Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yes, I'm still talking about *that*

When I wrote my post about 2011, I forgot to mention a couple of accomplishments. They probably seem minor, but they are noteworthy in my book. In early 2011, I broke my addiction to caffeine and diet soda. I am sure I still ingest some caffeine in the occasional piece of dark chocolate, but nothing significant. When I first quit, I had a couple of rough weeks but I white-knuckled my way through it. Now I don't even think about soda that much, although I do miss my Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi from time to time. One day a couple months after I quit, I took my daughter to a local pancake house for breakfast. We had to wait a bit for a table and as we sat in the lobby, I watched the hostess guzzling a soda. I stared at her like a woman obsessed. I could almost feel the bubbles in my throat . . . ahhhhh. 

Why did I quit?  Well, a couple of reasons. One, I read somewhere that in order to remove sugar from regular soda (and make diet soda), about a gazillion chemicals are added in order to approximate the same taste. Two, I don't think drinking diet soda was doing me any favors as far as weight loss goes. I had switched from regular soda to diet soda eons ago and can't say that I lost an ounce as a result.

Another food-related accomplishment is that I gave up dairy milk. At first, I continued to buy very small containers of skim milk in case we needed it. We never did so I stopped buying them. What we now use instead is plain almond milk. Honestly, I don't think we even notice the difference anymore. It tastes fine in recipes, over cereal, etc. If you drink it straight, the taste is slightly different from cow's milk, but not vastly different.  I quit buying dairy milk because I am trying to move away from animal products as much as I can. I've also been reducing our egg usage, too (I only buy free-range eggs but have no real assurance that the free-range chickens don't spend 99.9% of their day being packed into cages and treated as inhumanely as their no-range counterparts). Getting rid of cheese in my house would be a tough sell, so I think we'll just start with the milk and eggs for now. Many of the meals I make just for myself (such as breakfast) are vegan.

Why the switch from good ol' cows' milk? Lots of reasons for that, too. One, if you really, really think about it, drinking dairy milk is sort of gross. The milk is meant for calves, not for us. The bovine mamas are kept in a perpetual state of lactation and, in commercial dairy environments, not treated well. Two, I find it alarming to think about all of the hormones and such that are pumped into those cows. I'm not a fanatical health nut, but I try to eat healthy (healthfully?) for the most part and to make sure that my husband and child get some fruits and vegetables into their stomachs (well, my husband won't eat fruit - I'm surprised he hasn't died of scurvy). If we can avoid ingesting extra chemicals and hormones, I have to think that is a good thing.

So, there you have it - two accomplishments for 2011. I don't have any big goals for 2012 (who knows, maybe I'll get that tattoo I've been talking about since Clinton was in office). I asked my daughter to set a resolution to get up and get dressed voluntarily every morning. We'll see. Every day her dad and I are hoarse from yelling, "Please just put your clothes on!" a thousand times every morning. If we ask her to make her bed and brush her teeth . . . well, we are just pushing our luck beyond all reason at that point. Maybe my resolution should be to stop worrying about it and to send her to school in her pj's. That'll learn her.

In other news, my Weight Watchers meeting was removed from the schedule (the particular time slot that I attended for over six years, anyway). They also closed "my" location and moved to another. Plus, they changed the program again. I dunno - I'm like a cat when it comes to change. Perhaps I could've handled one change, but not THREE fer cryin' out loud. I'm also bothered by the amount of money I'm spending there. If I'm not truly dedicating myself to the program (and I think there is ample evidence that I am not), I wonder if I should just take a break from it. I've been at my goal weight twice and let me just admit here and now that it took a lot of deprivation to get there. Part of me just doesn't feel like doing that. The yoga studio has an 8 a.m. class on Saturdays that I've never been able to attend because it is held at the same time as the WW meeting. Going to yoga is actually a little cheaper than Weight Watchers. So, I'm thinking maybe I'll just focus more on my yoga practice for a while and see how it goes. I go to my gym fairly regularly (sometimes hitting the cardio equipment, sometimes taking a class) but maybe I should spend more time there, too.

I'm not sure if this particular blog entry really has a point. I was mad at myself for not mentioning two of my 2011 accomplishments previously, as I was really proud of both. Also, I think I've been a little more introspective than usual lately. I'm the speaker at church on the 15th so I've been working on my sermon (well, message - we don't really call it a sermon, per se) for the past few weeks. My topic is "Leaving a Legacy." I've been thinking a lot about who I am, how I will be remembered after I'm dead, and what I should be doing differently right now. I don't believe people change in fundamental ways, only in incremental ones. So it's not like I'm going to start voting Republican or stop drinking vino all of a sudden.  But could I use a little more patience and a little less cynicism?  I suppose I could.

I'll leave you with a poem that my daughter and I read recently. Before bedtime, we have a little ritual that involves reading Shel Silverstein poems. We've read Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Everything on It, and Falling Up. Now we're getting ready to start over with Where the Sidewalk Ends again (she received that one for Christmas). I'm glad she's old enough (and such an excellent reader) that we can start enjoying some books together. Goodness knows I did my time with Goodnight Moon . . .

The Clock Man  - Shel Silverstein

“How much will you pay for an extra day?”
The clock man asked the child.
“Not one penny,” the answer came,
“For my days are as many as smiles.”

“How much will you pay for an extra day?”
He asked when the child was grown.
“Maybe a dollar or maybe less,
For I’ve plenty of days on my own.”

“How much will you pay for an extra day?”
He asked when the time came to die.
“All of the pearls in all of the seas,
And all of the stars in the sky."

2 comments:

The Lovely One said...

Did you lose any extra weight when you gave up caffeine? I quit cold turkey two days ago. I want to know that I'm going through all this pain for a reason!

Jessica Nelson said...

I don't like milk and would love to move away from it, but cheese? Never. *grin*
Also, have had to not drink as much Coke because I get cold sores when I drink it too much. Wah!

Good for you for going the healthy route! Good luck with your weight plans. :-)