. I’ve even roped my kids into joining me at the fitness center on occasion to motivate me to keep going.
To my amazement, the workout routines are not what have caused me the most grief and despair. It has been giving up my most beloved comfort food of all time – potatoes. I can eat potatoes in any form and I will go from Cruella DeVille to Snow White in a matter of minutes. They can be mashed, baked, fried or boiled with butter. Throw in plenty of sour cream, some cheese, salt and pepper and my week has been made.
Yes, I know, the calorie count in those last few sentences would be my entire days allotted amount so as you can imagine, it has all been removed from my menu planner. I grew up with a food pyramid that had three levels. Meat on the bottom, potatoes in the middle and garden raised vegetables at the top – my food pyramid now has a giant hole in the middle when meal planning.
A low carbohydrate diet phase several years ago in our household taught me several ways to fill in that hole. Cauliflower can be cooked and made into “potato” salad or mashed much like potatoes. Rice has entered our menu a little more often although you have to be careful with that as well. I liked cheese dumped in my rice in epic proportions so that is a no-no these days also.
Even though there are ways to fill in that huge gap, there is still nothing like a mound of mashed potatoes, loaded with butter and topped with gravy to make a bad mood go away. Comfort food will never be the same.
I’m sure as I weave my way through this whole lifestyle change I’ll manage to rework my menus and meal planning won’t be such a pain in the posterior. Until then I’ll skip around that end of the produce aisle and continue to resist the temptation.
Unless of course, Larry breaks out the frozen toed rooster joke again. Then I might have to buy one more bag of potatoes so I can throw them at him since I won’t be able to catch him. There is still some comfort in that thought.

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