I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, even if, unlike me you had to work through most of it.
My holidays were great. Spent a nice day with my son and his family on Christmas Day then hit the road for Winnipeg bright and early (4 a.m.) on Boxing Day. Spent a terrific week with my sister, Lori, and her family. Played Scrabble, drank wine and pomegranate martinis, and just generally enjoyed myself. They were wonderful hosts and I’m so glad we decided to make the trek.
So, because it’s the New Year I’ve embarked on a new and crazy resolution. I don’t make your ordinary resolutions — oh, no, those are just too boring. I never stick to them, anyway, when I make them. But, if I choose something a little ‘out there’ I seem to have better luck. This year my goal is to NOT EAT DESSERT FOR A YEAR.
I started thinking and talking about this about the middle of December. Even mentioned it to a number of people. In all instances the reaction was the same: Why? and, I couldn’t do that. It’s going to be tough, believe me. I LOVE my sweets. Having a piece of cake after supper, chowing down on homemade cookies, indulging myself with decadent confections, these are all things that are as much a part of who I am as is my dyed red hair. So, why am I giving it up?
Well, mainly because I’m getting fat. And no amount of exercise is seeming to make any difference. At 52 my metabolism has slowed down to the point of nearly zero; I’ve got to do something to get it revved up again. Then there’s the obvious health benefits of not eating all that sugar, starch and fat. I’m pretty sure my heart and other internal organs will benefit greatly after a holiday from ooey-gooey treats.
Today is Day 3 of my resolution and so far it hasn’t been too bad. I resisted my sister-in-law Michelle’s baking on New Year’s Day and I barely noticed the bowl of chocolates I had put out on the side table in the living room. (They are going to work today with either Tim or myself. Remove temptation is the best way to stay on track, I think.) There are other traps I’m going to have to rid my house of, but the thought of doing it isn’t making me sad. Yet.
Basically, I’ve decided that dessert means any kind of ‘extra’ treat that I would tend to eat in a day. So it does not include snacks like granola bars or yogurt or fruit. It does however, include things like: brownies, butter tarts, cookies, cake, puff-wheat squares, Rice-Krispie squares, candy, chocolate bars, cheese cake, pies, ice-cream, caramel popcorn, toffee, fudge, . . . the list is endless, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea.
I’ve also decided that I will allow myself one ‘treat’ a month. There are just too many birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions in my life to completely avoid. I’m going to have to do some major planning ahead and really consider the importance of when I decide to indulge. I’ve already received some flak about this decision, but i see it as a way of testing myself. After having cut the crap out of my daily diet for weeks, what will I choose to do when I allow myself a small indulgence? How will it affect me mentally? What will my body do when I finally jolt it with sugar and carbohydrates? I can hardly wait.
My aim in this little experiment is to see how much healthier I am after cutting this type of food out of my diet. In North America we are so programmed to think of ‘treats’ as something we are entitled to, something we ‘deserve’ that it has become ridiculous. What we’ve been brain-washed into is a life of obesity, heart disease and bad health.
Right now, I feel I’m on the edge teetering before that pit of bad health. Part of it is age, but mostly it is my lifestyle. I don’t want to have to start taking pills to battle cholesterol and high blood pressure. I don’t want to have to monitor myself for diabetes. I don’t want to have to go on a rigid diet and exercise program to rid myself of toxic weight. I want to be healthy and happy and full of energy for as long as I possibly can. There is just too much in my life that I value to risk it for the sake of a chocolate cookie.
My starting weight, as of January 1, was 170 lbs. I couldn’t believe that when I saw it. I had gained 5 lbs over the 2 weeks I was off. But then, I crammed as many goodies into my mouth as I possibly could during that time. There’s that North American attitude for ya! Seriously, how stupid of me! I’m going to do regular updates of my progress, letting you all know just how much I’m suffering (or not) and how this little experiment is affecting me personally and socially. If you feel like joining me, please do!