My journey going 100% vegan for 6 months. November 1, 2009 - May 1, 2010 (And my new life now)
Monday, September 6, 2010
As my little vacation comes to an end the last days of summer (unofficially) have been beautiful weather-wise.
Here are some observations I have made recently about diet, dieting, and self-discipline:
* Self- discipline, at times, still eludes me when I am out on the town - my diet is great, my alcohol intake is not. Whereas I was once in the fast lane constantly speeding past even the most souped-up, red sports cars of drinking, I now find myself going the speed limit, and keeping up with traffic. Sure I chose a glass of water now and again while a friend got another round, but, I still feel in social circles that I can only operate in total abstinence (which is not a problem at all), or I generally keep pace with the crowd, which would be fine if I was hanging out at a church group picnic in Alabama, but not so much with the New York crowd. Even a one on one evening with a woman sneaks past 2 or 3 drinks with regularity. It's not a problem, of course, but it bothers me that keeping pace with friends, and dates is a knee-jerk habit -- and I want to break it. Even when I am with superior athletes their elbows are well oiled. So, I can do moderation, as long as my friends are moderate - pretty stupid, I know - but, it's like I always play golf poorly with poor golfers, and better with better golfers.
* There is another big report on the obesity of children in NYC schools where fully 40% are considered too fat. I am glad it is getting so much publicity, but too often well-meaning people throw the baby out with the bath water and institutes really stupid ideas like banning school bake sales instead of changing children's behavior. Kids in the 80's and 90's would snack one or two times a day, today they snack three times a day. In one week the average NYC 14 year old has 24 cookies or desserts, 16 slices of bread, 8 slices of pizza, 3.5 hamburgers and 21 cans of soda. I can assure you that that is at least twice as much as what I had at that age (save for the bread since sandwiches were rather common).
* My uncle came down to the city for a night on the town last night and in between old stories oft told -- like when he rode his motorcycle up to our house in the early 70's and received a startled reception from my parents for his long-hair and beard (my father had just gotten out of the Air Force and looked decidedly un-1970's), we talked about his quadruple by-pass just a year and a half ago. He feels better now than he has in the past 10 years. Now, being that he felt just fine up until the second before his heart attack, it was not the surgery that made him feel so great at 63 years of age, it was his behavior after the surgery. He quit smoking, started exercising and changed his diet to eat much healthier. Just like it is never too late to stop smoking, it is never too late to change your eating habits. And what happens when you do so, no matter your age? You feel 10 years younger! It's truly that simple, and that indisputable.
* We had breakfast this morning, and being a gorgeous day we decided to sit at a sidewalk table at the Pig 'n' Whistle. When I balked at the lack of oatmeal on their menu my Irish hostess, not too politely, reminded me that there was a diner around the corner that I could go to. After this good-natured ribbing she suggested the egg-white omlete with fruit. OK, fine. It was good of course, but when I made my vegetarian wrap later on today I was again reminded how delicious my food is when I prepare it myself. Not to mention I feel so much healthier, and happier, when I fuel my body with nutrient-dense vegetables!
* I have been watching a terrific series on the Discovery Channel called "Making the Cut" about the training of our elite special military services such as the Army Rangers, Marine Recon, and Air Force PJs -- I will never complain about my exercising ever again! The sheer physical (and pyscological) training is so extreme that it boggles the mind, and shows you that your body can do so much more than what you think you can.
I really look forward to the autumn and I am scheduling a weekend out in Montauk in October at the site of my decision to go on this journey and celebrate this new healthier lifestyle, and to continue to strive for even a healthier lifestyle. And for reaching my goal ASAP!