For as long as I can remember I haven’t had to worry about my weight. And to some degree, I still don’t. I can eat (or not eat) as much as I want. This has led to a very unhealthy lifestyle. As a programmer my life is inherently unhealthy; late hours staring into a computer screen, horrible posture, and of course sitting in a chair all hours of the day. Something had to give.
Recently my life took an unrelated turn and I had the chance to start over. I took that chance.
So I started small.
I stopped drinking soda and caffeine. This was particularly difficult for me as caffeine was a constant in my life for as long as I can remember; a large coffee in the morning to get me started and subsequent drinks throughout the day to keep me afloat.
The first three weeks were hell. Horrible persistent headaches, loss of energy, and lack of interest to do anything were the most prominent changes.
Once the withdrawals started to fade I realized I felt like a completely different person. I was far less anxious. Trivial tasks like driving in dense traffic or talking to someone I didn’t know were less abhorrent. I was able to carry on in a fashion that I, not only three weeks before, saw as “other people’s normal”.
My sleeping patterns changed as well. I used to drink as much caffeine as I could to wake myself up in the morning but the actual act of waking up was dreadful. Now I find myself waking up on my own at early hours of the morning without an alarm clock.
I started drinking water during this time. And not just at home, I would drink only water everywhere. I bought a water bottle with a built in filter and started to carry that with me everywhere I went.
I also bought a bike for biking to and from the train station near where I lived. I started off doing it only a few days a week, then after a few weeks I started to do it everyday.
Then there was the matter of food. I don’t really like food. My sense of taste isn’t as prominent as most and I don’t get hungry. This tends to lead to me forget to eat one or more meals at a time. Living on my own I knew this would be a problem as there wasn’t the social aspect involved. If there wasn’t someone else to be hungry at the same time as I should be, then I would forget.
This is where Soylent came into play. I first heard about Soylent a few years ago and thought it to be a brilliant idea for someone with my lack of taste and interest in food. But I brushed it off as it seemed difficult to assimilate into ones life when living with someone else. Now, on my own, I saw it as the perfect chance to try it out.
After only a week of eating Soylent, I knew that it for me. Breakfast used to be only a weekend and vacation meal. Now I have a Soylent in the morning before heading off to work and one at night. Two guaranteed meals right off the bat was big for me. And to ensure that I would eat during the day I turned to the social aspect of eating and started to invite coworkers to either go out or at the very least pick up food to eat.
With all of this food I knew that I would at the very least gain a few pounds and saw this as a perfect opportunity to start exercising. I have tried many times over the years to exercise and it never took. I would do something for a few days in a row and then I would find some flimsy excuse to break away and not return. I did Cross Fit for a month and enjoyed it, but as with every other time after that month it was over.
So with the combined knowledge of the few times I had exercised, I put together a routine1. I started off small doing only a few sit-ups, push-ups, wall sits and planks. And I knew that if I didn’t set a strict schedule for myself and make the actual exercising accessible I would loose interest quickly. I planned to exercise for 15 minutes when I woke up and 15 minutes when I got home every day of the week. After one week I was hooked. I never found an excuse to not exercise or delay a day. In fact after one week I doubled each set and added a few new ones.
Most likely I am the healthiest I have been in years. I feel like a completely different person. I even bought a standing desk to seal the deal and work on my posture at home while working.
Now this isn’t a guideline for anyone to follow to the letter, but I do hope that it at least shows that finding the healthy you is possible even for those who used to deem it comically impossible.
I’m on my way to a healthier me. A happier me.