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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Breaking the habit
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kistaro
I'm trying to eat a healthier diet. I've been getting in slowly better shape over the last ten months- something I've been worried about; according to my parents, when they visited, I'm visibly slimmer than I was when I left. Which is good; I wasn't sure, because I've only been seeing the change slowly. That said, I'm still moderately overweight. Not enough to go back on the (successful) diet I used two years ago (although it's an option on the table), but I know my eating habits have slipped, and I intend to bring them back in line.

Dropping caffeine has made me healthier, full stop. I sleep much better now, and I'm no less alert for it now that I've adapted to not constantly having this stimulant in my bloodstream. My physical activity levels have been constantly ramping up; now that Rakeela and I both have bikes, we're going places more, and that's good for us both. The addition of a Dance Dance Revolution set should help me get some extra cardiovascular work in as well; it's a game, but it's also exercise equipment, and I intend to treat it as such.

So the habit I'm dropping now: soda. I'd mostly shaken it two years ago, but slowly ramped up my intake of such in the interim, back to Microsoft's abundant availability of such- a "perk" with distinctly negative health effects. That and a tendency to snack throughout the second half of the day; I'm reminding myself again to eat only when hungry, not habitually- the thing that got me 40 lbs. overweight two years ago in the first place. (I'm stil lighter than that now.)

So the best way around that? Almost-water, and lots of it. Crap with artificial sweetener doesn't count. (I agree with Bill Nye's take on it: it's stupid to go out of your way to drink something carefully tuned to have no nutritional value whatsoever.) Carbonated water with fruit oil (and no sweetening)? Bring it on. Herbal tea that isn't "decaffeinated" so much as "never was caffeinated in the first place"? It works too.

I think the first sign that I'm really on the right track again was my briefly considering whether or not I wanted a root beer today since I had a relatively small lunch, and then deciding that the effects of that much sugar at once weren't worth it.

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I've considered vegetarianism (not veganism) before, on ethical grounds, and I still support it. Unfortunately, I've never had any luck whatsoever holding to it. The one time I tried, with a doctor's supervision, I wound up malnourished because I was unable to digest half of what I was being fed. I have a very, very finicky digestive system, and for getting any protein at all, I and my physician haven't found much that works.

Given a lot of effort and a lot of artificial concoctions, I might theoretically be able to go vegan- and relying so heavily on heavily-processed artificially-preserved chemical Monsanto soup I'd be worse off than I started. I think I'd be better off, both health-wise and damage-for-the-environment-wise, taking the bar I can more easily reach and minimize artificial processing of what I choose to eat.

To remove something from your diet, set realistic goals. Count out exactly how much you use on an average week, then budget it on a daily basis to one less unit than you're used to, spread out more widely...

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