Today I’m writing to the prompt “smell” from Linda G. Hill as part of her Stream of Consciousness Saturday series. It may be rambling, so apologies in advance!
When I think of smell, I automatically think of the aroma of food cooking. A memory just triggered for me, a memory from childhood.
I recall waking up one morning, entirely on my own, so it must have been a weekend. I was never an early riser, and had to be woken for school. I remember that the house smelled strange. Not bad strange, just unusual.
At first I couldn’t quite figure out what it was, but then, as the sleep cleared away and my senses began to sharpen, I puzzled it out. The aroma was meat cooking. My mother had a roast in the oven at that early hour and it filled the house with its rich, robust aroma. It was such a strange smell for first thing in the morning.
What a small thing to carry around in my memory for so many years.
Since school let out, I have some time at home. This free time is both a pleasure and a problem. The pleasure is that I have time to relax, clean up, read, rest, and work on both my summer writing project work and my school work for next year (it comes so quickly).
The problem is that my house is where I keep food (don’t you?) and it’s not exactly a gym (thank goodness). At this point in my life, I need to eat better and eat less, and I need to move more. Being home seems to be at odds with both of those goals. How to cope? Well, here’s what I’m trying:
- Get rid of the crap. This isn’t difficult in and of itself, it’s the fact that I live with other people who are healthy and normal and don’t sabotage themselves by overeating particular foods. So far, though, having certain foods in the house hasn’t been a big deal. I just don’t have the foods that I crave, like ice cream, for example. My sweetheart’s chips aren’t that big a draw for me, at least not yet.
- Plan meals. Picking out meals ahead of time, and shopping for those specific ingredients has been helping. I’m not even too stressed about the specific recipes at this point, as long as I know they’re made with real ingredients (as opposed to heavily processed foods) I’m okay with them. My go-to cookbook is Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely. She’s a certified nutritionist and the recipes are simple and delicious. Her website, SavingDinner.com has tons of free recipes.
- Buy good food. What works for me might not work for you, but having stuff I like that’s also good for me helps. I have more fruit in my house, more vegetables, more cottage cheese and yogurt, more oatmeal and cereal, more hard-boiled eggs, and more nuts than I have at other times. These foods fuel me in a way that doesn’t include tons of empty calories.
- Drink that water. I get thirsty. I drink. I get hungry. I drink. I take meds. I drink. I want something in my hand. I drink. Drinking water moves me through the day (and down the hall to the restroom…more steps!).
- Pay attention to my Fitbit. When it says I better get moving I listen (usually). Every hour we should be moving our bodies, and if I don’t have a certain number of steps with ten minutes left in the hour the Fitbit gives me a reminder to get to it. Sometimes I march in place, and sometimes I walk figure eights around my kitchen island and couch. Why not just go outside? Because we’re already over a hundred degrees here, but the pool is still cold (well, by my picky standards). Soon, though, I’ll be walking laps in there.
I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully that little switch in my brain will click into the spot that helps me rather than sabotages me. I’m so thankful to all the wonderful positive people who have stepped forward to offer encouragement. This is a never-ending battle, but one I can’t afford to lose.