I miss the good old days.
Not just the days when nothing hurt when I stood up, or the days when I had hair on my head and not my back, but the good old days when I did not have to watch every single thing I ate.
With the big 5-0 disappearing in the rearview mirror, one has to start thinking about what one eats or one will end up looking more like two than one.
There are also pesky things like a risk of having a heart attack, stroke or some other nasty bit of body breakdown that come from not living a more healthy lifestyle. And that healthy lifestyle means giving up pretty much any and all food that I used to enjoy.
As a young lad, cholesterol was an old person problem. Well, it is now my problem so that must mean...it is a middle-age person problem too.
There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and it would seem I have an abundance of bad cholesterol, as does several of my kin.
I did not exactly win the genetic jackpot with a family history that includes just about every ailment modern science knows about.
I am not talking about stuff you can catch – like malaria or anything – but medical issues that are part of your genes and you have very little choice of getting them or not.
Among my inheritance from my forefathers, foremothers and forecousins was a wonky cholesterol situation.
The doctor informed me of my cholesterol woes and said I would have to change many of my eating habits. No more fries, cheese, bacon (noooooo) or any of the other stuff I have enjoyed for decades.
So naturally, I got a new doctor.
Actually, I took note of what he was suggesting and walked out of his office with a stack of papers on what I can eat, should eat, must eat and should never again even think of eating ever again.
Upon reading the list, I quickly realized eating the paper itself would likely taste better than most of the stuff on the list.
I admit, the list did contain a plethora of healthy items that I know I have to eat in order to live a long life – a long bacon-less life.
More greens, OK, I can do that. More fibre, OK, I can do that. Less of everything else, um, er, I'll work on it.
But I know and accept that as we age, we have to change our lifestyles. No longer can I stay up until the wee hours of the morning and then bounce out of bed ready to go to work.
I go to bed in the wee hours of the evening now and it is still tough to not smash the alarm clock with a barrage of verbal and physical abuse when it goes off.
But with age comes maturity (well, that's the theory anyway) and with maturity comes the strength and will power to skip the bacon cheeseburger and fries and go with a nice salad instead.
So over the past couple of years I have eaten more greenery than a rabbit with the munchies. Salads of all description now fill my plate instead of real food.
Fries have been replaced with carrot sticks and celery; fried chicken has been replaced by boneless, skinless whole chicken breast spread out atop a field of greens loaded with all those ingredients needed to live that long life I was talking about earlier.
And that really is the goal: to live as long as possible because the alternative sucks and I plan on making dying the last thing I do.
So, yes I will have the salad please.
Would I like bacon bits sprinkled on top?
OK, just this once.
Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh