Abundance is quite a loaded word, I think. In the past week or two, it seems that life is showing me a kind of abundance that I have not seen in a long while. That is, an abundance of attention from several men who I find to be interesting. I am so unaccustomed to that kind of abundance, that I really have a hard time dealing with it. I want to accept it graciously from all who offer it in an appropriate way, but I don’t want to appear to be some kind of game player. Finding the right balance seems to be tricky, partly because each man seems to want to be the only one who gets my attention. I don’t want my poor handling of the abundance to cause a mess that results in the abundance dwindling down to nothing.
So, abundance can be a double edged sword, it seems. In the case of food, abundance is often blamed for our “obesity epidemic.” When we have an abundance of appealing foods that are high in calories, it seems to be human nature - indeed, an evolutionary development - to consume more than we really need. Thrifty bodies that have evolved from times of scarcity have a hard time handling this kind of abundance.
I see a parallel here!
An Abundant Challenge
I recently experienced a side of food abundance that is difficult for me to handle. I had been seeing advertisements for the new Oreo Fudge Cremes that feature one side of an Oreo cookie, plus the filling, covered in fudge. The ad made them sound so exceptional, that I found myself putting them on my grocery list, so I could see what all the fuss was about! Sigh. I just always seem to want to try every new appealing food at least once. Anyway, at the store I discovered that there are several varieties of Oreo Fudge Cremes: regular, mint, peanut butter, and golden. The golden variety features a vanilla cookie layer in place of the chocolate one. I chose the peanut butter variety, because I like that combination. Move over Reeses and Girl Scout Thin Mints!
While I was checking out the Oreo Fudge Cremes, I saw the Oreo Cakesters, made with two vanilla cake-like cookies sandwiched around the classic white filling. Should Twinkies move over, too? You already know of my fondness for pound cake. Those Cakesters called to me like pound cake. Thus, I ended up buying a package of those in addition to the Peanut Butter Oreo Fudge Cremes. Thankfully, the Cakesters were packaged in individual portions within the larger package. I point that out in contrast to the Fudge Cremes.
You probably know the rest of the story. Those Fudge Cremes were like potato chips: I couldn’t have just one. They definitely seem to have addictive properties. I did better with them once I put them out of sight. I definitely don’t think I’ll buy those again.
So, we all know what society’s solution to all this abundance is, right? Dieting, of course! You can hardly go anywhere without seeing something that encourages you to diet. I recently found literature at my dentist’s office that advertised the “Take Shape for Life” plan, featuring Medifast Meals. There was a trifold pamphlet advertising this plan, along with the business card of an RN who is a “Certified Optimal Health Coach.” Alongside our abundance of food, we have an abundance of health professionals and coaches who want to help us cope with the results of that abundance.
A Positive Choice
Since I have already reviewed a food that did not work for me and my needs, I want to balance that out with an item that I found to be a positive choice for me in the grocery store. I’ve discovered that Birds Eye now offers a “Lite” version of frozen strawberries in syrup. These do not have any artificial sweeteners, but apparently just less sugar than the traditional sugar syrup used for frozen strawberries. Of course, you can always add your preferred sweetener to unsweetened frozen strawberries, but having a lower sugar option of pre-sweetened strawberries is a nice convenience. I found that these came in handy for adding to the very sour greek yogurt that was being included in my Good Measure Meals. I complained to GMM about this sour yogurt, and they appear to have listened and switched back to the non-greek variety.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention my exercise. I am so glad I expressed my intention to exercise last week, because that led me to make sure that I exercised at least once before I wrote this week’s blog! It’s funny when accountability is used in this positive and motivating rather than guilty way. I decided to try the chair exercises for seniors that were designed for strengthening. Let me tell you, I NEED the strengthening in my lower body. I could not get through that DVD without resting my legs; they got so tired. I’m going to aim for at least two exercise sessions before next week’s blog! Knowing how I’ve felt without regular movement and how wonderful it felt to get some, I encourage you to include some joyful movement in your life however you can.
My interest in nutrition developed from the weight issues I had in my youth. My sister and I always tended to be heavier than other kids, and we were teased about it, so naturally I wanted to "fix" myself by dieting. That worked pretty well in my teenage years, but adulthood was much more challenging. I started out as a dietitian who advocated dieting, but due to my own experience with my weight and dieting, as well as my extensive study of the subject of weight management, I have become an advocate of Health at Every Size. The first fellow professional who influenced my "conversion" was Ellyn Satter, who is also a dietitian. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics in 1975, (LSU) followed by a Master's in 1981(Univ of TN), and a PhD in 1997 (Univ of TN). I have worked in longterm care, public health, and one hospital. For the last 8 years, I have been teaching at the college level. I am the proud mother of a 24 year old son, and have been single since my divorce in 1993. That is when I moved to Atlanta from Cookeville, Tennessee. I moved around a lot in my childhood due to my father's job, but my parents grew up in Texas, and that is where my roots are. I lived in Brazil for 3 years as a teenager, and one of my sisters still lives there.