There are some very neat things about my new work environment. One is that as I sit here at work I'm balancing on a stability ball at my ergonomically sound desk. Another is that if you were to walk to the kitchenette and open the fridge you'd find it stuffed from top to bottom with health food and water bottles. The cabinets are stacked with herbal teas, artifical sweetners, and - for the days you're feeling just a little bit naughty! - no-sugar added hot chocolate. Nary a can of soda or bag of M&Ms to be found in this place. The corportate headquarters is about as health-conscious as you could get. When someone bakes a treat for staff meetings it's a given that bran will top the ingredient list. I'm surrounded by people who are so fanatical about exercise that by comparison I seem lazy.
Which has actually been just the kick I've needed to push me out of my health rut and into a higher gear. Given that I spend every day talking to people about diet and exercise, I've found myself motivated to seriously overhaul my own habits. Which were fine to start with, but are now actually something I'm really proud of. I'm a walking poster child for the food guide pyramid and I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been in my life - I feel great.
But, the more you begin to examine things closely you're likely to discover the imperfections. Hands down sugar is my killer.
Did you know that Silk chocolate soy milk has 32 grams, and that that's equal to 8 teaspoons of sugar? 8 teaspoons of sugar! In something I drink for my health!
It's horrifying. Once you start to really look, sugar is everywhere! I rarely eat candy, never drink soda or other sugar-filled bottled drinks, and don't have dessert very often anymore. So it's disheartening to learn that there are a million ways I'm getting a ton of sugar and I didn't even know it! My whole-grain, high fiber breakfast cereal? Equivalent to 3 1/2 teaspoons! It's just bizarre. I mean, would you ever pile 4 teaspoons of sugar into something and not cringe???!!!
The very worst part is my Starbucks. Now, I knew it totalled about 400 calories. Right now that doesn't really concern me. But want to take a guess at how many teaspoons of sugar are in my morning fix?
Go on, guess.
Did you guess 18 1/3 teaspoons of sugar?!?!?!
You might be wondering if that's enough. If that's finally the one thing - where the money, the calories, and the inconvenience failed to motivate me to make a change - that will finally convince me to stop the madness of the Starbucks.
But it does make me feel like a hypocrit when I'm spending my day encouraging people to give up drinking Coke.