I don't talk too much about this on here, but I work out. I work out a lot. In an ideal world, in which I am never sick, never injured, and don't have to do to many other things outside of work, I would love to work out at least ten hours a week. Most of the time, I live in this ideal world.
I like being healthy. Healthy is good. When you're being "healthy," you have more energy. The world looks prettier. Your outlook is better. Food is tastier. Colors are brighter. Air is sweeter in your lungs, and you get more of it. You stand straighter. You feel better.
At certain points in my life, I've been better about this healthy um, thing, than others, but right now, it's going very well. So, hooray for that. Thank someone for the small victories. I eat a lot of whole fruits and veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. These things taste good, and they're cheaper than cookies. Water. Water is good. You should drink water. 18 cups a day is generally my minimum- I use the bathroom like a pregnant lady, but it's worth it. I almost never feel dehydrated. I try to sleep 6-9 hours a night, and generally wake up feeling great. Sometimes I get insomnia but hey, who doesn't? Everyone gets those nights where your brain is buzzing and there's nothing you can do except stare at the ceiling and wonder why the sleep gods hate you.
NOW. Before I come across as one of those people who says, "Well, I've got this down... why don't you?"- hear me out. That type of approach works for some people, and I am one of those people, but, I'm also extremely aware that for many people, this approach makes them resentful. Angry. Basically, it has the exact opposite effect. Thus, here's some empathy. There are many times of my life during which I have not been successful at being healthy. Hell, during my sophomore year of college, I gained thirty pounds by not exercising, and eating late night burgers, pizza, and philly cheesesteaks. It was bad. Being healthy can seem really hard. I know that. As I said, I've been there. And let me tell you- it's all just a freaking mind trick. Being healthy is not only easier than being unhealthy, it's also more pleasant.
Here's partially why... look at how pretty healthy food is! Look at all the pretty colors! They are so nice! Like a rainbow! Who doesn't like rainbows? I do. Salads. They are tasty and filling and also coloured like a rainbow if you do it right. Sandwiches and pasta/ noodle dishes can be the same way.
As I said, healthy food also seems to be cheaper. Where I am, a box of strawberries is about $1-2, a head of lettuce is generally way less than $1, a bag of apples is usually $2, and a can of beans ranges from $.75-1.50 depending on the bean type. Bags of veggies are $3 or less. Protein-rich greek yogurts are about $1 each. Bundles of scallions are $.25. Whole wheat pasta is about $1-2.50 a box, and 5lb bags of brown rice for like $7. Eggs are generally $1.29-1.99 a carton, depending on whether or not they are free range. Corn torillas are often less than $2 for a stack of 20-30.
Compare this to a $5 box of poptarts or chips ahoy, or a $4 bag of Doritos, and it seems pretty easy.
maybe all of this
Just look at that rainbow! There's green! And red that isn't made of fake!
Look, though, guys- Doritos are delicious. So are Chips Ahoy and Poptarts. I eat all of these things. Who are we kidding. I admire people who have cleansed their diet of "fake" stuff, and only eat organic, or only eat unprocessed foods, or foods they cook themselves. More power to them. That's awesome. I am not them. I eat cookies, and pre-processed crap. It tastes good, and yeah, it's not so great for me, but I work out a lot and I need a lot of calories sometimes. I like moderation. One giant cookie a day is enough for me. I don't need six.
Okay....I'll eat six sometimes, but only sometimes. Those are special days....
Six small ones, however? Let's be real. This happens way more often than I should admit. Danny and I can tear through a box of Chips Ahoy in one night. Seriously. Gross, maybe. BUT when we do this... we have usually worked out. For like, 3-5 hours. That day. Doing martial arts. Which, coincidentally, burns like 600-1,300 calories an hour. So... I don't really feel bad. Actually, I feel great. Because, I'm fit and full of cookies. Bam.
But, there's also raspberries.
They are tasty, and good for you.
Thus- it's all about choices. Yeah, I might eat a pile of cookies, but I'm going to go fight people for three hours. Balance. These things even out.
Back to fighting, though. As I said, I work out a lot. If you had asked younger me about this, I would have scoffed, and laughed, and told you the same thing I say now- working out is fun. If you asked college-age me about this, I would have scoffed and laughed, and called you crazy. "Working out is awful," I might have said. "It isn't fun," I might have said. "You're a liar," I might have said. However, I'm not a liar. I was just not really understanding how to work out in a fun way at that point in my life.
When I was in high school, I danced. That was my predominant, and, well, only form of workout. I danced hours and hours a week, and loved it. Why? I wasn't working out to work out. I was working out while dancing. Dance was the focus. Dance made me feel pretty. Dance made me feel important. Dance made me feel good.
During college, I tried to do things like the stairmaster. If you've never been on a stairmaster, I'd say that using it is akin to climbing forever whilst embodied in the flames of the deepest circle of hell. You will never get that rock up the mountain because there is always more mountain. It's a stinking circle. There will always be more steps.
Really, do any of these people look like they are having a nice time? You tell me.
Nope. No one.
I also tried the lovely elliptical, which also sucks. You can run forever on an elliptical, and you know where you will get? NOWHERE. Ever. You're still on that same freaking elliptical, moving your arms. It sucks. Working out because, OMG I should work out because beach bikini OMG MUST LOOK GOOD ALMOST NAKED... it never works for me, because it's not fun.
Now, I do martial arts and yoga. These are VERY fun for me. Why? I feel like a badass. I feel like a total, utter, ass-kicking badass. WHY? Because I am becoming one. Like, actually. Yoga? It makes my moves precise, and my mind calm. The muscles of my body are focused and strong, and my vision and train of thought are clear.
Due to martial arts, I can kick and punch people. Not only that, but it happens all of the time. If you asked me how many times I have punched a dude three times my size in the face, I would have no idea. How cool is that? It's so cool.
The above photograph is almost accurate. I don't wear a helmet, but other than that, it's pretty good.
How many times have I choked these big men out? Unsure. A lot. Pardon me, but if I say at the end of the day, "I have to go choke a bitch now," I might not be lying. I go to jiu jitsu 2-3 days a week, during which, generally, people are choked. Sometimes these choked individuals are women, and no, women aren't all bitches, but damn, it feels good to be a gangster.
I feel empowered, truly, really empowered for the first time in my life.
I know I'm cursing a lot, so excuse it, but seriously, doing martial arts is so cool. All. of. the. time. I get to feel like a ninja, because I'm becoming proficient at doing ninja things. I used this ninja things to stop a kid from stealing my phone on the subway one day. I was just sitting there, on the 2 train in Brooklyn, listening to some pop music and reading my BBC news, and some kid, who, if he was over 14 I wouldn't believe it, grabbed my phone and ran off the train. I disarmed the phone, and when he tried to punch me, I hit him in the hand with my phone so hard that I cracked the phone, while also firing a blow to his bicep, which made his arm crumble. Phone retrieved. I was shaken up because, well, someone just tried to steal my stuff, and not only someone, a kid smaller than me. But, I was also a ninja that day.
Also, I just got my JKD ORANGE BELT YESTERDAY! WOO!!! I feel so happy.
Oh, and this martial arts thing tends to be a good workout, so that's cool.
In conclusion- find things that taste good. Find things that are fun. Figure out what you like, then just do it.
Just do it as often as possible!