One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

What I learned from Paper Plates and Broken Microwaves

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Yes, you read the correctly. Paper Plates and Microwaves. Bear with me and I’ll try to make a point. :)

Last year I received this comment on my Egg Tomato Pizza post about paper plates.

Hi Roni! Just briefly wanted to say that your site is great. I like the look of lots of the recipes and will get around to trying them.

A question, though. Why do you use paper plates? It just bugs me — there must be a lot of waste from that. And you have those pretty black ones you could be using!

Rhiannon

My response was…

Rhiannon –

Convenience. I also reuse my water bottles for convenience, bring my own grocery bags to the store for convenience and try to make changes where it makes sense for me and my family. I haven’t been able to give up my paper plate habit yet but I will. Living greener is a process just like everything else.

Thanks for getting me to think about it! :~)

A few weeks later the husband and I decided we would try to live without paper plates. It was tough at first, I’m not going to lie. But after a few days we got used to it and now, honestly, I don’t even miss them. We save money and have a lot less garbage! Thanks Rhiannon! :~)

As for the Microwave, ours broke a few days ago. It’s strange, it will go on but only run for a few seconds before shutting itself down. I’m assuming it’s a goner. At first we were devastated. How will I heat vegetables up for dinner? Or leftovers? How will the husband make his lunch?!? (I swear he doesn’t even know how to turn on the stove!)

Well guess what? I’ve made breakfast, lunch and dinner for few days sans microwave. I miss it, sure. But I’ve made do. There’s no way I’m buying another one, especially considering the new house (fingers crossed it will all go through!!) will have one built in.

So where’s the moral here? What’s my point?

We adapt. We change. Right now you may think you can’t make certain changes in your life. You may think you don’t have time to take a walk, change your eating habits or survive without "the soda" ;~P but in reality you can. If you would have told me last year I could live without paper plates or a microwave I would have said you "You’re crazy!" Same with training for a marathon or making butternut squash fries as a snack and enjoying it!

Point is… change is possible. Sometimes something inspires you and you find your own motivation to change (as in the paper plates) and sometimes an outside force requires you to change (the microwave breaking.) Either way knowing ‘it’s possible’ is half the battle.



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Discussion

There are 33 comments so far.

    Elaine

    January 26, 2009

    yay! I’m so glad you’re back from vacation and posting again!

    Abby

    January 26, 2009

    What I learned about change is:
    ~change takes time
    ~change takes energy
    ~we can only expect to change ourselves
    ~we should only want to change ourselves!!

    ~positive changes in our lives have wonderful, multiple, ever-growing benefits!

    Change must always be shared and celebrated!!

    jenn

    January 27, 2009

    You won’t believe this, but I haven’t used a microwave in over three years! I was on this whole eating organic, getting rid of “everything that is bad” for you kick. I looked up the effects of microwaving food and decided I would like to keep the nutrients in my veggies–thank you very much! You will have to look it up on the web to know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I have not missed the microwave at all! We just reheat in the oven–no big deal.

    Tanya

    January 27, 2009

    Hi Roni.

    Great post! The one thing we can count on is change. We are all resistant, but change will happen regardless of our opinions. So we have a choice ~ go with the flow and handle change appropriately or go kicking and screaming and make it more difficult. Sure not all change is positive, but it is what it is. Every day is a learning experience!

    Thanks for yet another great post. Glad you had a great weekend off and I hope all goes well with the new house / selling!

    TB--Milwaukee

    January 27, 2009

    I always made my oatmeal in the microwave until ours broke too right after the warranty was over. I will never make oatmeal in the microwave again. Also, never made popcorn on the stove before the microwave broke either and now I do it all the time.

    Chantelle

    January 27, 2009

    Change is possible. You’re so right. It’s different, but doable.

    Love ya Roni. x

    Emily

    January 27, 2009

    My brother doesn’t even own a microwave. He never will. He absolutely hates them with a passion, and will refuse to ever touch one. lol Now me.. I NEED it to heat things up really quick at 7am before going to work! I refuse to sacrifice sleep just to make breakfast. lol

    Christie

    January 27, 2009

    Wow, I really love this post! I had the same experience with paper plates except I was being way worse… I was using styrafoam plates AND I was using disposable forks and spoons — with every meal. Because I was too lazy to wash dishes. I convinced my husband to change and we don’t (hardly) miss it now. I haven’t ever connected this to weight loss. Thanks for making me think about it!

    Annette

    January 27, 2009

    change is possible :) My sis lives without a microwave because they think they are bad for you………sometimes I think how could I live without mine? We did for all those years before they came along :) Modern conveniences are wonderful but go camping for a week and it will make you see how you can make do without!

    Joanne

    January 27, 2009

    I was walking home from tutoring yesterday when I saw a guy walking down the street eating a package of Hostess powdered sugar donettes (the small ones). And I realized that I hadn’t eaten snack foods like that or oreos, some of my old favorites, in over a year. To be honest, though, I don’t miss them at all. It’s the kind of thing where maybe you do miss them at first, but eventually time wears on and you change without even realizing it until you wake up one day and get to the point where you are the person who you wanted to become.

    Brandi

    January 27, 2009

    Its amazing that sometimes the things I really need to hear, when I need to hear them, are written by all the people who’s blogs I follow!

    Thanks :)

    Janice

    January 27, 2009

    Roni, you can have my microwave. Since I stopped eating microwave popcorn, I rarely use it. Maybe I use it once a week but I don’t even think I use it that often.

    I have really tried to give up a lot of processed foods and food with hydrogenated oils and junk since my boyfriend had heart attack. It was harder for me than I thought. But each choice gets easier. That is why I gave up the microwave popcorn. And guess what, I am still alive. Yes, I can live without microwave popcorn. I even use natual peanut butter now that is made with just peanuts only. Who’da thought!!!

    Seriously though, just like everything else, change takes time and doing little things really helps. You’d be amazed what you can live without.

    Natalia Burleson

    January 27, 2009

    Roni, change is good! :)

    Kelly

    January 27, 2009

    We have not bought/used paper plates in the last two months – and don’t miss them at all!!
    Makes me feel good to think that I am doing something ‘green’. We as a society are so wasteful – hoping to teach my toddler differently. We save pennies and recycle. Starting him young so hopefully he will see things from a different perspective!

    Cathy

    January 27, 2009

    I love how you took that story and made the point that change is possible and we are adaptable. Too often I fall back into bad habits and think change is impossible. Thanks!

    Rebecca

    January 27, 2009

    My microwave is broken at the minute too. We decided to get a microwave/convection oven in one. That way when we just have to reheat something or bake something small we don’t have to run the large oven, therefore saving energy. We haven’t found a good one yet though.

    Dawn

    January 27, 2009

    Hey Roni, if you don’t want to go out and pick up a new microwave, maybe you might want to check out one of the local thrift stores, or even check out www.freecycle.com? On Freecycle, people give stuff away as opposed to throwing it in a landfill…I’ve seen washers/dryers, fridges, clothing, exercise equipment, and yes, even microwaves. If you go to the site, it’ll ask you what your county is, then you can add yourself to the group. You can either scan or get email alerts for up for grab items, I got a used gazelle from one woman, and a bunch of new baby clothes for my friends twins last year. It’s really great how giving everyone is. You can even put in a request that you need a microwave, and someone may email you back. People either drop stuff off, or go pick it up (though might sound scary, I’ve actually met a lot of wonderful people through this site), I even got a TON of yarn when I put in a request for leftover yarn for I could make scarves and blankets for the shelters and churches in the area. Might be worth it to check it out, let me know if you have any questions about it.

    Dawn

    January 27, 2009

    Ooops…correction. The website is www.freecycle.org , not .com.

    Phyllis W.

    January 27, 2009

    Hi Roni. I’m listening to your podcast and heard you’d be a Blisscom. I’ll be there too. Look forward to meeting you!

    Nichole

    January 27, 2009

    I just had to add this quote that I read the other day and I think it works well here…”If nothing ever changed, there wouldn’t be butterflies.” Not sure the author of that, but love it!

    Kathy

    January 27, 2009

    Nothing changes if nothing changes.

    Emily

    January 27, 2009

    Hmmmm…I like the no microwave idea but my oven is so economically un-friendly- it heats the house up, causing me to turn the AC on and then I end up spending more money on the electric bill than it would cost to buy a new microwave! However we have given up paper plates 99.9%. Baby steps, right?!?

    Sabrina

    January 27, 2009

    I’ve given up paper plates but I don’t think giving up the microwave at this point would work…simply because I like my microwave popcorn. Other than an air popper how would I make my popcorn without oil???

    Thanks for the post! Change is good and the changes I’ve made in the last 3 months will hopefully get me back on track! Funny thing is I don’t miss work AT ALL!!! LOL

    Laura Jane

    January 27, 2009

    Great post. It is amazing what we can give up without even missing it. The things are just so much a part of our lives that it’s difficult to imagine life without them. One thing that I gave up that had been a regular part of my life was TV. When I moved 6 months ago, I just didn’t want to pay the stinkin’ cable bill – ridiculously expensive, and I only watched a few things. I was afraid that I would really miss it and end up caving in and getting it. As it turns out, I did not miss it all – not even one little bit. I haven’t even thought about watching TV in who knows how long. And it turned out to be a good thing, because now the only access I have to TV is at the Y while I’m working out – an added incentive to work out! It’s amazing how much we really can change – it’s the first little bit that is the hardest. Anyway, the thing I’m considering giving up now is Diet Pepsi. I drink at least a can a day, sometimes more. And I’m tired of paying for it, and water is better for me.

    pam

    January 27, 2009

    I had the same “traumatizing” experience with the microwave! It was like I was a cave man trying to make fire. How do I HEAT MY COCOA???? ha ha ha People laugh when I tell them I don’t have a dishwasher. They look at me like I am Caroline Ingalls. It isn’t that I don’t want one…I just don’t have one! We have made it into a family event…washing….drying …..putting away. Take lemons and make …….you got it….lemonade! Love the fact that we all face these daily grinds. The challenges we face make us who we are….and how we deal with them lets us change and grow… or be one bitter person. Thanks for the encouragement Roni!

    LG

    January 27, 2009

    Some people use paper plates for every meal? Really??? I have never met anyone who does this!

    Jamie

    January 27, 2009

    I use to use paper plates, plastic forks, and plastic cups for years…and then about 3 years ago I said no more…then about 18 months ago we stopped using plastic bags from the grocery, zip lock bags, paper towels, plastic food containers (love pyrex). I really love it, and feel that I am doing something good.

    Also…just let me say..instead of reusing your plastic water bottles, think about buying a reusuable stainless steel bottle. So much better, and I have read that reusing plastic water bottles release chemicals back into the water because they are intended for ONE use.

    Michele

    January 27, 2009

    This is a great post because it’s really about more than a microwave and paper plates!

    Having said that, I could NEVER live without my microwave!! :)

    michelle

    January 27, 2009

    Hi from Canada!! I’m new to your site & loving it! Tried butternut squash fries for the first time tonight…2 thumbs up from the hubby & I loved them too! By the way we gave the microwave the boot almost 3 yrs ago & never looked back(although our friends still think we are crazy!!)…your so right it’s all about adapting, often we can do more than we give ourselves credit for.
    Keep up the great job & keep running~

    Melanie

    January 27, 2009

    NEVER reuse your water bottle – in fact, you should switch to a stainless steel water bottle, and scrap drinking water from water bottles at all. Research it more on line – plastic water bottles are not good for our health. And NEVER cook in or on plastic….not having the microwave is probably the best thing to happen to you – we got rid of our microwave and got a hot air popper like the old days…..

    Alison

    January 28, 2009

    Roni! Good for you for making changes and accepting changes in life! That’s something I have a hard time doing.

    Now to fix that Microwave! I had the same thing happen to me once. I had the repair guy come out (it was a slightly extensive SS maytag over the range micro) – he said it had been switched to demo mode! Apparently there was a demo mode on this microwave. So consider that there might be some buttons you can press to fix it :)

    Hanlie

    January 28, 2009

    We also never replaced our microwave and I don’t even miss it! The next thing to go was the TV. Best decision of our lives! We CAN change!

    Renee

    January 29, 2009

    I was just hopping on your site (I usually read from Google Reader) to suggest freecycle.org, and I’m so glad to see that Dawn already recommended it! So now I’m seconding her suggestion. Freecycle is awesome – kind of like the free section on Craigslist, but a bit more reliable. Why throw stuff out when someone else could use it? Why create demand for new stuff when someone probably has what you want sitting around collecting dust?

    Not that you NEED a microwave, but this might be a way for you to make it happen. :-)