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What Makes a Healthy Day?

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

I've pondered this question before, both here, on some earlier blogs, and just walking down the lane thinking about things. In many ways I approach managing my good health much the same way I manage my money. I also think I am a little better at managing money - which doesn't have as much emotional baggage as other aspects of healthy living, nor does it taste like Cheetos - or chocolate. In fact - money doesn't have any flavor at all - which is probably why it's easy to have a fairly simple routine when it comes to handling money. It goes like this:

1. Know what's in the bank
2. Know what things you need to pay for and when - and pay them first
3. Never ever dip into reserves for anything but cliff hanging dire necessities
4. Save for expensive things that cost more than you have
5. Spend whatever's left over on anything you want

I try to apply this to my making healthy choices every day - with, perhaps not quite the success I would like.

1. Find out - and know what I weigh, what shape my body is in, and how I feel in general pretty much every day. That means getting on the scale every day. It also means checking in on other physical sensations.
2. Know what and how much nutrition, sleep and exercise I need every day - and durn it all - get it. First. Before I eat dessert or Cheetos or extra junk calories or sit around watching TV.
3. Do Not Binge
4. Save up some calories (or exercise a little more) if I'm going to a foodie event
5. If I've done all the above and there are any calories left in a day's total - go ahead and eat the M&Ms or the Cheetos or whatever, till all the calories are gone. Life is supposed to have little treats in it - the operative word being "little".

So. A cute little comparison - but of course, we all know life is not that simple. With money - if I don't pay the bills on time my credit score will plummet - and if I don't pay them at all, the electricity gets turned off. On the other hand, if I don't eat all the vegetables my body needs - I will feel a little off, but only I will know. There's no nutrition collector knocking on my door, no exercise police, no food nazi.

Still, I use the analogy as a way of assessing if I'm still on my healthy living streak. And yesterday I really did not stay on my healthy streak. The day wasn't a total disaster, but I made more lazy insolvent choices than a healthy person would have. I didn't eat any vegetables at all - unless you count 4 olives - which were so salty, mm mm delicious - I always feel like they should be in the candy category. Yes. I had lots of fruit - but no other vegetables. And though I did get in a nice long walk in the beautiful May sunshine - I didn't reach my daily exercise goal. And I lay around like a slug for large chunks of the day.

So. I am on vacation. It is alright to be a bit of a slug. I don't think any single day is a deal breaker, even if it is a streak stopper. I can always start a new streak today. I've never aspired to perfect attendance in any aspect of life. What I want is MOSTLY healthy days. And for me a healthy day means following all five of those healthy steps. Yesterday I did not - Today I will.
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