I can almost hear the 'What is she on about? What positives?'
But I really do like a lot of things about the age I am now. I like the fact that I take things slower now. I think more, talk less. I ponder more and act more deliberately. I take more of a long view of things, mainly because I've seen more things. I am less 'up and down', and more steady which makes me calmer - and I hope more calming to others.
The 'less up and down' is the part that I think applies most in the context of food and eating. In my late teens, 20s and most of my 30s I jumped from one 'plan' to another in a quest to lose weight and 'eat healthy'. Every plan was extreme and unfailingly accompanied by an equal and opposite binge. Up and down, indeed.
After I stopped dieting, I continued the quest for the 'perfect diet' (diet in this context being the original meaning of the word rather than a weight loss diet). I had learned that everything I had done the previous 20+ years to 'eat healthy' had been utterly and completely wrong, so of course I threw myself down the 'Real Food' rabbit hole.
Don't misunderstand. I don't mean I've abandoned 'Real Food'. And for what it's worth, I only use the word 'real' because that's the commonly used phrase these days. I dislike like it. To me it's just food. And why would I settle for less for myself or my family?
I only abandoned the rabbit hole and the quest for 'perfection'. I buy bread once in a while. And sometimes it's not sourdough - heck, sometimes it's white bread. Sometimes we buy pizza instead of making it from scratch with soaked dough, homemade sauce from backyard tomatoes, full fat organic cheese, and nitrate free blah, blah, blah. I even buy milk from the store now instead of driving an hour each way to the farm to get it. Scandalous, I know, but there it is.
Those extreme approaches to food (and fitness) of the past have been cast aside. I hope for good. Life now is more about balance and sustainability. There are no more diets: so there are no more obsessions; no more binges; and no more feelings of guilt. I cook because I like to and because I like caring for my family and myself. I eat 'real' food because it tastes good and I enjoy it and there's no point eating food I don't like. I don't 'work out' - I do things I enjoy so it's easy to stay active. And I dropped that whole 'sleep is for the weak' attitude, too.
Good food that I like, activities I enjoy and a Sunday afternoon snooze. Too bad it took so long to figure it out.