Giving It Up

I have decided to give up eating animal products, added sugar and added fat for Lent. This is odd, you say? Yes, it is, given that Lent is definitely not a Buddhist holiday period, but it's a nice finite chunk of time. The other benefit of giving up rich foods during Lent is that I won't really have to make excuses when I turn down various foods. I'll just say that I'm giving it up for Lent and people will nod knowingly and/or give me their condolences.

I've been half-heartedly limiting my added fat intake for some time, but haven't been as strict as I could with packaged foods. My goals are two-fold: to see how difficult it is over approx 7 weeks to go completely vegan and to see how low my cholesterol, LDL and HDL levels can go. I'm already working out 5 days a week, I might as well kick the quality of my food intake into a higher gear too.

The only thing I think will be at all difficult in this process is handling coffee. You see, I drink coffee with milk (non-fat dry milk powder) and sugar. I might allow myself Splenda, but unless I buy a quart of soy or rice milk (and end up throwing most of it away each week), there's no way I know of to put a milk substitute in my coffee. I could try to learn to tolerate black, unsweetened coffee or I could give it up entirely. I expect the caffeine withdrawal period to be unpleasant, though I can moderate that somewhat with diet Pepsi until I can taper off completely.

On Learning Responsibility
A co-worker commented that she finally got her college-bound child to sit down and work on their financial aid application. Apparently said child had lots of socializing to do and wasn't responding to the impending deadlines or nagging. I observed that the method which worked well for me was when my mom explained to me that since I was the one in college that I was going to be responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork on time. She would assist me by supplying any tax/income documents upon request and would provide assistance with the forms on request, but the responsibility was mine to get things finished and submitted by the deadline.

The reply I got from my co-worker was that that method won't work for every child. I disagree. I think it'll work great for all of them. No, not all of them will get the necessary paperwork filled out in time and some may discover that they lose out on financial aid for a semester. This might then lead to having to take a semester (or two) off from school and work to pay their own way. But in the process, the child learns to take responsibility for their lives, their actions and their future. How else will a child learn independence if they are not given the opportunity to act independently, for better or for worse?

The child also learns that there are consequences for their actions and that they need to deal with those consequences, rather than relying on Mommy or Daddy to bail them out. Sooner or later, Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be there and they might need to take care of themselves. I believe that continuing to do a child's work for them when they could do the work themselves teaches them to be dependent on others and fosters a sense of entitlement, where they believe that there is no need for them to do hard work because someone else will always do it for them, whining about it being optional. Allow a child a chance to struggle and see what they can truly accomplish. Hand them everything they want and you merely teach complacency, sloth and ingratitude. For a film example of this, watch Mildred Pierce and study Veda.


Stefaneener said…
We can get teeny lunch pack sizes of soy milk -- wonder if that would help? And I drink tea straight, but coffee heavily adulterated. So that's something to consider.

Of course, I'm sick all the time too so I'd take any advice from me with a whole bale of salt.
Ruby Louise said…
I'll definitely look for the lunch-sized soy milk. Thanks for the suggestion!

Popular Posts