Which is better: a well-balanced breakfast or some snack bar? What main metrics are we considering? Nutrition or time? Are there ways we can make it easier for ourselves to cook efficient breakfasts that will give us sustenance throughout the day? If so, are there are ways we can preemptively prepare food for ourselves throughout the day? Let’s consider how we can reduce mild feelings of sickness, laziness, or tiredness with changes to our routines.
My main New Year’s Row-solution is reducing the amount of fast food I eat, but should I wait until this essay publishes in 2019 to begin this pact? The intent, I suppose, is that we should start a “new year” as new people,” but why wait until that arbitrary date? Let’s externally throw out some wild claim for self-change after we’ve spent months internally building our resolves to the point where it’s an easy, throwaway statement.
The best gift you can give to yourself is self-trust. Knowing that regardless of how any event turned out, if you trust that you did your best and tried with as much effort as you could muster, then the consequences are trivialities. Take all those negative feelings you have about wishing you could have changed past events and trust that you can act with positive intentions in behaviors that will improve your mind and body.
I used to spend most days sedentarily engaged in writing or working. The gigs I’ve enjoyed the most have got me out and about, but that might have just been because my hobbies are mainly sedentary. Now that I’m in the process of moving, which you’ll be reading about over the next few months, I’m more likely to spend hours moving things around. The most interesting change is that sitting around isn’t as appealing now.
The hair had to go.
This will be a winding series of whys and hows explaining how that seemingly insignificant weight was weighing me down, which is a funny thing to talk about on a purely physical fitness column, but I believe there are myriad crossovers between the many things we hold onto physically and mentally. After all, exercise is decluttering stores of fungible energy we have stored in our bodies in a controlled manner.
I think what frustrates people the most about their physical fitness goals is when the focus is on an ideal end goal. From my experience, when I focus too much on losing a certain amount of weight or looking a certain way, I’ll be more likely to give up. I’ll miss seeing how my stomach has toned because I’m too focused on the remaining belly fat. The problem is there aren’t immediate results in fitness.
“I’ll pass on the pizza, then.” Fitness is a choice that can come with a price that maybe we’re not willing to pay: who doesn’t like free pizza? “It was fine until I remembered why I don’t like eating pizza: my stomach was feeling gnarly for a few hours after that.” Sometimes it’s worth enduring certain short-term hardships for long-term gains. For me, the pleasure of eating pizza isn’t worth the pleasure of good fitness.
No matter how much willpower we have, when surrounded by a nearly endless supply of food that we enjoy unabashedly, it’s difficult not overeating. How can we prevent ourselves from binging on too much food? (Or binging on anything?) Is it through carefully considering our portions? Distractions? Or keeping our eyes on our long-term goals?
10-minute rowing sets take a certain physical and mental endurance. I don’t want to push people away from exercising by saying it’s taken me nearly 600 days to get to the point where rowing twice daily for 10 minutes isn’t difficult, so let me instead focus on the most immediate reward for this level of physical and mental dedication: active meditation. There is no better feeling than setting a pace, rowing in peace, then figuring something out.
“Are you planning on exercising at all this weekend?” “No.” How does one stay in decent shape when faced with the impossible odds of collecting as much information as possible? Is it enough just to eat decently and avoid terrible foods? Sleep decently and pace oneself? When you enjoy the work you do to such an extreme level, how do you make sure not to burn yourself out? Is this all easier said than done?