Busy week, I guess. I’m sure you all want to know how the resolutions are going. The easy ones are fine. Still sticking to 1 ounce of chocolate a day and we haven’t had donuts since last payday. I did go out for coffee with a friend last week, but I had just been paid for babysitting so technically that was a payday.
The coffee resolution may not make sense to you in the way it was presented. Most people give up or cut back on things because they have too much of them. When I was drinking soda, I’d give it up for Lent to break a 4-can-a-day habit. But coffee and I have a pretty good relationship. I rarely have more than 1 cup a day, mostly because cream and sugar in high quantities tend not to settle well in my stomach (I have a very slight lactose intolerance). And coffee shop coffee makes me jittery more than anything I drink at home. My guilty pleasure of getting a Dunkin Donuts coffee never got out of hand, but I got into the habit of picking up a coffee and donut before work two or three times a week, depending on how the week was going.
And giving up donuts in that frequency is a good idea. Donuts are bad for you. Carbs and sugar, that’s it. Plus more sugar. And hopefully caramel syrup and caramel-filled chocolate bits on top. And a cream cheese filling. Soooo bad for you, but soooo good for the soul.
The real reason I cut back on coffee outside of my home is because I was raised to be practical. I don’t like to waste money. And to be clear, I mean the little money. Those are the tiny purchases everyday that only make a difference when you add up the savings over months or years. So when I was drinking soda, I bought 12-packs and brought a stash to work rather than spending a few cents more on a bottle of soda. In a way, that helped me cut back when I did start weaning off soda. There’s a mentality where you convince yourself not to buy it because you have some at home. And by the time you get home, the craving has passed. Or you forgot what book you wanted to buy (and didn’t because you can totally get it for cheaper on the internet). The fact is, I was wasting money buying coffee when I have a perfectly good Keurig at home. Plus my choice of coffee beans, ground in the coffee grinder Buddy got me for our summer anniversary. And my Truvia packets, which I love because Truvia tastes sweeter than sugar so I don’t use as much. And my favorite creamer which I mix with half-n-half to cut down on the sugar content there as well. And most importantly, I have a dash of salt to add in case my coffee tastes bitter (this is not weird, salt blocks the bitter receptors on your taste buds).
So I really shouldn’t be wasting my money on coffee at Dunkin when I have optimal coffee conditions at home. And furthermore, if I’m going to pay for coffee, it had better be fancy. It’s going to be from an actual coffee shop, not a national chain masquerading as such. And since that coffee tends to be pricey, loaded in calories and teeth-rotting sugar, I better make it a rare treat rather than a daily ritual. Thus the resolution.
If I’m running late and don’t think I have time to make coffee before work, then I’m not getting coffee and I’ll just have to muddle through. And if I get to that intersection where going straight takes me to work and going right takes me to Dunkin, I’m going straight to work. Even if it turns out I do have time for a quick trip to the drive thru.
And I admit that this is a very boring post. Unless you are dealing with little addiction problems and are looking for ways to ease up. This is a pretty solid method. It works for me with chocolate, too. I get cravings so I always have some kind of safe (as in dark) chocolate at home. I don’t impulse buy candy bars at the gas station. I get expensive candy bars at fancy stores and then I hoard them for emergencies. The only reason I had to instigate a ration this year is because I got a MOUNTAIN of fancy chocolate for Christmas and I am a weak, weak woman.
This method does not work for everyone or for every minor vice. Chips, for instance, will disappear in one sitting. And Buddy does not have the same hesitation to buy stuff that we have at home. He loves lemonade ice tea (a very specific brand, which I love as well). It’s a good substitute for soda on car trips. On long road trips, we couldn’t always find it so when we did, I would grab a few extra bottles to last us for the rest of the day if need be. I would drink one. Buddy would drink the rest before the next gas stop. Sometimes, having it on hand is worse because it takes away the inconvenience of having to go get it (an excellent deterrent). This means that we don’t keep chips in the house and I’ve resisted buying the pitchers of lemonade ice tea I’ve seen at the grocery store.
My advice, figure out which applies to you. If you impulse buy, keep a safe supply at home. Safe means either a healthy alternative or small portions. If you impulse snack, keep nothing in the house and allow cheat days. Very rare cheat days. No more than once a week and keep the parameters specific. A friend of mine went on a strict diet which involved counting every calorie, but she had a cheat day once a week. But she didn’t binge on chocolate cake and double bacon cheeseburgers. She had rules that prevented her cheat day from becoming the day her diet was completely negated. Make rules, write them down, and don’t feel guilty if you break them. Say oops and move on.
The rest of my resolutions have been a bit spotty. I did Body Combat Saturday and Monday, which was great. I mean Saturday sucked, but Monday I not only wasn’t painfully sore like I was after my first session, I managed to tough out most of the workout. I’m still not at full intensity, but I have another couple weeks with this version before I should need to switch to another video. I didn’t workout yesterday because I had work and a pretty horrendous migraine, but today Buddy and I went for a 4-mile walk in our neighborhood. It was cold, but the roads were clear. And I didn’t hear my watch go off when we hit 30 min, so we had to up the pace on the way back. We actually managed to beat our pace by a whole minute. Just so we’re clear, we walk for thirty minutes and then turn around. I mapped out the route I take and if we get to the end, it’s just over 4 miles. Pretty simple.
I got to judge a craft competition for the local Women’s Club today. Which involved looking at the amateur works of a bunch of nice ladies. Most of the categories only had one entry, but I did feel a bit like a sham. I had to choose the best among several very fine nature photographs, which was really tough. The knitting was easier because, while every entry was very nice, one was a spectacular original design. Over all, I got to look a bit like a professional crafter and be aware that most of those ladies could sew circles around me. I got to call upon some of the stuff I learned in Art classes and found myself very grateful that my Mom taught me a little of everything. At least I knew enough about everything to see fine work when it was in front of me. And no one threw tomatoes at me for not picking their entry for a blue ribbon. Also, free lunch.
I hope this satisfies everyone’s need to know the intricate details of my oh so exciting life.