Saturday, September 29, 2007

Have You Met Freegan Girl?

This week's Newsweek has an article by Raina Kelly entitled "Freegan Ride." As Kelly explained, the term freegan is a cross between "free" and "vegan" and a freegan is someone who believes in reducing consumption, recycling and reusing. I can relate to that but the freegan lifestyle is a bit extreme for me.

For a month, Kelly lived the freegan lifestyle, relying on freebies, eating organically and reducing her carbon footprint in our great Earth. Freegans practice dumpster diving, but because of legalities, Kelly didn't do that. Check out the blog she kept called "Freegan Girl."

I'm in agreement we consume too much stuff, I mean, how many sets of dishes, dust-collecting knickknacks and excessive packaging do we need? When I went to Afghanistan last year, it really clicked with me what's important in life and prompted me to write this article on being a responsible tourist.

I also think how much we have here in the U.S. and how little "stuff" other places of the world have, yet, they seem happy. We take for granted the simplest things, like soap and in Kelly's article, she mentions how the cost a beauty bar of soap could feed a small family in a third-world country. What are we lacking that we need to hoard stuff to make us happy and content? I wonder if the slow down in the economy is going to reduce what we purchase.

And does anyone feel guilty indulging in the excess? Sometimes I do. While I appreciate the thought, I feel guilty about receiving items with excessive packaging or are not practical or consumable.

Eighteen Going on 20

A couple of weeks ago I took my body measurements, the first time since I started the gym in March. Needless to say, I was disappointed, six inches!!! That's all I've lost. Granted, when you look at six inches, it's quite a bit but I've been sweatin' in the gym since March. Okay, I haven't been consistent, when I travel I don't make the time to go and since I'm watching my budget, I've been eating a lot of rice, which isn't the best thing in managing the waistline.

I was recently watching ABC's Extreme Makeover (Note: even though I'm a reality TV-aholic, I'm not a fan of this show, with all the plastic surgery, the end result is a different person) and the trainer told the victims, err, candidates (?) they need to spend at least an hour a day doing cardio at the gym followed by weight training. He also advised eating fish and asparagus (it's a diuretic, aka: makes you pee). Of course, it's like NBC's The Biggest Loser, if you have time to spend all day exercising, things would be groovy but I live in reality.

So, I've been trying to kick things up a notch. Today I completed the 18th mile for the week and next week's goal is 20. I reduced the weight training because I'm starting to bulk up and I don't want to look like a manly girl.

Not sure if I'll make the 20 this week. I'm house/dog sitting (for the next 10 days), have two night classes (and homework I need to do this weekend), a field trip next Saturday and need to work on the company blog since there isn't time in the office day to do it (not my personal company, the one which gives me a paycheck and all sorts of other stuff - it's a group project thing).

I discovered how people perceive seeing weight loss in another person. Earlier this summer I ran into a member of the hiring committee who was going to hire me (but changed their minds due to "politics") and he commented on my hair. My hair hadn't changed from the last time I saw him. This week I spoke to a local group and met up with cronies from my old stomping grounds and got the same reaction, "I like your hair, it brings out your eyes."

I'm thinking my face looks different and they can't pinpoint what's different so their reaction is the hair. I know in the office when we look at photos from last year's event, I have to ask, "OMG! Do I actually look like that?" The reply is "No," and I don't think it's a polite "No," but an honest "No."

As for food, Publix has had whiting fish on sale and I stocked up on 99 cent broccoli, apples and acorn squash. Also got my fave snack, edamane, which is great for keeping cholesterol in check. I'll be avoiding rice (and fast food) as much as possible this month. It just takes a bit of planning.