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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Breaking the habit
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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Grats on trimming the junk out of your diet. It's something I've been thinking about lately, too. I'd cut sodas and such out of my diet for awhile, but they've come creeping back. I work at a pizza place, too, so it's hard to avoid eating at least five meals/week that aren't in some way composed of breadtangles.

Up until my early 30s, I was knocking back a 2-liter/day, sometimes more. Thankfully, I was active enough to burn most of it off, so I'm not too terribly corpulent today.

If you find you like DDR, you might want to go here and give one of those a try. They're much more stable and fun-conducive than the floppy thin mats you get with the game.

A note on artificial sweetners: They're really not all that bad, at least not as bad as the Chicken Littles make them out to be. Saccharine, for example, has indeed been found to cause cancer in rats, but only because it reacts with a chemical found in their urine, a chemical not found in ours. That's no defense of the product, of course. Plain water or juice beats soda, regardless of the sweetener.

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