I love pretzels. They are my comfort food, my fall-back food and my first choice for snacking. I love pretzels so much that I actually hate Rold Gold for seemingly forcing all over pretzel manufacturers out of the market. I like my pretzels slightly buttery, I like them lightly salted and I like them in bulk.I eat a lot of them. Not like a handful every now and then, but handfuls every ten minutes when I work at my desk, a small bag of Hanover’s when I drive and even more when I play video games. The non-greasiness very much agrees with someone like me who uses their hands around electronics a lot.
I’d eat pretzels for breakfast in a pinch, for a mid-morning snack, for lunch, sometimes as a dinner substitute and always as an evening snack. In my heyday, we’re talking about nearly a normal-size bag every 24 hours. I have a pretzel problem.
And then Katie realized I was getting sick all the time. Frequent sinus infections, lots of stuffy noses and a general feeling of congestion issues every few weeks, no matter the season. At first I thought it was because of the rapidly changing temperature and humidity and then I chalked it up to overtraining. I mean, I’ve had sinus issues my entire life and I’ve eaten a lot of pretzels my entire life, so how could they be affecting me nowWAITAMINUTE.
Whether it was the enriched flour, the gluten or the massive amounts (it wasn’t the salt, as I sweat a ton when I run and am extremely watchful of my sodium intake, so the pretzel salt was actually a necessity) but it was the pretzels that my body didn’t like. Just like I finally accepted that my stomach aches seemed to happen a lot after I consumed dairy products (lactose intolerant from drinking 3-4 fresh gallons a week at home and now less than that a month) I gave in to Katie’s idea that pretzels, or possibly gluten, was the culprit of my sinus issues.Crap. I really like pretzels. After nearly six weeks without them, which is about as long as I’ve ever stayed away from other vices like alcohol and Diet Coke, I feel great. My nose is open, my sinuses are clear and I’ve avoided my normal ear infection of the winter season. This got me thinking about other things I’ve always done that might be more hassle than they’re worth, like:
-Every time someone passes me on the freeway, I get mad because I think I’m breaking the rules enough by going ten over. I want to be the fastest guy on the road, but I’m not willing to always take the risk. Why should it bother me that anyone else does?
-I constantly compare myself to my peer group and often point out the advantage someone else has (more money, age, experience, education) as the reason for their success. Perhaps they just work harder (likely).
-I say yes to everything and finish almost nothing. While me having a finger on the community may be great as an info source, it does absolutely nothing for me. Finishing a few projects completely is better than starting a lot.
In the past year, I’ve given up drinking, pretzels, drinking milk regularly and normal shoes. While I can’t say it was a banner year for me professionally, it’s often more important to know what to leave on the table instead of what to take from it.
Anything you’ve given up lately?