JC’s Confessions #15

In the first few seasons of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a recurring skit, now a best-selling book, called Midnight Confessions, in which he “confesses” to his audience with the disclaimer that he isn’t sure these things are really sins but that he does “feel bad about them.” While Stephen and his writers are famously funny, I am not, so my JC’s Confessions will be somewhat more serious reflections, but they will be things that I feel bad about. Stephen’s audience always forgives him at the end of the segment; I’m not expecting that – and these aren’t really sins – but comments are always welcome.

JC

I’m not a vegan.

I’m also not likely to become one.

I know that eating a vegan diet is gentlest on the planet and its resources and I have made a lot of lifestyle changes to address climate change and other environmental threats, but I can’t manage going vegan.

I try to be mindful of what we eat and where it comes from. We eat a number of vegetarian meals during each week and utilize local, in-season produce when available. You can read my paean to the 2020 strawberry season here. I often have access to organic produce and meats, which are less stressful on the ecosystem than large-scale conventional farming. I have tried to experiment with some of the plant-based substitutes for ground meat, but the smell, taste, and digestibility caused a number of issues within our family.

I enjoy lots of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.

The problem is that I have a couple of medical issues that limit or eliminate quite a few vegan sources of important nutrients and there are times when symptoms are acting up that it is already difficult to figure out what I can safely eat without throwing in the additional strictures of veganism.

So, I will keep on, in my less-than-perfect way, eating not as bad-for-the-planet as I could be, but not as good-for-the-planet as I could be, either…

Revenge of the Wii Fit

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I was being pretty diligent about healthy diet and exercise. Before E and L’s wedding in Nov. ’12, I even lost a few pounds.

Then, a multigenerational melange of personal and family health issues appeared, entailing a combination of worry, lost sleep, shuttling back and forth to appointments, rushed meals, and general lack of routine. My diet and exercise habits suffered – a lot. I gained about ten pounds.

Over the last several months, I’ve been making an effort to move more, keeping track of steps using the Fitbit I inherited from E. I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat more healthfully without putting my body into starvation mode. I started doing a plank exercise most days.

And, when B was away on business last week, I dusted off the Wii Fit balance board and fired it up.

Although it wasn’t quite that simple…

First, I put fresh batteries in the Wii remote. Then, I had to replace the batteries in the balance board. I opened the compartment to find that not only had the batteries leaked but they had also deposited crusty white stuff onto the contacts. I had to contact tech support, aka B, for recommendations on a safe way to clean them.

Finally, I got everything working and slipped the disc into the console. Our entire family of Miis (our on-screen avatars) was asleep. I woke mine up and was greeted by the news that it had been 1249 days since I had last visited.

Ouch.

I gamely started out with a fitness test, which involves weight and body mass index. I had gained just enough weight to cross into the overweight category and my Mii suddenly got chubby, which was sad and a bit discouraging, but I didn’t let it stop me.

I chose a range of exercises from the different categories, with a mix of core and upper body strength, flexibility, and aerobics, and found that my conditioning was actually still fairly good. Errands, lugging groceries and parcels, and work around the house have kept me stronger than I had thought.

I have been going back to the Wii for exercise most days since I fired it up and am happy to report that I have already gotten my BMI back into the normal range. Granted, part of that is tied to one of my medical conditions that can cause bloating. I am in a better phase with that right now, but I am hoping to lose a few pounds so that, even when it is acting up, I keep my BMI in the normal range.

Wish me luck!