Some days a person just doesn't have time to be healthy.
That's what I told myself yesterday, as I ran around Dallas preparing a report on America's great weight problem. The snooze button conspired against me and the best laid breakfast plans. Forget yogurt and wheat toast after an early morning run. Instead, I was running to the shower, late for work. So breakfast came from the café across the hall from my office: a fried egg, bacon and cheese sandwich…on wheat toast. Lunch wasn't much better…a fast food fried chicken sandwich. The side salad is still sitting on my desk. Salads are too time-consuming. They require forks. This is how a large part of America eats.
And if it's not time…it's the food itself conspiring against our good intentions. The woman I interviewed yesterday, Tracie Beley, is more than a hundred pounds overweight and says she got that way because she uses food to feed her soul. As she put it "bread makes me feel good." And now that she's so heavy, she can't exercise because her joints ache under the extra weight. She's scheduled to undergo bariatric surgery in two weeks…shrinking her stomach to stop her from eating.
As for me, I'm not sure how I got to the point where I'd see a fried chicken commercial and think, "my legs and thighs will survive a bucket of those legs and thighs…as long as I take an extra lap around the mall." Intellectually I know that a thirty minute run makes me feel good. I like the way my lungs burn and my muscles ache. And there is enough time in the day…even this day.
So I'm stepping away from the keyboard and lacing up my running shoes. And I'm saving that salad for dinner.