Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When the well known documentary "Super Size Me" came out in 2003, it caused quite a stir.  I did not view the film until just tonight, eight years later.  It astonishes me at how far we have not come in those eight years.  There are still far too many McDonald's joints cropping up on every corner.  Obesity has not only become a national epidemic but rather an international issue.

In 2000, the CDC set the "Healthy People 2010" goals, hoping to achieve better health for individuals all across the U.S.  One goal was to decrease the overweight and obesity rates, which were already high ten years ago.  However, these goals were never made.  In fact, the rates increased.  In a CDC report released August 2010, it stated "In 2009, no state met the Healthy People 2010 obesity target of 15%, and the self-reported overall prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults had increased 1.1 percentage points from 2007."

Not one state met the goal.

The "Food Revolution" has been well under way for years.  In fact, decades.  When co-ops began emerging over 40 years ago, it was to counter-act the industrialization of the food supply.  To offer fresh, organic and local foods to people.  Several documentaries similar to "Super Size Me" have been done to wake people up.  Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be working.  We all know what is bad for us.  We know how much sugar is in soda, how much fat in fries and burgers.  We know that too much of our food is full of harmful chemicals and less nutrients.  But we continue to live as though we are unaware.

We don't need Armageddon.  Take off your complacency hat or we are going to kill ourselves.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's a long walk to the yoga mat

I walk through the door completely spent.  While I do love my job, there are days when asking the same five questions, ringing up groceries and showing a cheery smile for eight hours becomes too much.  And when one does it several days in a row--well, that is something.  Exercising is not necessarily what I care to do once I get home from a long day.

As I change into my stretchy pants and tank top, I think "Is this really what I want to be doing?  Couldn't  I just sit and watch some TV, drink wine and be happy?"  I fight off these thoughts, telling myself that this really is what I want to be doing.  Of course I could be happy--at the moment.  However the next day would be something quite unlike happiness.  It would be full of regret, of a full tummy and aching head.  Full of a very bad attitude.   I've made promises to myself to care for my body, to do better.  But that promise is one that is hard to keep even when I am fully aware of the consequences if I don't.

Meeting myself on the mat is sometimes the most difficult journey I make during the day.  I am often exhausted, irritable, aching and hungry.  But as a trudge along, reaching for the bag hanging on the hook in my hallway, I know that what I am doing goes far beyond physical fitness.  This is symbolism of what I have chosen for my year.  Of routine, emotional awareness, and strength of mind and body.  It shows that regardless of how I feel, I will continue to follow through.

I begin in Child's Pose

Breathe in, breathe out...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homemaking Independence

As a child, I remember having a very large book called "Training our Daughters to be Keepers at Home."  It was full of very useful information about everything from sewing clothes and how to clean a toilet to creating flower arrangements.  However, I looked upon it with disdain around the time I turned 18, thinking of it as "Wife Training 101."

As the years have gone by, I realize my ignorance.  My parents were not trying to train me only to be a wife, but to just know a variety of lost sciences.  Many don't know how to properly boil water, replace a button or correctly clean a load of laundry.  I remember my mother wishing she knew how to sew, something that I thankfully did learn.  The feminist revolution did away with all these things, looking upon them as chains keeping them at home while they should have looked at them as practical things that every person (man or woman) should know.

My dear friend recently showed me a book called "Home Economics: Vintage Advice and Practical Science for the 21st-Century Household."  The fountain of knowledge coming from this book is incredible.  Things that have long been forgotten are coming back.  We are coming to a realization that no one knows how to do anything.  It causes waste when we are incapable of repairing clothes, curtains, bedding, etc.  We no longer know how to keep a home clean without using large amounts of harmful chemicals.  The more we don't know, the more we have to spend.

So now I am delving once more into the art and science of homemaking.  I am taking this information as wisdom from previous generations who spent all their energy in creating the most happy, healthy homes they possibly could.  I'm claiming this as my independence rather than chains.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Breaking Facebook's Heart

Today I disabled my Facebook account.

It isn't completely permanent, but for the next two weeks I will see if I really can survive without online social networking.  The reason?  Time.

When I open my computer, the first site I log in to is Facebook.  Am I doing anything important?  Of course not.  I'm scanning to see what people have said since the last time I was on.  I'm letting everyone know what I'm doing, planning, feeling in 150 words or less.  I'm posting pictures of my latest adventure.  It all sounds like great fun, but when it's taking up hours of time that could be spent actually doing something (baking, reading, exercising, writing) things need to change.  I should be spending my time bettering myself, becoming a successful person instead of "Facebook stalking."

Could detachment really mean change and success?  I sure do hope so.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Starting with a clean laundry basket

It's January 1st, 2011.  I started my new year at the laundromat.  Yes, the laundromat.

It has been months since I've been caught up on my laundry.  Between school and work, there simply wasn't enough time to get everything done.  There was always at least one pile of unfolded or dirty clothes lying around somewhere in the house.  But today was the day.  It was all going to be washed, folded and put away.

This signifies such a big part of the new year.  Cleaning things up, getting things in order, starting out right.    It gives us hope that we may actually be able to do things right this time.

Maybe I finally will.