Saturday, May 1, 2010

If not good, at least less bad

One of the things I've realized over the years is that I'm not cut out to be a health food junkie—not even remotely close. I've also realized there are some things that I cannot live without, at least not happily. Take Coke, for example. I love an ice-cold Coca-Cola. And if it came from the local Sonic with their scrumptious ice, even better. I enjoy Coke so much, it's almost like a security blanket for me—the thing that lets me smile when I want to cry, shrug when I want to scream, persevere when I want to give up. It helps keep me sane.
Now, we all know Coke isn't really good for you—empty calories, caffeine, etc.—but, dang, I do love it. So, while eliminating Coke from my diet might be a good choice, that's not very likely. Continuing my current consumption, though—maybe three sodas per day—that's a bad choice. So, the less bad choice is to reduce the amount of Coke I drink. On a normal work day, I'd venture a guess that I consume 50-80 ounces of Coke; today I had about 24, yesterday less than 20. I know some folks still think that's too much soda for someone who's claiming to want to lose weight—and I can't say I disagree—but it's a less bad choice that will allow me to continue on my journey. Trying to give up the staple of my mental health regimen would be asking for trouble.
As another example, it was a long and trying day at the office today. What I really wanted driving home was a chocolate chip milk shake. I was sort of hungry and very drained, and a bit of comfort food would've been just what I needed. Now, in the spirit of truth I'll admit that the shop where I like to get these shakes wasn't open, but I still passed by a couple of McDonald's, with their alluring chocolate shakes and wonderful French fries. And I didn't stop at any of the convenience stores to grab an ice cream bar. Didn't even break open the Bryer's once I made it home. Instead I opted for a small bowl of oatmeal. Sure, eating anything at three in the morning probably not the best idea, but oatmeal instead of ice cream is still less bad than other choices.
Here's to less bad choices that allow us to keep going.