Of course, this time of year, it’s almost a cliche, but I did start out 2019 with a commitment to improving mine and my family’s health. I won’t bore you with particulars, nor will I try to convince you of one type of eating plan over another. I’m not here to give nutritional advice or provide #fitspo. I can barely make it through 30 minutes of mild exercise before I’m swearing like a sailor and cursing my genes. Here in my late 30’s, I have become accustomed to the idea that I will never have a healthy BMI or be the proud owner of a before/after photo where I hold up a pair of pants. I am round, soft, and short. But I would like to be healthy, if only that I can chase my daughter around the backyard without having to stop because my knees are killing me. It’s a work-in-progress.
Being a baker and trying to eat a more healthy diet seem like ideas in conflict. How can healthy eating be encouraged when I have between 5-10 pounds of butter in my freezer and I buy white sugar at Costco? How can my daughter learn healthy habits when I have buttercream frosting in the house at least once a week? Even bringing up healthy eating on a website where I am trying to entice you to buy a sugary treat from me is an exercise in self-sabotage, I suppose.
When I start to get bogged down in calorie counting and nutritional value, I come back to a Kondo-esque question: “Does this bring me joy?” And the truth is, baking as an activity does give me joy. Feeding people gives me joy. Providing a moment of sweetness in dark times gives me joy. And eating a chocolate cupcake once in a while gives me joy. One of the reasons my business is named OH Jenny Bakes is because of that little expression of surprise and joy that you can experience when taking a bite of something baked to perfect deliciousness.: “Oh!” So go ahead, eat that slice of pie. Have a cookie or two. Make tea and sourdough toast for an evening snack. Enjoy it!
And be kind to yourself. You are loved. You are seen. You are striving. It’s a new year, but you don’t need to be a better you. You are joy unto itself.