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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: Low Tolerance

Daze of My Life
Low Tolerance
by Kenneth B. Lourie

Low carbohydrates, low sugar, low salt/sodium, low cholesterol, low fat, and low in calories, too. Wow. How enticing!
I wouldn't exactly say that my diet, or shall I say, my food consumption, has sunk to a new low, but if I am to believe what I hear and read what's written, the depths to which I regularly sink to feed my face and hydrate my body must be reversed or I'll likely hit bottom. And it's a bottom that, after a certain middle age, is unlikely to provide the same bounce as hitting said bottom at a younger age might likewise have provided.
Being older and wiser, and dare I say, more mature, presumably one has a greater appreciation and understanding of the risks and rewards of eating one's shoe size rather than one's age. Still, the older one is, and the longer that one has maintained certain eating habits, the more difficult it might be to change what has been a lifetime of unhealthy eating. It's akin to turning around an ocean liner after it's headed out to sea. It doesn't exactly turn on a dime and neither do I.
Certainly I understand the principles involved; and the obvious need and importance surrounding the subject of "eating right." But the application is greatly more complicated. And as much as I want to arrive alive, sometimes the cure is worse than the condition. I suppose then, that the logical action to take is to prevent the condition from ever manifesting itself; the inevitable do or die mid-course correction. Easier said than done.
Clearly there are many healthier alternatives available (other than eating cold pizza for breakfast, as an example): see paragraph one. But to follow such a regimen requires self-sacrifice and self-discipline, not to mention a love of lettuce, a salivation for salad, a voraciousness for vegetables, a fondness for fruit and in general a passion for produce, none of which I have.
But since we only live once, so far as we know, eating a balanced and nutritional diet, all other risk factors and genetic predisposition's notwithstanding, might actually enable many more of us to live long and prosper. It's only logical to expect that eliminating artery-clogging, blood pressure-raising, fat-storing, clot-creating, cholesterol-elevating, muscle-weakening, polyp-producing and miscellaneous other good-health-inhibiting consumption, be they liquid or solid would be a prudent and sensible pursuit. Nevertheless the
availability--and variety and sheer abundance of food products, from A to Z, from diet-friendly to diet-unfriendly, plus the marketing of all these products seemingly everywhere and all the time--is so pervasive that even if you're being strong and exercising not only your body but your mind, too, the temptation to switch rather than fight is almost overwhelming.
Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff that tastes great is not less filing (other than Miller Lite, that is). And though maintaining a commitment to excellence (in eating) is hardly rewarding (for me), certainly not in the short run, it is the long run that presumably matters most and eating right--and not considering what's left--should be a road worth traveling. The problem remains however, that even if I did follow this road (that up until now I have not traveled very far upon) eventually, I would need to stop somewhere and use the bathroom and of course get something to eat.
It would be at that point, where the rubber would meet the road, so to speak; in the restaurant or at the fast-food counter, looking at the menu that I would have to decide: am I on the right road or did I make a wrong turn somewhere? Complicated by the knowledge that I have an extremely bad sense of direction. What to do?

Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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