If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’ve had some…struggles with fitness. I get motivated, then unmotivated, lose five pounds, gain ten pounds, commit to exercise…and then commit to Netflix. I have pure intentions, but it’s the execution that gets me every time. So I’ve decided to take a Ben Franklin (we’re already on a nickname basis) approach to fitness. I don’t know much about Ben but I do know that he came up with a list of 13 Virtues through which he “sought to cultivate his character.” That’s all well and good, but the genius of Ben’s plan was that he didn’t do them all at once! Instead, he did one at a time so the task wasn’t quite as overwhelming.
Ben Franklin was a very smart guy, so I’ve decided to apply the same principles to health. Rather than trying to work on everything at once, I’m going to work on one thing at a time, then hope it all comes together. I haven’t come up with a list of 13 “health virtues” or anything like that, but this is what I’ve accomplished so far:
1.) I quit soda. For real this time! (?) I’ve made millions of attempts to kick the habit in the past, but I think it’s for real this time. It’s been about a month and a half since I drank soda (minus one slip up in Phoenix…I was in the desert and had just climbed a mountain and nothing was going to quench my thirst like a diet Pepsi so I don’t blame myself at all) and the cravings have mostly subsided. It took me about a month to stop fantasizing about strolling over to the corner 7-Eleven and purchasing a delicious, ice-cold thirst-quenching diet Pepsi, but aside from the fact that I’m no longer putting a caustic, aspartame-infused beverage in my body, I’m also saving about $60 a month.
2.) I’ve committed to drinking water. My sister got me one of those fancy water bottles as my housewarming gift and I’ve been filling it four times a day. That’s like eight glasses of water a day. I’m not exactly sure what drinking eight glasses of water a day is supposed to do for you but everyone says you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day so that’s what I’m doing. I still think diet Pepsi is a far superior-tasting beverage, but I’m *trying* to like water. So far, it just tastes like a bunch of nothing, but I’ve found it’s quite pleasant to drink out of a bright pink bottle.
3.) Sleep. I have a bad habit of watching crime TV into the wee hours of the morning.. and waking up four or five hours later when my alarm goes off. This results in me being all frazzled and rushed in the morning and running to my car with my shoes and brush in hand in a valiant attempt to make it to work on time. But I’ve implemented a new rule: No more iPhone after 9:30 and attempt to get to sleep by 10. I’m still working on this one. I think it’s been about four or five days since I started working on this “virtue” and it will probably take at least a couple more weeks for it to become habit.
So is being healthier fun? No. It’s not. At least not yet. But I’m 30 now and things have got to change. I would love to continue through life in a dehydrated, sleep-deprived, diet Pepsi fueled state but that just can’t be good for you. Anyone have any ideas for my fourth health “virtue?”