Sometimes, I tell my wellness coaching clients to put the cart before the horse. Start before you are ready. It may not seem intuitive to be hasty with lifestyle changes, but more often than not, the barriers to making change are tall and numerous enough that we never get around to actually changing.
In that spirit, I am starting a two-week program that I am calling “Use as Directed”. I’ve been thinking about this off and on for months, but ya know, the Barriers. I didn’t meal plan, this is the first draft of the blog post, and I am not entirely sure I even want to commit to this. But here we are at 9pm the night before. Horse, please yield to cart.
The objective of the experiment is to follow all of the commonly prescribed wellness guidelines that, theoretically, allow me to “live my best life”. From eating to sleeping to moving my body, here is what “they” think we should do:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep. This one won’t be hard for me; I’m an excellent sleeper, but I must break my middle-of-the-night phone habit. (Yes, I realize being a good sleeper will cause some of you to hate me.)
- Drink 64 oz of water. This is an arbitrary amount and sometimes higher volume is recommended, but I’m sticking with the classics. This shouldn’t be too difficult either, especially when it’s warm out, but it will take a certain level of intentionality to remember to do it if I’m not actually thirsty. (Intentionality is apparently not a word. For the record)
- Practice intentional stress management for 10 minutes. My chosen method of stress management is meditation. I’ve practiced it for years and I enjoy it, but am not in the habit of a daily practice right now, so again, must be mindful to do it. (See what I did there? Mindful?)
- Eat at least 24 grams of fiber. I don’t normally track fiber, especially because it’s often in produce which doesn’t come with a nutrition label, but I can get a little help from the internet to make sure I hit my goal. I’m also not setting any fat, carb, protein or calorie goals because those vary so much based on the person. (Plus it feels icky to post that shit publicly.)
- Don’t eat more than 24 grams of added sugar or white flour*. This, without question, will be the most difficult part for me. I am a sugar fiend and am always trying it limit my intake. (Twenty four grams is approximately equivalent to one fruit-flavored yogurt, for reference).
- Take 10,000 steps. This one will take real effort…sometimes. If I don’t have the dog and I don’t have a scheduled run, and I am working from home, getting even ONE thousand steps doesn’t even always happen. Luckily, I will have the dog for the duration of Use as Directed.
- Get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise. I’ll be honest, there are weeks where this seems laughably easy and I will hit 150 minutes in a single run. But there are absolutely weeks when I probably fall short. Again, very dependent upon dog custody schedule.
Ok, I think that’s it! I’ll update you all on my progress (I know, your breath is bated in anticipation). Also, feel free to join me if you think it’s worthwhile.
*There will be one exception to this, Saturday 9/12 because I will be running a trail half marathon. I need quick sugars during the race to stay fueled and I will allow myself to pig out a bit afterward. Simply because I want to. And I make the rules.