I can’t even eat rice?
By Tim Linscott
While climbing the ladder of journalism in Fairbury I was not taking very good care of myself.
Journalism can lead to rough habits like eating supper at midnight (or later), drinking two pots of coffee a day and exercise consists of walking to a copier, slapping the side of the machine, cursing and stomping back to your desk for four straight hours.
At that point I was doing all of the above in my life.
The long hours started to take a toll on me physically. My eating habits were not right at all, going back to my first job in Plainview. I would eat at a pizza buffet every Wednesday while waiting for the papers to be printed. I went to a lot of meetings and ate either buffet or waited until I went home, which was in the middle of the night sometimes.
By the time I reached Fair- bury my weight wasn’t where it should have been, my eating habits were odd and I didn’t exercise.
On a typical day, I would get up and head straight to work. Once there I’d drink a good portion of a huge tank of coffee made by Vince, a former U.S. Army sergeant turned pressman. Incidentally, when people talk about ‘Army coffee’ and how strong it is, believe it, I have had it and it could fuel a rocket.
I wouldn’t eat until noon and it usually consisted of fast food or leftovers. Supper was usually two chicken pot pies, toast and butter and milk, which I normally consumed at 11 p.m. or later. My other meal of choice was two cans of baked beans, half a bottle of barbecue sauce and half a package of hot dogs microwaved and dumped over toast, again with milk.
I felt miserable, my health was not where I wanted it and, most importantly, I was single. Wanting to feel better, and look better, I knew I needed to make a change.
I hit the local wellness center, which was attached to the hospital. I knew my first priority was to change my eating habits. Three squares a day, healthy foods, no more junk food was the plan.
I began working out seven days a week.
Finding an exercise and diet that worked for my body type and lifestyle was the hardest part of the whole getting in shape process. First, I must quantify that statement by saying I have never been ‘in shape’ but simply I am not out of shape.
Consulting my brother, Jeff, was where I turned first. He has always lifted weights and is very knowledgeable on health and fitness. He can bench press over 400 pounds and has been involved with mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, boxing and various other sports through the years.
His body type and mine are very different. This was my first mistake. His advice was eat the equivalent to 40 eggs a day, lift heavy weights in short repetitions and try to bulk up. I was already bulking up, that was my problem.
I couldn’t handle that pro- gram as I was not meant to be ‘bulky.’
I started consulting the trainers at the local wellness center.
‘Diet should be your first and foremost concern, then worry about exercise,” said Jackie, one of the trainers, a former All-American basketball player, mother of four and local arm wrestling champion.
After consulting with Jackie and another trainer, I began to realize that there is nothing on this earth that is good for you in regard to diet.
Her suggested meal plan was: breakfast–a protein shake and protein bar; lunch–an eight ounce chicken breast, one cup steamed vegetables, one cup steamed white rice; supper–eight ounces of salmon, one cup of steamed vegetables, one cup white rice.
Another trainer heard her advice and said, “White rice isn’t as good for you as brown rice, avoid anything white.”
This trainer, a male, didn’t eat solid foods. He drank protein shakes, took powders and pills every day. Mind you, he was in incredible shape, but I don’t think I could spend the rest of my life not eating solid foods.
Just about everything I threw out there for a meal plan was shot down. Potatoes were not acceptable in any form, starches are bad. Certain vegetables were out, (corn is useless to your body). Fruit was mostly bad. Bananas are too fatty, apples, oranges, strawberries are too high in sugar, apricots and blueberries in very small doses were all right. I could have apples, only if I ate the skins alone.
Dairy in any form was a no- no.
Meat was out of the question, except a small amount of skinless chicken or salmon with no sauces or additions on them.
Water was fine, but make sure it was filtered with ice that was also filtered.
Everything is either too high in fat, too many calories or not enough nutrients.
There is nothing on earth that is good for you, I concluded.
Ignoring everyone’s advice with the knowledge that everything is bad for you I began eating what I wanted...in moderation.
I began eating at regular times every day and was aware of what I was putting in my body. Once I knew that one chicken pot pie had enough salt to last me two days, I cut back.
Now I am at the point I can’t really eat like I used to, for instance, I really can’t eat pizza anymore. Cheese, sauce and greasy meat wipes me out physically, I just can’t do it anymore. Some of that is getting older, some of that is my body trying to adjust to eating something it isn’t used to anymore.
The point of this entire tale is that everything in this world can be trouble. Too much junk food, not enough sleep, too much exercise and not enough ‘down time’ can be detrimental to your health.
Take everything in stride, stop worrying about what will or won’t be good for you and stay balanced. Educate your- self on what you put into your body and don’t stress out about how eating egg yolks is the equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day (an article I read recently).