Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lie #1 - Diet Soda Cancels out Junk Food

As I wrote in my previous entry, we like to lie to ourselves because sometimes it's just easier.  Let's take a look at the first lie:  You tell yourself you can eat that cheeseburger and fries because you're drinking a diet soda.

First let's consider how many calories you need in a day.  That's called your BMR and you can find out more about BMR and how to figure yours here.  Let's say your BMR is 2500.  That means you need 2500 calories per day to maintain your current weight and activity level.

Now let's consider that cheeseburger and fries.  Obviously, where you get your burger is important, but let's just say you get it from Burger King.  Go here to pick your toppings and see how many calories you will get from that.  For example, a favorite of mine would be 710 calories.  Fries would be 440 calories (and that's for a medium).  Total:  1150 calories. 

Now I grant you that a regular soda would be an additional 200-300 calories, and diet soda is definitely better on the calorie count.  But seriously, can you afford to be eating almost half of your day's allowance of calories in a single fat-filled meal?  Probably not. 

We all love to splurge now and then on a burger and fries.  Just remember to not splurge every day or even every week.  You should probably limit these kind of high-calorie meals to once a month.  Perhaps even choose a lighter alternative and then you won't have to lie to yourself to feel okay.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tread Lightly...Those Are My Toes!

Lying can be a form of ego protection.  A defense mechanism.  We lie to ourselves because believing the lie is easier than making the change that would logically follow embracing the truth. 

Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it like this:  "We do not err because truth is difficult to see.  It is visible at a glance.  We err because this is more comfortable."

I see this tendency to lie to ourselves particularly in the world of health and exercise.  With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy for the style, here is my list of health lies.

You Might Be Lying to Yourself If...
  • You tell yourself you can eat that cheeseburger and fries because you're drinking a diet soda. 
  • You think that taking the stairs in your building or parking a bit further from the office will substitute for working out. 
  • You say that you can't work out because of that pain in your head, the cold you have, or the ache in your back.  You say that you will work out when you feel better.
  • You decide that you're not really THAT overweight because you weigh less than some random stranger at the store appears to weigh.
  • You consider yourself to be healthy overall but you still smoke.
  • You think you are a safe driver but you don't wear your seatbelt or you speed regularly
Did you see yourself in that list anywhere?  I know I did.  In the coming days, we'll take a look at each of these lies, uncover the ugly truth beneath them and discover ways to make the changes you need to make in ways that you can live with. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Not my actual garden!
Mom and I planted our garden yesterday.  Yes, I know we're late - that's just how we are.  The massive spring rains kept us off her very damp ground for quite a while, then a variety of other poor excuses, but we finally did it!  We got tomatoes, squash, green beans, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, potatoes and flowers planted.  Now we just have to sit back and wait.

Of course, there's more to it than that.  Weeding, watering, staking, thinning.  But it will be worth it in the end.  I'm pretty excited.

I was looking at quotes for this entry and ran across this one:  "It takes a while to grasp that not all failures are self-imposed, the result of ignorance, carelessness or inexperience.  It takes a while to grasp that a garden isn't a testing ground for character and to stop asking, what did I do wrong?  Maybe nothing."  ~Eleanor Perenyi

I really like that.  Not only because of what it says about our gardening efforts, but also what it says about life.  It's not always our fault when things go wrong.  Absolutely we should own up to mistakes and bad choices, but sometimes life just happens.  That's a good reminder. 

What lessons have you learned from your gardening efforts?