Too much

Overdoing it -- with food, with consumerism, with laws. How do TTers think we can get out?

Published July 22, 2005 5:25PM (EDT)

Health and Science

Food & body issues

Mr. Martin - 09:03 am Pacific Time - Jul 21, 2005 - #1535 of 1535


OK. So I had been all pumped up to talk about motivation -- what it takes to push us to do what we need to do. It would have been a real rabble-rouser, a Chris Farley van-down-by-the-river explosion of the misplaced energy generated by dehydration-induced delirium brought on by cross-country bike riding under the blazing summer sun.

Today's word is moderation.

At least that's the word I've been instructed to heed to by people I should listen to after my little bout of light-headedness. Yes, I'll drink more water. Yes, I'll refrain from midday biking. Yes, I'll be a tad more careful.

But moderation? That's what got me in trouble in the first place; a moderate amount of pizza followed by a moderate amount of bread sticks washed down by a moderate amount of beer (when I drank I always drank in moderation. Well, mostly.)

I'd been here before when I was a smoker. I'd tried the various gimmicks that supposedly helped moderate my smoking by "allowing" me to "cut back gradually" on cigarettes. I went to ultralights, I chewed the gum, I pasted the patch -- and I lived each eternity-long agonizing minute for the next moderately scheduled cigarette. It wasn't until I sucked it up and went cold turkey that I was finally able to grind that final butt out and let that back-riding monkey go.

I believe Oscar Wilde was correct when he stated, "Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." I needed complete changes in my diet and lifestyle. To make those changes I had to offer myself some excesses; I'd swap fatty foods for a new wardrobe of more fitting and fashionable clothes, I'd trade surfing the net for scrambling the bluffs, I'd give up that bloated feeling for the incredible feeling of lightness that comes from shedding even a few pounds. Yes, I'm going to excesses in trading the moderate just-another-too-well-fed pink-and-pasty Midwestern couch-potato regimen for a whole lot more from life. And, yes, I intend to succeed.

White House

Here Comes The Judge - 2

john-m-stencel - 06:20 am Pacific Time - Jul 20, 2005 - #1174 of 1327

It's not a legislative issue. It's a contritutional right. That's why it was decided the way it was. Texas law outlawed it, hence the suit. The justices took the right to privacy that had already been adjudicated and expanded it. Just as they do when they decide, for example, that flag burning is free speech and protected. That's the problem. It's no more a legislative issue than is free speech.

There doesn't need to be a federal law banning abortion. Like I said there will be laws making it illegal to cross state lines. They'll pass laws governing the clinics themselves, how many doctors need to be there, how many nurses, what kind of equipment, etc. that will all sound eminently reasonable on the surface. They'll call them things like "The Patient Protection Act of 2009" and sell it as protecting patients by requiring stringent guidelines. They might not even mention abortion at all in them. But once the right to an abortion is gone, there's nothing, nothing at all, to stop them. And you really think they'll have a hard time selling this? How do they keep "late-term abortion" bills passed at the federal level? By lying, that's how. And what price have they paid for that? Name one member of Congress who lost due to supporting a "late-term abortion" bill.

Social Issues

Consumption and consumerism: How do we get out?

Anca Mosoiu - 06:00 pm Pacific Time - Jul 18, 2005 - #608 of 609

How do we get out of consumption/consumerism? I've been thinking about this topic all weekend while cleaning up my house, so cluttered with things I once valued, things I might need later, and the trash that slips in-between. Here are a couple of thoughts, not fully fleshed out, but hopefully fodder for the rest of you...

1) Replace consumption with creation. Rather than simply consuming food, learn how to make it. Rather than consuming entertainment, learn how to make it. Even if it's just for your own enjoyment. Plant a garden.

2) Replace the people in your life who drive you to consume with better people. Get rid (metaphorically, not with a shotgun) of that neighbor whose stuff just has to be better than yours. Get rid of the toxic friends who want you to buy $300 shoes or a $40,000 BMW.

3) Stop competing on the basis of the stuff that you can acquire, and compete on the basis of your creativity and imagination.

4) Do something good for someone else. Volunteer for a group. Call a friend. Paint over graffiti. Donate books to your local library.

5) Freecycle. Re-use old stuff. Repair old stuff.

I figure that the root of useless consumption is loneliness and a need to belong. Television fosters isolation -- isolation breeds loneliness -- malicious advertising suggests that isolation can be fixed by purchasing something or another. But it doesn't work. The cure for isolation is to go out there and meet and actual community, face to face (or, failing that, on the Internet).

The cure for pointless consumerism is to have a goal, or a hobby, or a devotion to a non-consumerist way of life.

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