Unexpected side effects of simple living

It’s weird. I have stopped craving cookies and pies and cakes. Now I want fruit.

I’ve also stopped craving more Diet Dr. Pepper. I still love the stuff, but these days I want water with a splash of juice in it.

I think I’m losing weight. Very slowly, almost imperceptibly, I seem to be getting a bit leaner.

These are things that I didn’t exactly expect to happen as we transitioned to this whole homesteading/intentional/simple lifestyle.

I figured I’d probably lose a little weight in the long term. I mean, when I have to stretch my dollars at the grocery, and Sunshine is diabetic and I have food allergies, I have to really think about what I’m going to buy for us to eat. Which means that potato chips and cookies and shit are not a good way to spend our grocery money. Working at a produce stand has helped also. I also knew that I’d be more active, as things like yardwork and garden-planting and all the other shit that has to be done around here doesn’t happen through magic. I just didn’t think that I’d actually start getting leaner. Pleasant surprise, and a side effect I’ll happily take.

Losing the craving for the sodapop was a total surprise. I thought I’d miss the hell out of my Diet Dr. Peppers. I mostly don’t. I still have one every night, but beyond that, I really want water most of the time.

I have nearly stopped wanting to go shopping all the time, too. I find that there isn’t much out there that begs me to buy it except yarn, and I am slowly working through the hoard of yarn I have on hand. New fashions don’t appeal to me much anymore, and even though I still love shoes I find that there aren’t many styles that I would be willing to bring home (because there are none in my closet that I am willing to part with to bring something new into rotation).

It took me a long time to get my closet to a point where I don’t get tired of the clothes in it, and lately any new items I find myself wanting aren’t a deviation from the esthetic I’ve settled into. Mostly my desires these days are about settling into a greyer color palette and adding the odd item that fits my lifestyle better than some of my old ones. I like grey. It shows less dirt than brighter colors and doesn’t look so harsh against my pale skin like whites and blacks do. Overall, though, I don’t have many gaps in my wardrobe and don’t feel any rush to fill the few I think I’ve found. I have decided that a maxi skirt would be a very useful addition to my wardrobe; it’s hot as blue blazes here and I don’t generally feel “right” in shorts because too much of my skin winds up feeling sticky and gritty, so a maxi skirt would be a good compromise, and a pair of cotton (not synthetic) leggings would be a nice addition to add a layer when it cools down. Other than that, it’s been a matter of thinking “ooh, that would be a nice replacement garment when something I already own wears out”; I’ve felt no rush to purchase anything now now now. It’s a new experience for me, for sure.

I also find myself thinking about the consequences of all those purchases that make no sense in our new life. If I buy junk food, I am supporting companies that perpetuate the cycle of unhealthy eating habits in murica. Why the hell are chips and twinkies cheaper than fruits and vegetables? Why is there so much white rice available in stores at a much lower cost than brown rice or quinoa? Why is this fashionable top so cheap? What slave labor went into the production of this thing I’m considering buying? What is all of this buying/discarding doing to the planet? Why do I feel the urge to buy this item? Is it something I truly need or want, or is it something that I’ve been programmed to want by advertisers working for mega-corporations?

The last surprising thing I’ve noticed is the desire for silence. I used to like having the teevee or some music on in the background as I moved throughout my day. Not anymore. I crave silence. As I was helping Sunshine tile that sunroom floor, I found myself wishing he’d just turn off the damned radio. The station he listens to plays the same old tired ass shit I burned out on in the 80s, and I find it hard to concentrate on my task when I am irritated by the boring ass noise coming out of the speakers. I spent a lot of years trying to drown out the noise inside my head, so not wanting any outside noise has been a shocker for me. I don’t know that the noise inside my head has quieted down any, I think I’ve just gotten used to it these days.

I knew that this journey into a new lifestyle would be a learning experience, I just didn’t expect to see some of the side effects I’ve been seeing. I’ll take them, though. I feel healthier than I have in years, and that’s always a good thing when one is fighting chronic disease.

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