Monday, May 30, 2011

Trying Change

It's taken a long time but I seem to have turned a small corner in life. With every paycheck, I save a little into a savings account and I have my IRA. From January through April, I saved 95% of all the expense checks I got as well as socked away a portion of my overtime. That allowed me to pay for 98% of my expenses for Carole's wedding. The only thing I had to charge was the gas at that rest stop in Indiana because they wouldn't take debit cards. I am really proud of myself for that accomplishment, given where I was 18 months ago. This savings allowed me to get the Wheaton Ale Fest VIP ticket. I know I will have fun and I am worth it.

I am, by no means, out of the woods, so to speak. My car is slowing falling apart. I need to sink another $350 into it this summer. The canvas top, going on 5 years, at least, old, has cracked. That cost me $500 to replace when I replaced the original top and the two people from work who helped me then have moved on. I'm pretty sure it would be just me doing the job and I don't know that I have the patience to do that. It's time to seriously consider the longevity of the Jeep.

I can't control that, however. What I can control and what I have decided to work on is my diet. Sad doesn't quite cover it. I decided that, beginning Memorial Day, I would take the small steps necessary to change what I eat and make it healthier. I'm not following any diet, per se. I'm just doing small steps with a target to do them all week. If I tell myself I'm going to eat "healthy" for a month, 30 days is a long time and if I fail one day, I know me. I am very good at beating myself up.

Today was grocery day. I took stock of what I have and what I want to have in the fridge and cupboards, made a list and headed off to Dominicks.

I'm going to eat a yogurt a day. I love yogurt and I can find it in a huge number of tasty flavors.

I love salads. I got the fixings to make my own salads and save the $3.50 to eat off the salad bar at Dominicks. I would get a Dr Pepper and a slice of chocolate cake. I don't need the last two at all. The snap peas don't look very green in the photo but they are. I'll eat those with dip for a snack. By "dip" I mean a small container of salad dressing. No sense buying something called "dip" when salad dressing works just as well.

Fresh fruit will supplement the salad and make a perfect meal. I have dried cranberries on the shelf. I couldn't find the sunflower seeds. I'd like some of those and I have to shred some cheddar. Then, all I have to do is assemble the salad the night before, grab it in the morning, toss on some dressing and grab some sliced fruit with yogurt and I'm ready to go. If I'm too tired to cook at night, I can have a salad.

I bought what I think will last me a little over a week. With a grocery a 5-minute drive from the office, it's dumb to buy more than I can eat in a week. Dominicks is on the way home, too.

I have cut out processed foods save the few things I have on the shelf right now. No canned or boxed or frozen meals. I've had the last pizza I will have for a week. I am going to try to cook myself something every night or eat up left overs. This will be a daunting task because it's so easy to just grab a can or a box of something, nuke it and have dinner. And Carole will testify, the vegetable/fruit drawers in the fridge are for pre-composting those things which will wind up in the compost pile.

I have 2 weddings and 2-5 evenings out with friends in June. I won't suddenly say, "Oh my, nothing here meets my dietary impositions!" I will still go to Steak 'n Shake or Red Lobster or have wedding cake. Done in moderation, all things fit into a diet, even cheese fries from Steak 'n Shake.

So wish me well. One week. Then start again the next week. Then start again the next week. Baby steps. It takes awhile to learn new habits, learn to eat differently. I expect to fail but I'm going to try to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.

And I'm giving myself permission to have one treat per week. I'm set for the next 6 weeks. Made with real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. Expensive compared to a 2-liter or the fridge cases which were on sale. This is the bottle I remember from my youth. Same empty calories, but it's going to be my treat at the end of the week for doing what I told myself I'd do.

Beverage:  milk


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