Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sweet Tooth

Image: The Friendly Atheist

There's a good reason why we humans tend to like sugar. As we know, our bodies are still boogying like it was 10,000 BC and not 2010 AD. We crave calories to keep us going through those long winters where only a good bearskin lies between us and freezing to death and where a good layer of fat to help us survive those frequent times of famine is a prized possession. The best bodies--the ones that survive--cling to every bit of fat they can create. The heavier you are the more likely you are to survive in a difficult world.

And what better way to make sure we get all those extra calories that we need to survive than through sugar? Aside from my slim Uncle H., who lived to be almost 101 (yes, he's a real person) and didn't particularly crave sweets, contrary to his wife, Auntie S., who started losing her marbles in her 80s and was known to get very nasty if you didn't give her sweets (she had become diabetic--fortunately her family could keep control over her eating because in her last years she could barely walk due to the family curse, arthritis), HUMANS GENERALLY LIKE SWEETS. Sugar helps to keep the weight on.

Sadly, we no longer live in a world where food is scarce and extra fat is the only thing between us and starvation.

So, why oh why is baby food loaded with sugar? I came across this article in the Toronto Star recently that really made me blow a gasket.

Fifty-three per cent of products targeting Canada's "littlest consumers" included in a new University of Calgary study were found to have more than 20 per cent of their calories coming from sugar, considered to be an excessive amount.

I was never a mom who made every bit of baby food from scratch. I did breastfeed my kids for 8-9 months (of which I am very proud), and did sometimes cook veggies and freeze them in baby-size portions, but I didn't do it all. I counted on baby food sometimes too. Fortunately, as I recall, I never bought any overtly sugary baby food. I used to eat vanilla baby food pudding when I was a teenager. It was yummy, but I would never give it to a baby.

I can't remember when my kids first tasted sugar. It was probably my late mother-in-law who did the dastardly deed. As you may recall, she always made sure to never run out of the major food groups: nicotine, caffeine and sugar. Her home was the average kid's treasure trove of sugar. But I digress.

As a mother of teenagers, I know that at a certain point, you cannot control what they put in their mouths. My mom, the health food fanatic, really tried. Believe me, it didn't work. I love sweets. I just don't keep lots of sweets in the house. It's the best I can do for myself and my family.


In my opinion, that's criminal.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Should I Feel Flattered? Not!

Well, guess who noticed my modest little blog? My little blog--that started out so hopefully and has morphed into something much more true to life and considerably less "rah, rah!"--is starting to attract attention. Unfortunately, it's the kind of attention that I would rather do without.

Last week, not one but two companies that advertise on the web contacted me to ask if I would be interested in having them guest blog on my site.

One company sells exercise equipment. Anyone who knows my blog even in the slightest knows that due to my arthritis, I can use exercise equipment as successfully as a fish can use a bike. And if you've been following me for awhile, you'll know that on the two occasions when I have lamented not being able to use the equipment I own, I have named the company, just because I think they make great equipment for small people (and maybe for tall people too, but I don't know).

The other company that contacted me sells supplements, including the dreaded weight-loss supplements. I take a variety of vitamins and mineral supplements, but the thought of letting someone use my modest little blog to sell weight-loss supplements just makes my blood boil.

So, no, you won't be seeing any corporate guest blogs any time soon. Just me, talking about...well, whatever seems most important to me at the time!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Questions from Bearfriend

Things are becoming both clearer and more worrisome with respect to our son. I'm starting to wonder if it really is ADD, since medication has done no good at all. The general consensus is that ADD medication kicks in almost immediately. This has not been the case.

We're now considering looking into CAPD (central auditory processing disorders). Look it up. Rather interesting. Of course, this will involve testing...and money. I just checked out the website for my husband's benefit plan. Doesn't seem to mention audiologists.

Tonight, hubby, son, myself, the psychologist and the tutor are having a pow-wow...

So, in the meantime, let's forget all this boring, worrisome stuff and concentrate on the award Bearfriend gave me recently and the questions that go along with it. Thanks, Bearfriend! You and many others really brighten my day!

1. What would my perfect day consist of?
First off, a good restful night's sleep. Then, beautiful, sunny weather, a lovely walk with my husband and kids through a medieval town in France, and a gorgeous, healthy meal.

2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?
A nice tailored jacket, probably red, with something that makes it a bit off the wall. Denim, maybe?

3. What hobbies are you currently working on?
Don't have any, though I'm thinking about pottery.

4. Walking in the woods in wellies or barefoot on the beach?
I hate wellies, but I love walking both in the woods and on the beach.

5. Have you ever hugged or sang to a tree?

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to supermarket?
Green is not the colour of my thumb. I nip over to the market--organic if possible.

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?
Not as such, but I have ancestors who lived through very exciting (and difficult) times.

8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish and chips from the wrapper?
Most definitely slap up in a posh restaurant. I love good food.

9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?
Though I'd rather be air (I'm a Gemini), I think fire resonates most closely with my personality.

10. Do you believe in fairies?
No, but I wish I could!

Would anyone like to try out these questions for her/himself?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Noise in the Background

My life is too full of difficult things right now, mostly related to my older son.

My struggles with weight and attempts at integrating intuitive eating into the basic fabric of who I am are just noise in the background. Since I am not a morbidly obese binge eater but rather a slightly chunky, frustratingly arthritic, very short but otherwise ordinary person, I really have to put this weight thing on the back burner.

I remain in admiration of all of you fighting the good fight. I just can't connect right now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wall Painting

Imagine painting a wall:

There's a huge wall space where you just stretch out your arms and basically let the roller do the work. Up, down, not worrying about touching a space that shouldn't be painted.

Then you get to where the wall meets the ceiling. Now, you're trying really hard to get things perfect. If you're too careful, you'll leave a tiny, unpainted strip between the wall and the ceiling. That doesn't work. But if you're the slightest bit careless , you'll get paint on the ceiling and that looks messy and you'll definitely have to do some serious retouching.

When it comes to my health and my weight, I'm constantly working in that incredibly tight space where one centimeter too far to the left or the right screws the whole thing up. That's why I'm not writing much lately. I don't want to bore you with issues that no one but I can understand or connect with.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to institute a small change in my life that I felt would actually be very helpful to me. The experiment continues. It's too early to say anything---you know the rule about needing 30 days to create a well-anchored habit--but I do intend to write about it in a few weeks time. Please don't hold your collective breath: it's just a small thing, though I think it may be of interest to you and is worth discussing.

My work continues unabated and my desktop is still off due to the virus. I don't have time to be home to bring in a technician and hubby can't stay home either. This is not totally knocking me out, but it is causing great annoyance.

Last week, I was offered a six-day conference, which I refused. I had already signed a contract for one of those days and was offered one more day by another company. Later, I found out that the long conference would have been out of town. Though I did refuse a significant chunk of change, I feel really proud. Financially, things are working out and I don't want to be away from my family again for so long. Yes, it's something to feel proud about.

I hope you're all doing well. I'll check in when I can.