Saturday, August 20, 2011

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

Oh how I enjoy this show. Not that I ever watched it with regularity, but the crazy game setups and silly dubbed commentary really get me giggling. Undoubtedly our TV programs also get folks in other cultures laughing; there is no pretense of pride or superiority when it comes to television programming.

Such extremes...and I come before you to offer my own laughable qualities of hyperbole. I tend to like thing in extremes, too. For example: carbonated water.

The Topo Chico trend in Austin is booming, so in my defense, I'm not the only one who seems to love it from the bottle. Those perfect bubbles, the strange attraction of the ice-cold glass vessel from whence it pours--it's the combination that seems to have me and a lot of the rest of Austin totally hooked. Oh, also the fact that it's just water seems to make it attractive. Yay, it's healthy!

Except for the results. Is this healthy? Really? Yes, we recycle those bottles. But last week I noted that our recycle bin probably exceeded the required 135 lbs weight limit.

And I felt forced to consider that thing, that Unknown Territory in personal improvement: Moderation.

My sweet niece sat at dinner the other night with a cup of chocolate mousse. As the only desert on the table, it was beeping loudly on my "YUMMY!" radar. She happily, slowly ate it, getting some on her face and rarely putting anything more than the tiniest lick in her 6-year-old mouth. Swinging her legs back and forth, she seemed to give that mousse the most cavalier of attitudes: I could take you or leave you, mousse, ha ha! And when she abruptly put her spoon down, barely a quarter of the desert gone, the rest of us Desert Vultures attacked.

She was ready to go back to doodling in her notebook. I was internally screaming for a chilled bite of creamy and crunchy chocolate and heath bar. No way I would have walked from that table with anything left in that cup.

What has become of me? Why do I want to drink 5 Topo Chicos when I get home from work? Why do I want a gallon at Amy's Ice Cream? Why do I choose to run a freakin' marathon when I decide to start running again?
Really? Did we have to order all of that at Junior's? Probably not.

Why always so extreme? Yes, I can go a year without buying new clothes, I can do a spin class, I can quit eating sugar.

But can I finally conquer that most elusive thing--the moderation? Can I really do smaller portions, less cups of coffee, just moderate exercise? Can I walk a little bit every day, can I read a little every day, can I do a few small kindnesses on a regular basis?

It would mean less waste for sure. Those piling bottles of Topo Chico in the recycle bin are just silly. It would probably mean better choices for the environment. Do I really need the water on in the shower when I shave my legs? Ugh. Probably not. And it would definitely mean better health. There's no reason I should get the gigantic ice cream at Amy's. Shorting myself on sleep during the week with the promise of catching up later isn't really a good plan.

Really? Every desert offered at Thanksgiving? Probably not necessary. Save some for the cute nieces.
I'd go so far as to say that this strange impulse--to want the whole bag of chips, to exercise for an hour and a half at a time--is part of my personality. It's a little of what makes Shannon the woman we all know as Shannon. And it probably doesn't have to be.

So for now, I'd like to see if I can identify the moments where I seem to be engaged in blind over-consumption. Um, the recycle bin is a pretty easy one. So is the empty little carton of Ben and Jerry's from last night.

I'm both embarrassed and intrigued. Husband is clearly quite good at it; moderation has helped him lose 30 lbs over 3 years and adjust his spending habits enough to be able to buy a house. What mental somersaults would I have to do to just stick with one beer, to always bring my own shopping bags to the store, to boil one egg and not two?

It's about time. Let's find out.

No comments: