Friday, November 23, 2012
I used to tell my children not to spend their money on things that weren’t really important to them and then they would have enough to buy the stuff they really cared about.
I’ve been called “Frugal Fannie” (Frugal Fannie’s was a discount clothing store).
I’ve been frugal throughout my life, not cheap, but thrifty.
Obviously, the one place I WILL economize is in clothing for myself. Fortunately, I’ve never worried about having the latest fashions. Comfort, quality and price top my list, plus having something suitable for every occasion. Interchangeable parts are important too. So, the first place I seek out in any store is the clearance rack. I can usually find something there that suits me just fine and often complements something in my closet. I’m a regular at Goodwill also.
My grocery list always begins with whatever is on “special” skipping the junk food, which always seems to be front and center.
Shoes are a different matter.
I watched my mother and her sisters hobble themselves in fashion shoes. It may be genetics, but I know if I force my feet into what I see in magazines, my future will be orthopedic or worse – a cane or a walker.
I wear custom orthotics and there are brands of shoes into which I can fit them comfortably. I pay a premium for these, but I’m worth it.
(Darn Crocs – They bought the company that made my sandals and promptly discontinued them – Grr!)
Running shoes – I choose whatever keeps me moving forward pain/ache free. I truly don’t care what the cost is although I’ve never paid over $100 (I’m not fast enough to need “racing flats”). It’s nice if I can find them on sale, but not necessary. When I need them, I buy them. My favorites even come in black so I can wear those day to day with the same level of comfort as during workouts.
The source is important to me too.
I patronize a local running store, even though I can save some money online. What happened to my thriftiness? Some things just matter more to me. I want this local business with its helpful, knowledgeable employees to stay in business. I want the support they provide the community, encouraging runners/walkers, sponsoring running groups and races and providing employment to the area. Their “discount” this week is for anyone bringing at least 3 items of food for the needy. I bought a new pair of tights. Again, it’s just my personal choice to support this civic minded employer.
“Eat This not That” is a well known advice book.
We each decide to “Buy This not That.”
Organic or not?
Free range or not?
From local farmers/coops/retailers or large businesses with economy of scale?
These are just a few of the choices with which we’re confronted daily. Our decisions are our own as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balance it with reality – our time and resources. We each decide for ourselves.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I have much for which to be grateful on this Thanksgiving Day. The health of my family and seeing my grandchildren regularly top the list. I should clarify that this year I can see only 5 of the 6 grandkids easily. The oldest is spending a year in China, but still I’m happy that he’s fulfilling his dream to experience a new culture even as I await his return.
I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to see the world with my husband. We’ve been married for 45 years and together for nearly 50.
I’m thankful for the technology that allows me to explore, gather information and “meet” new people. Yes, I’m grateful for the support that I’ve found on SP.
Become aware of what we’re doing to and for our bodies,
Inform ourselves about the content of our food.
Find the type of exercise that’s enjoyable enough to make a habit
Discover what works best for us
Whether we choose vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, primal, low carb, high carb, high protein, low salt, low fat, healthy fat, or are big consumers of meat, there’s a place for all of us here at this table.
I’m thankful to belong to a community united in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Well, not the whole pie. As they remember, I left one little sliver for someone else.
I taught high school math and computer science and was also technology coordinator for grades 6-12. I took my job very seriously and I came home each day physically and mentally drained. Even at home my job hovered over me and the entire family. My lesson plans and piles of papers to grade were never far away. When I took this stuff along on a family trip, DH yelled in exasperation “you didn’t sign a contract, you took vows!” Fortunately, there are more good things to remember about our life than the incidents that have become family jokes.
I used to think that my body was craving nourishment. While most of the time my food wasn’t quite so unhealthy, I was quite capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too. What I considered healthy has changed over the years as well. Nutritional content wasn’t always as easy to find as it is today.
Yesterday, I wrote about one big slip-up. That sort of thing didn’t used to be a slip-up. It was the norm. Finally I decided to change the norm and now I join the 5%. I may still slip, but I know so much more now. If I do slip, I’m going to pick myself up and keep going in the right direction.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The “bottomless pit” is alive and well.
I’ve been writing regularly about my upcoming 3 year maintenance anniversary and how my healthy habits are finally becoming automatic. So it’s only right that I record and report one colossal failure. I believe in baby steps forward so here’s one giant leap backward.
I know exactly why it happened. One day last week some sad news had me feeling down and awareness of my well-known past reactions didn’t change the situation. The ice cream was there, many cartons of the stuff stashed by DH, the junk food king. He keeps most of his junk food out of my sight, but we only have one freezer. The calories weren’t all from the ice cream. We also have a bottle of chocolate syrup in the fridge which I dumped liberally over my mountain of ice cream.
Something is different though. Yeah, I messed up. There’s no way my body needed that. Yet strangely, I don’t feel all that bad about it.
800 extra calories translates into at most 4 ounces. Even if every last calorie lands on my hips, my body’s destination of choice, I can get rid of that.
What I do realize is that I just can’t eat like that every night. You know, we used to do that, DH and me. We laughingly called it our nightly “ice cream ritual.” We have big bowls for ice cream and toppings. When filled, they look like Mt Vesuvius spewing lava, especially when we added a cherry on top.
The ice cream isn’t going away, but I found something else that might help – my mother’s old dessert dishes – the ones I remember as a child. They actually hold ½ cup of ice cream. So that’s where they get the “serving size!” They haven’t changed it since 1950.
The average American was a different size back then too. Maybe my goal should be to train my body to match those old dishes?
Monday, November 19, 2012
Not about everything obviously. She would cringe at some of his advice.
I don’t usually watch TV during the day, but on Friday the 16th I found myself watching yet another easy fix for weight loss. I was about to switch channels when the promo appeared for the next topic.
They staged a stressful situation in a supermarket and afterwards measured the heart rate and blood pressure of the customers affected. Not surprisingly, the numbers were extremely elevated.
This isn’t really news to us. We know that stress is detrimental to our health. We have plenty of stress in the modern world. Some is unrelenting – a demanding, unreasonable boss, health concerns in the family, money troubles, traffic gridlock. Extreme reactions like “road rage” and “going postal” have actually made it into our common vocabulary.
In this episode the TV staff had an actor delay a checkout line while he communicated loudly on his cell phone with his wife who was still searching the store for certain items. This went on and on while she would return with one thing after another that he considered unacceptable. The waiting continued.
Afterwards during the TV interview the question was “Did you know the effect it was having on your body?” Although the victims knew how upset and frustrated they were, they were surprised by the actual numbers.
What would you have done?
My Grandma’s advice as I wrote in yesterday’s blog would be – “Don’t stress your heart”
But how exactly would we have accomplished this?
Grandma would probably have waited patiently and used the time to say her prayers.
My Dad would have pushed the offending cart out of the way and moved the line along. He always stood up to bullies. Fortunately, back then you didn’t have to risk that the bully might be armed.
I would have called the manager and threatened to leave my cart of groceries right where it was, if he didn’t fix the situation. There’s a bit of my Dad in me.
According to the experiment, the most dangerous thing for our bodies is just silently to become more and more frustrated.
One stressful situation isn’t likely to have long term effects on our health, but continuing stress will and we must find a healthy way of dealing with it.
Stress is something we all have in common, but the type of stress is very individual as are the solutions. There are many suggestions in the SP articles and blogs and we have to find what works best for each of us. Whatever we decide, let’s just do it.
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