Wednesday, January 1, 2014

To face unafraid the plans that we've made...

No-Soda 2013 has come to a successful close!  For the past year, my family has chosen to forgo soda, together, in a show of family solidarity and as an exercise in self-control.

We are far behind my friend Pam's family!  The ones who last year inspired us to try this, they have participated over the past four years in No Fries 2010, No Soda 2011, No Fast Food 2012, and No Chips 2013.  Calling it a "family project," they have chosen to "eliminate something that's not good for us anyway," and to "pick it right back up when the year is over."  I love that.  No judgement.  No life pronouncements.  Just a year-long exercise in self-denial and mutual support.  It was nice.

Giving up soda was difficult for me at first, not because I drank it very often, but because when I did want it, I really wanted it.  Specifically, I really want soda if I'm having to eat at Taco Bell.  I would be fine to never eat Taco Bell again in my life, but my family likes it, so occasionally I find myself outnumbered in the family's we're-stuck-and-have-to-eat-fast-food-out, quick-dinner vote.  At those times, a Baja Blast Mountain Dew (which is only available as a fountain beverage at Taco Bell) is a must.  Well, not a must, I discovered this past year, but almost.  (In fact, in short order, our No Soda 2013 also became No Taco Bell 2013 by default, because it turns out that much of my family would just as soon skip the Taco Bell if you have to skip the Baja Blast as well.)

We (which term I use loosely since only us women were involved!) debated about what to give up this year.  Pam's family is giving up candy.  We don't eat a lot of candy, so my girls were against giving up something that would be "too easy."  We looked over the list of prior Team Fahs eliminations, but decided against each one: "We don't eat fries very much.  Or fast food.  How about we give up all fried foods?" [Our son works at Chick-fil-A. That wouldn't work!] - "But Mexican food has to have tortilla chips, and you make Mexican a lot!" [A good point. How good is taco salad, or how easy is pintos and cheese, without tortilla chips?!] - "I know. Let's give up popcorn!" Um. No.

My son had announced earlier, during previous discussions, that he would like to give up dessert this coming year.  We had rejected that out of hand as our family goal because we weren't willing to sacrifice special-occasion or traditional holiday desserts.  After a few minutes of clarifying discussion yesterday about the "rules" and "definitions" that would govern things, we decided that this would be No Sweet Treats 2014.  My son is thrilled with our choice, made in his absence.  My husband is not!

The revelation went something like this:
iivo, yesterday: "I'm planning to lose twenty pounds this year."
Me: "Wow! Good for you! Then you won't mind that we're giving up sweet treats this year."
iivo: "No, we're not."
Me: "Yes, we are. That's what we decided."
iivo: "Well, that's not what I decided!"
After a few minutes of catching him up on the discussion concerning the other possible (rejected) choices, he reluctantly agreed to join us.  But he immediately informed me that New Year's Day is a holiday, and that he would be eating some of the last remaining sweet treats on New Year's Day.  Hmmmm.  Clearly we'll need to clarify this one as we go along.  The rule?  Family vote will determine a majority consensus, but grace will be allowed for personal conviction.

No (Daily-Day) Sweet Treats 2014:
The clear-cut ones: (notice I didn't say the "easy" ones, since there's nothing easy about giving these up for a year!): no candy, no ice cream, no cookies, no cakes, no pies, no milk shakes

The exceptions: special treats served for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays

The "gray areas" 
-->i.e. what to do with "special occasions" that aren't birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays:
*wedding cake at a wedding--of course you may
*shared dessert at the end of a date night--well, no (sigh)
*tasting a special sweet treat to avoid being rude in a certain situation--always avoid being rude!
- So, yes, when some friends from church invite you to dinner, and the five-year-old who worked on them all day brings out a plate of cookies after that dinner, eat a cookie!
- No, do not ask people to invite you over and offer you sweet treats! :)

-->i.e. what counts as a "sweet treat":
*mildly sweet muffins or quick breads (without chocolate chips!), pancakes or waffles, or cinnamon rolls (without frosting!) served at breakfast--fine
*those same foods served any other time of day, not at a meal--that's probably a sweet treat
*smoothies, lemonade, soda, fruit juice, etc.--fine
*milk shakes or Starbucks frozen drinks--nope!

-->i.e. what counts as a "holiday": all birthdays, anniversaries, holidays that Daddy (and other non-federal employees) have off from work, and holidays we've celebrated with a sweet treat in the past
*Thanksgiving and Christmas pies--yes!
*Valentine's Day or Halloween candy--nope
*Mardi Gras king cake--let's hope so
*New Year's Day?
--eating leftover New Year's Eve cookies because you weren't ready for No Sweet Treats 2014 to begin?  (Let's just say I didn't eat any, but we let our daddy do so!)
--eating a Reese's peanut butter cup in the candy jar at Nanny's because it happened to sound good to you, you never normally eat sweet treats, your Daddy is eating leftover New Year's Eve cookies, and you just had surgery?  (Who wouldn't say, "Yes, ma'am, have a piece of New Year's Day candy!"? :)

Things get clearer tomorrow.  Though it's true that "Every day's a holiday," for this year, at least, they don't all officially count as one! :)

No comments: