I recently stumbled upon this article listing 10 traditionally "bad" things that actually have health benefits. Among them are beer, coffee, anger, and illegal drugs. Interesting. Naturally the article starts out with a disclaimer that while there are health benefits associated with the items on the list, they are intended to be imbibed in moderation, and anything in excess can be detrimental. Specifically, beer, coffee, anger, and illegal drugs.
But there was that word again: moderation. Moderation has been tagging along with me more and more these days, showing up where I least expect it and staring at me pointedly from a table across the room, offering me a chair and inviting me to take off my coat and stay a while. I've been tempted; after years of living a crash-and-burn lifestyle that is both exhileratingly rewarding but often exhausting and counter-productive, the idea of living somewhere in the middle is attractive at times. But whenever I take up residence, I get bored. I get fidgety. I find myself looking around and wondering why so many people love being average.
I even made succeeding at moderation a goal for 2010 but I don't really want to achieve it. I like being at my limits; I get way more accomplished there.
So in the spirit of being cheeky, I made up my own little list of some good things that are bad for me. Starting with, you guessed it...
1. Moderation. Bor-ing. Moderation is fun for a day, but then it just leads to being a slacker and not getting anything of real substance accomplished. I prefer to go full-steam-ahead every single day, and then every few months have one day of absolute gluttony and hedonism. I'm pretty sure that is really, really bad for me, but it appears to be the way I roll.
2. Rest. Rest is really important to being healthy. Getting enough quality sleep has been linked to greater intelligence, reduced stress, happiness, and not yelling at your kids so much. But unfortunately, I've found that being asleep is directly related to me being unproductive. When I am sleeping, I am just laying there like a slug. Although, my husband would argue that since I do talk in my sleep, I am probably borderline on the slugness. That makes me a little happier. However, I do like to sleep, and since increased sleep has been linked to less belly fat, which I am definitely in favor of, I am trying to get in bed earlier. To that end, I have started putting on my pajamas immediately upon returning from work.
3. A Glass of Wine. I keep reading about the health benefits of wine, and they are very convincing. I do believe that a glass of antioxidants is beneficial. Some of my best friends are wine drinkers. The distinction I have here is with the solitary state of the glass of wine. A glass of wine. One. And I am sorry, but one glass of wine is just mean. If I can't have at least a bottle, I don't want any.
4. The same goes for cookies. One cookie? Please. I'd rather never eat cookies again than just have one. Which is why I don't eat cookies.
5. Adjustable Waistbands. Adjustable waistbands have their place. As the mother of a tall, skinny kid, I expect that I will be sewing elastic into the waists of jeans well into his freshman year of college. But "comfort waist" adjustable waistbands like these are just danger zones for women like me. Stretchy pants are wonderful, and I fully support the right to wear them without shame. But one you start applying the same rules of stretchy pants to jeans and chinos, well, you're kind of turning a corner there. Don't do it. Reality is a good thing people; embrace it.
Hey, I've made my choice, and I know it isn't always popular or understood. And I guess that is a good thing. For every achievement-addicted nut out there like me, there has to be a few slackers to balance things out.
Wait a second....did I just endorse moderation? :)