Being a consumate overachiever, I am usually all over “small changes that can yield big success” articles. Like, whoo boy, sign me up for micro adjustments that cause macro improvements!
Except, at this point I have made every micro-tweak I can make. I am fully tweaked.
Take, for example. a CNN article from yesterday that suggests five simple diet changes that result in 500+ saved calories a day.
Here’s what they suggested, in comparison to what I do.
Old: whole milk
New: 1 percent milk
Me: rice milk
Old: whole bagel
New: half a bagel
Me: low fat granola
(occasionally a bagel with non-hydrogenated, light spread)
Old: chocolate ice cream
New: chocolate yogurt or a Popsicle
Me: soy- or rice-based ice cream, fruit chillers, or nuts
Old: latte made with whole milk
New: latte made with skim milk
Me: chai made with soy milk
Old: be a couch potato
New: take a 20-minute walk
Me: walk 1-3 miles a day
I could continue to match them one for one – they’d say, “eat lean meat,” and I’d say, “eat fish.” They’d say, “no more extra cheese,” and I’d say, “no more cheese.”
Articles like this make me feel okay for being thin, because I have clearly eliminated every source of culinary indulgence from my life already, and have largely found replacements that I prefer to the original gluttonous versions.
(I wish that articles like this could also make me feel like I can stop worrying that I’m going to turn into a giant Italian balloon when I turn thirty like half of my family did, but I’m just going to have keep being anxious about that bridge until it’s crossed.)
My total tweakedness isn’t limited to diet, which means I react similarly to “small changes” articles about budgets or goal setting – I’m excited to read them until I realize they’re preaching to the me of 2003. I’ve made most of these adjustments already because they all dovetail with my concept of living marginally. I suppose it’s my personal version of being green – why waste money and time on frivolous things you don’t even care about, when you’d rather waste them on frivolous things you actually enjoy?
So, to CNN readers I say, “If you like your lattes with whole milk, go ahead and drink them.” Micro changes are nice, but it’s a major change of attitude that’s going to make the biggest difference in your life.