Its generally true that ‘if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.’ That’s a motto that’s helped me enormously with weight management, by helping me face facts and embrace change.
But when it comes to food choices, that equation’s not ALWAYS exactly true. There are times when I’ve found a food that worked marvellously for weight loss (nutritious, easy to prepare, low in calories) which then, after a period, lost its efficacy.
In my case, its not because the food has lost its nutritional value or that my metabolism has somehow learned how to extract more calories from it. I mean for the most part, a shiitake mushroom is a shiitake mushroom.
Its just that because I tend to be a food faddist, once I find something I like, I usually eat it with such frequency over such a long period of time, that I eventually get bored with it. And when I’m bored with my food choices, they stop making me feel satisfied and suddenly I’m either eating more of it (just to see if more is better) or else I’m eating it and then, feeling unsatisfied, follow that by eating something else in addition.
I’m guessing I’m not unique in this, and I don’t see it as a fatal character flaw or anything. Its just that I’ve learned to pay attention to my journals so that I notice how often/how long I’ve eaten something and whether it might be time to do something different. Since I dislike shopping and cooking, I’m fine with the idea that I will, at any time, just have set number of items to buy and recipes to share. Only once those become lackluster, do I feel the need to move on.
The good thing is that, for unadventerous people like me, sometimes its okay to unearth old die-hards and give them another go. Case in point. I like to eat veggies and for the past year or so I’ve been increasingly relying on pre-cut, frozen bags of them that I pull from the freezer. The other night, walking home in the driving rain, I realized that (a) I had no veggies in the freezer at home and (b) there was no supermarket between where I was at that moment and my condo.
I stopped into a corner market, and they didn’t have frozen veggies, but they did have fresh. I ended up grabbing an eggplant, some broccoli, zucchini squash and purple cabbage. And when I arrived home I remembered that deep in the back of one of my cabinets was a bag of dried, sliced shiitakes. In a matter of minutes I had diced it all up, reconstituted the dried mushrooms and stir-fried it in a pan. This is something I used to do with regularity up until about a year ago before I made the switch to prepared food.
And it was delicious! I stretched the rest of the veggies out for a few more days and enjoyed them thoroughly. And even now that I’ve gone back to the frozen (they are, after all, so amazingly convenient and fast), I’ve been tossing in bits and pieces of whatever fresh veggies I’ve kept around.
Its been an instructive lesson. I know this doesn’t trip off the tongue, but maybe the real truth is ‘if you sometimes do what you sometimes used to do, you’ll probably get the same results, at least for a while, before you need to move on.’ Its not poetry, but real life seldom is.