The last few days I’ve slowly been doing small things to have a healthier lifestyle. It’s no secret that I’m someone who has trouble maintaining himself when it comes to staying on course with dieting and exercise. However, a friend encouraged me to blog about the journey. I figured maybe if I write on a daily basis that it will help motivate me to do something small just to improve myself.
The funny thing is that none of this was super conscious. It started on Saturday when I decided to finally get out of the house and have a simple Mediterranean dinner at Daphne’s. Sure, it’s not the most high end restaurant for this type of thing but they do have decent meats and provide a nice salad and humus, which for me is better than most things. But the center of my motivation for going was two parts. First, I had a really horrible week where my Friday everything just went to shit. Everything you could imagine turned into utter crap and chaos. So to “reward” myself, I did the second thing which was “treat” myself to a Carl’s Jr Double Western Combo meal with Dr Pepper and Fried Zucchini. Yeah, there’s veggies, it’s thus healthy! Of course, that “treat” turned out to be $13.
For fast fucking food?! What the hell is wrong with that industry?
On Saturday, I still felt like crap and my eye was twitching like mad because I have a genetic high blood pressure problem. It’s been bugging me for sometime and I really didn’t care. But I felt that on Friday I hit my lowest point mentally. Maybe not life-wise, but I just felt horrible. I can’t even remember most of Saturday outside of programming a bit. But later my concentration was sapped and I got hungry. So I figured I really needed to get out of my home. I didn’t want to spend a horrific amount on shit food again but most places are crowded, especially with Mother’s Day coming up. So I decided to make a little compromise and hit Daphne’s.
Just having a salad with something as simple as cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes, etc. along with decent meat and humus already made me feel better. I had parked my car next to the bank, checked out some cash and was thinking about hitting a donuts shop on the way home. Instead, I noticed that Trader Joe’s was still open so I figured I’d pick a thing or two up since I hadn’t been there for a while.
Once inside, I felt weird because I was the unhealthy nerd gamer rather than the motivated, more health conscious person I was years ago. But just being in a store like that with a more lively customer base and healthier ingredients internally put pressure on me to pick up a few decent items. A few items turned into two salads, some strawberries and some fish to start.
The thing you have to understand about me when it comes to certain items is that most foods I would buy like strawberries or salads would just end up in the trash. I have this mental problem where I need to get motivated to eat those things. Otherwise, they just kinda sit in my fridge until they rot. Then they go to waste and I end up feeling as though my money went down the drain, leading further into me not buying more fresh fruit and vegetables for a while and my life spirals down quite quickly from there.
So I started fighting with myself trying to figure out what to do. Then I remembered that my friend recently bought a Ninja Blender. He told me it was really easy to use and just having a fruit smoothie in the morning would give him energy. For a while now, I had really wanted to pick one up. But as usual, my typical indecision would lead to no results. This time I decided to commit. I asked him a few questions and made up my mind that I would go out and pick up a Ninja Blender at Best Buys the next day before Game of Thrones started.
I was nerve wracked because it would be quite a bit of money. However, my friend quickly convinced me that the numbers would add up in my favor. Making your own smoothies alone would save you in money going to Jamba Juice. So after spending sometime staring at the various blenders, I picked one up which I felt was a good starter and bought it. Okay, I’m all in guys.
While having lunch, I decided to figure out a few recipes. The blender had a couple but in all honesty, they all looked awful. So I perused a few websites and caught one with good reviews and decided to start easy. Baby steps people. Baby steps. I decided to use the strawberries I bought from the store and discovered a nice raspberry recipe that combined milk, vanilla yogurt, vanilla extract with the two other fruit ingredients. It couldn’t get any easier than that. But I needed something simple to build confidence in myself that A) this would taste great; B) I could do this consistently; C) I would get my money’s worth.
After getting another hint from my friend to freeze the fruit, I gave the recipe a try on Monday. Oh man, it was an instant hit! I was surprised at how easy everything was. I don’t know why I get so scared about things like this. I think it’s partly due because I have slight xenophobia, which I believe I inherited from my mom. It takes a long time before I feel comfortable in trying something new. But once I get hooked, I go all in. And baby, I am FOOKIN’ HOOKED!
Sure enough, just having the one instantly gave me a ton of energy. It tasted fantastic along the lines of a Jamba Juice. And I was just happy that it was stuff I put in. I don’t know how much that might mean to you, but for someone like me who trusts nothing and nobody, it’s huge. I can control whatever I want to put in! Vitamins, blueberries, no bananas, whatever. This all seems trivial but for someone like me with mental problems on these type of things, it’s a HUGE deal.
I also had my salad and fish for dinner and felt much better that night. Today, I made another smoothie for myself and had fish for lunch. Best of all I used up all my strawberries! No more waste! Just freezing them immediately provides two massive benefits: 1) you can store them longer and not worry about them rotting in your fridge; 2) they make the smoothies taste like ice cream for lack of a better term. How cool is that (pun intended)?
In addition, I grabbed some coffee and a bagel for a snack, which gave me a little more energy. But now, I was pretty pumped and decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: get back to the little gym downstairs. I only did 38 minutes of the elliptical on the lowest level of resistance, but I don’t remember the last time I went. Yet I realized I had to take advantage of that moment because I had the time and energy to make that first step. And again for a person like me, that first step is the hardest and the most important.
After that, I went back to get another round of Greek for dinner and picked up more groceries. I decided to expand my vocabulary of blending. Right now, I have a very simple goal: to increase the variety of fruits (and possibly vegetables) in my diet just so that I have a little more energy, a little more vitamins and decreased blood pressure. It’s simple in that it’s very achievable. But it’s a tough goal too because I have to remain vigilant and committed. I know being me that I’m bound to fail and fall off the wagon at some point. Maybe I’ll get sick. Maybe I’ll throw up. Maybe I won’t feel like getting more at the store or that a project comes up that consumes all my time. But it’s like the advice Ser Davos Seaworth gave Jon Snow on Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3: “Good. Now, go out and fail again!”
I’m hoping that this small life change will percolate into other aspects of my life. I think just having this extra energy alone will improve my ability to concentrate and help the quality of my projects both at work and at home. Also, I’m hoping that it’ll motivate me to keep going out and force myself to get out of my place now and then so I can continue picking up groceries to make myself healthier. For some people this type of thing comes naturally. But for me it’s a challenge that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I can only be me and take the small steps while looking at that single day to be the best. But for me that is the best.
Also, thanks Baku!