The Challenge of Healthy Eating During the Holidays

The Challenge of Healthy Eating During the Holidays

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I seem to be writing a lot more articles about diet and food-related stuff than exercise lately. I think it’s because eating healthy has proven to be much more of a challenge for me than exercise.

Currently, exercise is pretty cut and dried – I either get on the elliptical machine first thing in the morning or I don’t. There’s not much more to it than that. I suppose I’ll have more exercise-related things to write about when I start to play with my new Polar heart rate monitor or when I vary my routine and alternate between the elliptical machine and the workout program recently I bought for my Nintendo Wii.

Not that healthy eating would be any less challenging at another time of year, but there’s less than two weeks to go until Christmas and the obstacle course is in full swing. They call where I work an office, but it’s really a candy, cake, and cookie shop. It’s not even a shop… it’s an out and out giveaway! If I walk from one end of the room to the other, I immediately spike my blood sugar, put on 5 pounds, and exhibit hyperactive behavior for the next hour or so. And this is the time I’ve decided to embark on a healthy eating plan? Hah.

I’ve been watching what I eat alright. Like today, I watched myself eat a roast chicken salad from Subway for lunch, but I also watched a couple of chocolate truffles go down the hatch courtesy of one of the ladies in the office this morning after I helped her with her computer.

You may be laughing to yourself right now as you think “Mike – you say you’re serious about losing weight and you’ve been writing all these heavy, tear-jerking articles about it, but you’re eating chocolate truffles, dude. What’s up with that?” Well, I have no excuse. I’m easily swayed. But I am beginning to believe there’s a reason resolutions conveniently begin AFTER New Year’s Day in the bleak, holiday-less days of January (no offense to Dr. Martin Luther King).

Here’s what I’ve come up with. Call it another one of my patented justification statements if you will… I believe this month – December – is to me what spring training is to baseball. It’s a time to prepare for the “regular season” and it’s a time to make my mistakes without getting penalized too much.

So what’s my “regular season”? Twelve weeks of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, that’s what. It’s starting soon folks… as in shortly after New Year’s. This is when I’ll be going back to New York Presbyterian/Cornell Medical Center (where they took me after I dropped dead on the subway) three evenings a week to get hooked up to monitoring equipment as I exercise and get put on a healthy eating plan that I sure as hell will have to follow.

The expectation of my cardiologist (and my girlfriend) is that these 12 weeks will provide me the structure and experience to go forward into the world – living my life as a healthy, active guy (with re-programmed tastebuds) who is completely free of the ravishing effects of chocolate truffle addiction.

And, like the phoenix rising from the ashes, I will prevail and truly become the Healthy Heart Guy.