change will always come

When I married my husband, I also married his lack of cooking skills and his picky eating habits. When my husband married me, he married my dislike of cooking, as well as my claims that I wasn't a good cook, and my sweet tooth.

Our wedding registry had a few kitchen items on it. But truthfully, I was more concerned with comfortable sheets, couch cushions, and other items that would make our home look pretty rather than items that would help feed us.

This year I've become friends with the kitchen. We're not best friends just yet, but I am getting to know the kitchen better. I'm finding that I can chop an onion without crying. I can also follow a recipe quite well and even adjust the ingredients and amounts when warranted. I've even invited friends over with the intention of cooking an entire meal for them.

Every year, my parents ask me to write a letter to Santa Clause. Over the past few years, I've asked mainly for one thing: money. Amazingly, Santa Clause does make money, and so my letters have always been received and responded to.

This year, I asked for lots of things for the kitchen. I wanted pots and pans that matched, knives that actually cut well, and a few other items. Santa Clause, as well as family members, delivered, and I'm now the proud owner of cookware that sparkles.

The items I had before were all usable. And use them I did. I also abused them by letting food dry on them and forgetting to remove them from the hot burners as soon as I was done whipping up whatever masterpiece I had planned for dinner.

Our refrigerator has been bare over the past few days, and so I've only used one new pan once to scramble eggs with cheese and spinach.

Food is the thing I struggle with the most. Although recently the gym and I have been quite distant. Still, I know it all comes back to what I am eating, how much I am eating, and also making sure that I am consuming enough water - not just surviving on coffee and diet coke.

Armed with spices, a new food scale, and more pots and pans than I know what to do with, I'm determined to learn my way around the kitchen, become even closer friends with the art of cooking, and finally begin to understand portion control.

Over the past few months, I've realized that how I eat needs to be a way of life and not just a diet I stick with for a few weeks. I've looked into different eating habits, and I've tried a few. The one that I know works for me is the South Beach Diet.

It's daunting to cut out carbohydrates and sugars. But I know that those are my trigger foods, the items I can (and do) eat endlessly and mindlessly. So starting tomorrow, I am restarting the South Beach Diet.

Last time, I made it one and a half weeks into phase one. It was difficult but not impossible. I learned quite a bit over that time and know that in order to be successful I need to have variety - namely more variety in vegetables and less broccoli.

The past few weeks, ever since Thanksgiving, have been a struggle. I've gained motivation in other aspects of my life but lost the desire to exercise. I've given into the ease of fast food. I've allowed myself to make lots of excuses, and I've enjoyed myself a bit too much.

I know it's going to be hard to make this much needed change. But I also know it won't be impossible - especially since my kitchen is now stocked with pots, pans, and knives that are begging to be used. Maybe I'll get lucky and find lots of good South Beach Diet recipes on Pinterest - a tool I didn't have the first time around.

Here's to eating lots of green vegetables, tons of chicken, string cheese, and eggs every morning for breakfast. And here's to saying goodbye to ice cream, pasta, sushi (but not sashimi), bread and potatoes.

(title from "keep us" by peter bradley adams)

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