My family and I are voracious readers. I put away an average of 2 books a week, more if they are favorites that I read over and over. I love the written word so much, I listen to audio books at the gym rather than play lists. My parents are the same way. Hell, my brother is even a writer!!
I recently finished Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs. It chronicles his quest to become the healthiest man alive. He makes a list of things to do (which eventually expands to 72 pages near the end of the novel!) in order to accomplish this goal. He sees doctors, tries out numerous diets and workouts (some quite unconventional) and hits up alternative therapies like aromatherapy and a lifestyle which strenuously seeks to remove ALL toxins from his personal environment. He does this with three children and a spouse in tow. Amazing to me, as I cannot even get Sacco to eat whole wheat pasta.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; a chronicle of two years of this man’s life. I was afraid he would sound sanctimonious and, at times, he did. The difference between keeping me reading and having me ignore it further was this: he ADMITTED it.
One of the things that happens to some people when it comes to lifestyle changes of ANY sort is that suddenly their former lifestyle is THE WORST THING EVA and they must tell you about it. Endlessly, and forever. It always makes me think “Fine, you sit there in your obsessive vegan/triathlon-ing/green-ifying/WHATEVER corner and JUDGE me while I go out and get some new friends”.
He addresses this happening AND goes further to address the very specific notion of lifestyle “widows/ers”. The spouses left behind when you obsessively go to the gym, eat meals that must be specially made outside of the families, refuse to be in the same room with your meat product, ETC. I instantly latched on to this. I have a confession to make.
Sacco was ALMOST a lifestyle widower.
Poor man. I was vegan when we met and, although I am not unhappy with my diet change (I include fish and fowl), I have noticed that it has effected my health. I have a certain scale number I insist on staying below, and I did not have the tools to make my new diet match the old as far as portions, calories, etc. I have tried to go back in that direction, but he catches me every time. Pasta and sauce, a STAPLE in the Tanuki Towers West household, brought up the question “Why is the pasta BROWN???? It tastes OLD.” Well fuck whole grain then.
The man eats salad, but only the lettuce part. Tofu, but only if fried or disguised. Seriously, I feel like I am sneaking sustenance to my niece here. Any other vegetable is “foreign matter” and must be avoided at all costs. A nice big vegan dinner in our house means he goes to McClown’s for a #1 ASAP. Bring me my immersion blender and culinary wand; I need to hide this beet puree somewhere NOW.
OH! Family stuff! Let’s think about that! I joined a gym a few month’s ago because fitness classes are my heroin these days. I was going EVERY DAY and feeling like the good little girl. I am going to shrink before my Shrink’s eyes!! I am going to have muscles! This is awesome! I am semi-socializing even!!! Problem? I get home around 8. Cook family dinner (IF Sacco has not eaten) while still wearing gnarly gym clothes with Courtney Love pools of eyeliner because I consistently forget to take my make up off at the gym. Tres chic, no? Then we eat, I shower (if I have down time in the meal reverse these steps), and we have HALF AN HOUR of family time before my meds kick in and I am slumbering sweetly away on the couch. If I want to read or do anything else prior to bed? Forget the family time.
Luckily, I saw this happening and had a talk with Sacco. I go less now and perhaps do a DVD on off days so I am at least within talking distance. I ask him about plans, etc. rather than just not coming home because I am gym-ing. I never want to be the one that holds their lifestyle over someone else’s head and judges them for not being there with me. Especially my spouse!
I am slowly making changes for me and adapting them to him as well. Sacco will not feel like I am having an affair with my Spinning bike, if I can help it at all!
Jacobs also spoke a bit on our sense of smell and aromatherapy. Now, when I was a Witch-let I truly believed in the X is for treating Y and Z treats C and on and on. He went to a facility that studies people’s brain waves on certain fragrances (an idea I find SO FREAKING COOL! STUDY MY BRAIN!! I WANT PICTURES OF IT!) and found that while X treats Y for you, it may not for me. Something that is sort of a duh kind of thing when you think about it for longer than two minutes.
Did you know the scent of a man instantly calms a woman’s brain waves? I wonder if this study took lesbians into account? No wonder I like men’s cologne better than women’s. It scientifically calms me because I associate PROTECTIVE MALE ARRRRRR.
Lizard brains are so cool. And possibly not feminist enough.