Current Mood: Not nearly as hungry as I was three days ago, thank heavens!
During this past school year, I made a promise to myself: as soon as summer break started, I was going to change my eating habits. Now, nearly a month into the break, I’m finally getting around to starting! For the past few days so far, I’ve been on a temporary “cleanse” diet, drinking lots of water and juice and eating almost nothing but plants. So far, the only times I’ve strayed from this guideline is when it couldn’t be helped (going to a festival and a family dinner where the only options were junk food or starving, for example). This ultra-healthy binge is meant to get rid of the majority of toxicity in my body, so I can have a sort of “clean slate” for when I resume a less extreme, but still healthy, eating pattern.
Now, why exactly am I attempting this? I would love to say that it’s merely because I value my long-term health and wellness for its own sake, but as usual, the actual answer isn’t nearly that cut-and-dry or without an ulterior motive. To explain my motivation for improving my nutritional habits, here’s a story (my specialty): it was June 7th, 2013, and I had been in Sandusky, Ohio at the largest anime convention I ever attended, Colossalcon, for two days thus far. For those two days, my body had been sustained by nothing but pizza, microwavable ramen, Steak & Shake, and Monster energy drinks. It was now the second day of the convention and I was having the time of my life; however, it was only when I was walking down the hallway toward an autograph session that I realized my throat felt a bit…odd. It started off as a scratchiness, then gradually got worse until it became painful to speak. A dull ache throughout my body and sudden fatigue accompanied this, so I decided to head back to my hotel room and rest a while; out of caution, my friend’s mother who I had come with checked my temperature. Guess what? I was running a fever of 103! I was only able to enjoy the remaining two days of the event by loading up on Ibuprofen and Vitamin C supplements.
Now, that illness, considering how suddenly it came, could have easily been a simple instance of the “con flu”; it’s been known to happen. However, I’m going back to that same convention THIS WEEK. Am I going to let that same thing happen when it may be completely preventable by simply watching what I eat and taking better care of myself beforehand and during? Of course not.
Simply put, I’m through with letting sickness and generally feeling physically worse than needed ruin my fun.
Of course, shifting my lifestyle like this isn’t only going to help me feel awesome enough to do fun things like my trip this weekend, but also in daily life – especially in school. My family is generally very health-conscious (actually, my mother is health-conscious enough for both of my parents – Dad is an outlier), so back when I was living at home during high school, eating better than the standard American diet was easy. I was used to having nutrient-rich food readily available, and while of course I went on pizza and sugar binges just like any other teenager, my regular eating habits were fairly decent. Once I began living on-campus at LMU, however, that routine was thrown off; suddenly there were many more food options available to me, along with the temptation of eating pizza for dinner literally every night. During this past year, I was lucky enough to avoid putting on the freshman 15 by limiting my visits to the World of Wings café in the student center (amazing food, but all of it fried), eating as many green things in the cafeteria I could get my hands on, and cutting down on my portion sizes when it was clear that lunch that day would have to be something less vegetable-y and more carbohydrates and fat. (Well, it may have helped that I skipped dinner a few times because of awkwardly-timed night classes and rehearsals…10/10 would not recommend.) In addition to eating as well as I could given the circumstances, I tried to walk to class as often as I could, just to get myself moving.
I guess that means I should probably start pairing more frequent exercise along with my healthier diet this summer…those running shoes in my closet have been collecting dust for too long! In the big picture, being healthy is definitely its own reward – and putting in a bit more effort in order to not feel cruddy is worth it to me.
I could definitely use a bit of encouragement going into this – so what are your eating and exercise patterns like? Do you have any goals when it comes to health or fitness? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to follow my blog for more summer updates!