Clean up your act!
Today, (January 1st) I began a 10 Day cleanse. The new year seemed like the perfect time to rid myself of bad habits, addictions and poor health choices. My addictions may not be alcohol nor drugs but I can imagine the hang up. I have an overwhelming disposition to coffee and a sucker for sugary baked goods. I’m not talking about a snickers or fast food but rather a snobby cheesecake aficionado. And we haven’t even gotten to the cheese. I can eat cheese three meals a day, add it to anything or just by itself. Give me a round of brie and I will show you 101 ways to prepare and eat it. And don’t get me started on chocolate.
Since Tino was born there has been a dramatic decline in my ability to find time to work out, at least for myself. BT (Before Tino), I worked out in the gym for two hours a day, paddled (canoe) and surfed, but those days are long gone. In lieu of the gym I am chasing a toddler around the playground or standing in one spot while pushing him on the swing. My body is just not responding to this new work out regime the same way it responded to my old one. When I think about my son growing up, along with his ever increasing energy levels, I can’t help but wonder how I will keep up with him.
My father was 65 when I was born. Everywhere we went people assumed he was my grandfather, and when they found out he was my father we’d get funny looks. However, he did not struggle to keep up with me, rather I struggled to keep up with him. Sure, he didn’t come out and throw a ball around with me or go surfing, but his schedule kept us moving around the clock. I was fortunate that he was active and healthy for a great part of my upbringing. I was 27 when he passed at 92. I do realize that I am a slightly older father too, (not the age gap I had with my father but I was in my forties when Tino came along.) So I want to be present and actively engaged in his life for as long as this world will permit.
So here I am today, motivated to clean up my act. Better choices, less sugar, and actively engaging in my health are top priorities. Even if it’s just to set a better example to my son. I need to apply the ample fruit and veggie diet I require of him for myself. I need to invest in watching what I put in my mouth like I do for him. I must walk my talk.
First, I cleanse and purge. Since Thanksgiving there has been bottomless servings of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Eggnog Lattes, Belgium chocolates, baked goods, baked brie on and onnn. Not to mention several espresso shots per day (okay, 8 to be exact.) It had to stop, completely. Day 1 was brutal to say it mildly, no coffee and a serving of smelly and tasteless green juice. I plan to cleanse for 10 days, followed by implementing some healthy staples. While I have not had any crashes or mood swings (yet) today, I am prepared for a rough couple of days ahead of me. I can do this, motivated by my son, I know I can do it for he and I.
Oddly, this process has me reflecting on the eating and dietary habits of my own father who lived a long and healthy 92 years. His diet consisted of homemade Chinese food , plenty of stir fried vegetables and lots of bok choy. Our stove always had a full pot of rice on it. This included daily rituals of rice tea and green tea. Juice, soda and coffee seldom ever crossed our path. We ate meat, in small portions and always mixed with vegetables. We made our own egg noodles and rice noodles. I have fond memories of steamed pork buns and Chinese dumplings, my personal favorites (Argh, I’m now hungry.) The point is we we ate simply, we cooked our own food and it was always fresh. I can’t help but want fond food memories for my son. What will his memories of family dinners be? Do I really want him to think we just went to Costco and opened something from a box? No, I don’t. I want to involve him in the cooking process. I want him to think about nutritional value, where his food comes from and how to get it naturally and adequately, I want him to appreciate fresh homemade dishes prepared with love and care. I want him to remember that we ate together in a way that would make us healthy and whole. So yes, it’s time to clean up my act, and get back to my roots and get back on track.