Make It Yourself

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The percent of the human population working in...

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I’m not advocating for a complete return to an agrarian life.  It just isn’t for everyone, I understand.  Besides, it’s fascist and just plain boring.  And how can we possibly pry all the technology out of the fingers of its adherents for more than a few minutes anyway.  I guess we really cannot in some cases.   

But if we want to keep disease in check and curb the obesity problem in the developed world, we obviously need to make some significant changes.  None of these changes are easy and I realize it isn’t all going to happen overnight.  I’m in a coffee shop writing this paragraph and there is one person behind me talking on the phone, and another texting in front of me.  Were I to ask them these simple questions, they’d probably look at me like I just fell off the nearest psychiatrist’s couch; the questions are simple, the answers are dreadful to many, I suppose.  Such as supporting regional (preferably local) agriculture; organically produced agriculture.  Demanding it.  Genetically altering food-producing plants, and then spraying them with pesticides is no longer acceptable.      

If we all contributed modestly to the solution, it probably wouldn’t seem insurmountable.  It could be extremely difficult, but nothing worth having is worth ease of possession, I believe.   

But with convenience food on virtually every street corner, how do you convince people to start along the different road?  And with patience at a seemingly all time low, how do you even get people to listen.  I know there are times when I myself try hard to extricate myself from a conversation that is sapping me of my time and energy.  Perhaps for me, blogging is that starting point.  People can listen at their own convenience, and perhaps have some say in their own smaller circle of influence.One of the solutions:  Make It Yourself 

For example, try making food one day a week. Pick something easy, and that you really love to eat, and make it completely from scratch. Once a week, every week.  Maybe you’ll enjoy doing it, and cook more regularly, and will reach a higher level of sustainability and health.  Don’t go out and grow all your food at first. If you are so inclined, grow a little of your food, buy organic, and in some cases just do without. If you want a somewhat more inspiring invitation to change, read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle.    In it, Kingsolver and her family decide to live off the land.  I’ll let you make your own judgments about their efforts.

If what you like is spaghetti, for example, try growing a small amount of virtually everything in the recipe. If you are including meatballs, you probably don’t want to raise a cow if that is cost and space prohibitive. But you can grow (and can or freeze) the tomatoes and the spices to make a sauce. You probably won’t grow the wheat for making pasta. But you can try making the pasta yourself. Doing all of this will slow you down enough to appreciate the process, and since all the food is fresh, you will truly appreciate it.   

It seems, however, that we have  become slaves to what the media marketing circus is selling that we consume fast food ad nauseum, prescription drugs until we are drowning in them, and clothing and technology and other affectations to sell us as pointedly attractive. 

Please give it a try.  Let’s take back the world from those who have chosen to do us harm.

Not Exactly About Skinny Jeans

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Skinny Jeanz and a Mic

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 I use the scale as one tool to lose weight; many of us do.  But thank goodness for the skinny jeans.  Okay, not exactly skinny jeans; a couple pair of Dickies, size 30 waist.  Currently they are baggy around the legs and although I can cinch up the button or clasp, they are tight around my waist and squeeze my belly, which is not big but it is still there.  I don’t have any grand illusion (or desire) to be skinny like all those skinny boys out there.  I’m 43, after all.  I know I can never get into a pair of pants size 24 or 26 inch waist.  I’d have to lose bone density to get into them, and they still probably wouldn’t be baggy like they are on those skinny boys.  My body wasn’t made that way.  My hips are too big.  But I almost fit into my 30 waist pants a couple of years ago before I put the recent weight back on.  Now they fit less comfortably, but I know with real work I can get back into them. 

I know there is an epidemic of obesity in countries that actually can eat what they want when they want.  I don’t worry about whether I will eat each day, for which I am eternally grateful, but my eating habits aren’t exactly what I wish for.  I have work on that front, as well. 

So I need those 30 inch waist pants to tell me that I have reached my goal.  And it isn’t entirely about fitting into them.  I suppose I could do major diets and weight loss products.  It’s more about eating healthy and exercising to give me all the energy I need to allow me to do most anything I wish and not feel like I need to take any breaks.

If I used the scale alone, I could drive myself a little crazy.  I run, and almost without fail, lose about a pound for each mile I run.  I’m running about 15 miles a week.  When I first lost all the weight, I probably ran more than that.  I shouldn’t say “ran.”  I jogged.  I’m at more of a pace now that I can say I’m running more than jogging.  And then I put most of the weight on, or more, by the time I hit the scale again, which is natural.  I eat enough to sustain myself.    I could really nitpick my weight.  And I know some clothing weighs more than other.  I know I don’t have to check my weight each day, before and after the workout, but I kind of want to know how I’m progressing.  And I’m getting there; this time I will fit all the way into those pants.