Tag Archives: home

A Taste of Home

28 Jul
Home of many tasty things.

Home of many tasty things.

Right now I’m in the middle of what I’m calling a three-city tour. It started with Chicago and hanging out with the Carters and a few of my Chi-town friends. Now I’m back in my hometown of St. Louis (STL, dog!) to visit friends and family before going to Boston for a conference.

Going on vacation means taking a break from your routine. My routine is work-gym-home. Sometimes it’s run-work-grocery store-home. It keeps me focused on maintaining my fitness level and not getting too distracted in a city full of distractions. Vacation throws all of that out of the window.

When I go to Chicago, I always get Garett Popcorn. I prefer the mix of caramel and cheddar popcorn, but others just like plain butter. Doesn’t matter because is good old corn sullied by sodium and corn syrup. And it’s delicious. An entire bag is probably my daily allotment of calories, but when I have it, I’m in heaven.

Next comes home. Let me explain to you a few things about St. Louis food: my dad makes the best smoked barbecue ever, you’ve never had good Chinese food until you’ve had it at ahometown hole in the wall, the best White Castle on the planet is smack dab in the middle of the hood, and no one makes a thin-crust pizza like Imo’s.

None of this is good for me: we coat our barbecue in sauce in St. Louis, filling ourselves with overprocessed tomato sauce; the Chinese food is full of MSG and sodium; and the White Castle is…White Castle.

I hadn’t been home in almost a year, so I have to get my fill of the good stuff while I’m here. But I’m going to have to work even harder to maintain some modicum of restraint around my hometown comfort foods.

I learned this lesson in Rio. We were eating all the wrong things and laying out on the beach everyday. One day we were out for lunch and found a spot with a salad bar. We thought we were in heaven. Leafy greens, tomatoes, beets, carrots, balsamic vinegar. It was like an angel chorus was singing to us as we filled our plates.

That’s what’s probably going to happen as I begin the third leg of my tour in Boston. I’ll have to cleanse myself with steamed vegetables, baked fish and snackable cashews. But in the meantime, I’ll have my running shoes with me. A lot of my folks back home have started working out again. I’ll be surrounded by people who are taking active care of their health, so I won’t be led too far astray.

Ten years ago, not many of us were taking good care of ourselves. Sure, there were a few who’d maintained their high-school athleticism. But a lot of us let our slovenly ways take over. I’m glad that I’ve stayed in contact with such hard-working people who want to do better for themselves.

If you live away from your hometown, what’s your go-to comfort food? How do you reconcile your desire for a taste of home with your need to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I’m Only Good for Two

11 Jun

I just…I don’t even know what to say about this.

While on your weight-loss journey, you learn the art of sacrifice. In order to drop the pounds, you have to drop the doughnut and pick up the cucumber salad. You have to give up live programming because your spin class starts at the same time as “Game of Thrones.”

Nothing’s ever really worth it if you didn’t have to make sacrifices for it. I say all this to justify why I’m such a slob. I hate cleaning. It was the thing I got in trouble for most as a kid. I remember my mother waking me at 2 in the morning to wash the dishes I’d neglected the night before. I just didn’t feel like it.

Things have gotten so bad that I’ve just had to leave my home to get some peace. I’ve gone for a 6-mile run in the morning, gone to work and come home to complete horror. I had to get out and go for a walk so I wouldn’t have to deal with the mess I’d created.

The irony is that despite my disgust for Lysol, I hate messes. I understand that I’m really lazy. This far into my weight-loss journey, I’ve learned what my essentials are for a peaceful existence: having my meals prepared, setting aside time for my workouts and keeping my place relatively neat.

The other thing I learned, however, is that I’m only good for two of those three. So when I’m in beast mode, my apartment suffers. My poor dog has given me side-eye for how bad things have gotten. But I’m tired. Working out takes a lot out of you. And then cooking? Ugh. It’s all too much, I say. If I’m going to be fully dedicated to my goal, something’s got to give. So I’m sorry floors, but you’re just not getting mopped until I’ve had a chance to rest.

How do you reconcile what you need to do versus what must be done? Obviously, I can’t live my life in filth. I’m a bum, I’m not crazy.

I need to clean? (fights the air)

I can justify the piled up laundry because I’ve been working so hard. The mountain of dishes in the sink are because I’ve been cooking more. When you cook, your dishes get dirty. That’s just facts. I’ve made peace with the fact that when the beast hits, dust bunnies will pile up. I just can’t entertain guests until after rest day.

No matter how far into beast mode I go, I know I have to take a rest day. The body needs time to recover, but that doesn’t mean become a bump on a log. Rest days have become essential to me maintaining my sanity and allowing me time to clean my bathroom and put dishes in the dishwasher. I can get other minor business done, like paying bills and even grocery shopping.

Making sacrifices are expected when you’re in the throes of reaching your goal. But don’t sacrifice your sanity. Maybe it’s not a messy place for you, but something else you need to maintain your peace. Find a way to make room in your new routine for the things that keep you sane. Your friends and family will thank you for it.

What have you had to sacrifice for your goals? How have you had to readjust your needs for that?