Monday, August 2, 2010

A little bit goes a long way

"In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men."- Titus Maccius Plautus

I truly believe that doing anything excessively is never the way to go. Most of us think of the word moderation and associate that with diet. However, I am slowly learning to incorporate temperance into every aspect of my life.

I guess I will start with the obvious: nutrition and exercise.

Of course we all have our days where we feel as though nothing can cure our insatiable hunger. However, I am talking about the every day; the days where our cravings and hunger are at their usual level. These are the days where moderation plays a key part. I was recently away with my mom at a wellness resort in Arizona where in only a week, I learned a lot about how to manage diet and exercise appropriately. Initially I was dreading this trip, as I expected my one vacation of the year to be lying around a pool drinking mojitos. I certainly did not want to be stowed away for a week surrounded by women who looked like the Olsen twins. Fortunately, this was not the case. The resort ended up being truly about wellness. You could sign up for as many activities & exercise classes as you wanted, and if you did not want to, you didn’t have to. No one forced me into anything. I decided to relax as though this was a normal vacation and to simply listen to my body. I ended up going to the gym a few times, climbing the rock wall, and taking a water aerobics course. When I didn’t feel like going to Zumba at 9 a.m., even though I had planned to the night before, I didn’t. Now let’s talk about the food. Of course the portions were smaller than at the average American restaurant, but in case you haven’t noticed, American portion sizes are out of control (Thank you Crown Theaters, but I do not need to eat popcorn from a bowl the size of a small child). The food at this resort was amazing. It was all healthful and the calorie count was labeled next to each entry. But more importantly, I learned that the smaller portions satisfied me just as much as the bigger ones- if not more. Instead of going to bed feeling like a sausage in casing, I felt healthy and satisfied. I know that I will obviously overeat, over exercise, under eat, and under exercise, many days of my life. But I am really going to try to take the skills I learned during that one week and apply them to my future. You will really feel so much better by truly listening to your body. Take a minute to enjoy life. Slow down. Relax.

Relationships. My second tip for moderation is all about relationships.

To the ladies: usually we become much clingier and attached to men in relationships. We really don’t want to call, text, facebook stalk; but something in us just can’t seem to help it. However it really is best to let your loved one breathe a bit. For starters, men like a challenge. Playing hard to get is not just an urban legend—it really works. The more that a man thinks you are uninterested, the more he will want you (I swear).

To the guys: We all know you can become just as obsessive as the women. Guys get jealous and insecure too. Guys, just because your girl wants to go out and have a ladies night does not mean she is partaking in any inappropriate behavior. If you really feel as though you can not let your significant other go out without you by their side or at least calling them every 15 minutes, then your relationship has more problems than Mel Gibson right now. Let her breathe and go out. After all, girls just wanna have fun.

To the parents: I am not a parent yet but I do understand that it is hard to let your children grow up and that a parent’s worst nightmare is to have any harm come to their child. Nevertheless, a bizarre thing occurs whenever I come home from college: the parental questioning begins. “Where are you going? Who are you going out with? What time will you be home?” My friends and I always laugh at this because for all our folks know, we could be hanging out on the streets ‘til 3 a.m., dressed like Miley Cyrus, and kicking it with a guy named Juan Carlos who lives in his mom’s basement (of course I exaggerate a bit…his name is actually John). What I’m really trying to say is that we of course appreciate all our parents have done for us. The constant inquisitions into our lives have kept us safe. Yet there comes a point where parents have to realize that they have done their job. If by college, your child still does not know how to be responsible on their own, then you have a problem. Yes, teach your kids accountability, but also teach them independence. It is not cute to be out with a date that needs helping cutting his chicken.

Your look.

Fashion. It seems that at this point in our fashion culture, dressing to extremes is the name of the game. However, unless you are Lady Gaga, I would advise you to keep your leotards and telephone hats at home. In my previous blogs I have mentioned subtle ways to spruce up your wardrobe (nail polish, over sized rings, etc). I want to stress the word subtle here. In 10 years, it will keep you from wanting to burn every picture of yourself you can find. Unless you are on a sinking ship, there is no reason to leave the house dripping in jewelry. If you are in a fairly plain outfit, then I suggest wearing two or three rings, a watch or bracelet, and some dangly earrings. I believe that accessories should be worn the same way that one decorates a room. You never hang 5 paintings in a row and then leave the rest of the walls blank. Instead, put on a few pieces on different parts of your body. If you are exposing your neckline, wear a necklace and then either studs or fore-go earrings all together. And I know it is in style, but I don’t believe in wearing accessories on both wrists. People will take you for a gypsy.

Smell. I love love love smelling good. Who doesn’t? Nonetheless, you do not need to leave the house smelling as though you just walked through the perfume section at Nordstrom. (I mean they could at least ask before covering my body in a cloud of compound oil… Maybe I don’t want to smell like Mariah Carey). Whatever smell you like, pick one. If you plan one wearing perfume or cologne, either spritz a few sprays into the air and walk through it or; spray one wrist and your neck…that’s it! If you choose to wear perfume/ cologne and also enjoy wearing body lotion, I suggest using an un-scented lotion. Mixing various scents together can leave you smelling like your great aunt Agnes. So let’s review: either a scented lotion or a perfume, never both! After all, members of the opposite sex are attracted to the natural pheromones our bodies produce, so don’t cover them up.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”