I’m like the millions of Americans who have made the resolution to get in shape for the following year. I’ve been no different than those people who have made that resolution only to break it within a month of the New Year, and it’s been like that for years. The start of 2018 was no different and looked like it was going to be the same as every other year before it, but starting a few months ago, I began cutting unhealthy food and drink out of my diet. My biggest addiction was to soda, mostly Coke and ginger ale. That was my first bad habit to go. It was hard because of the chronic headaches and cravings for it. You really never notice how badly your body wants something until you give it up. I started by cutting down to a bottle a week and now it’s once in a blue moon that I have a soda.
With my biggest health concern out of the way, the second target was alcohol and fried and fast food. Alcohol was hard to break, because I’m a shy person. I like to rely on alcohol to help me make friends. I knew it wasn’t a healthy thing to do, so I was determined to break this habit. It took one bad hangover that made me finally swear off alcohol. The cravings are not so bad, but it’s more of the social parts of drinking that I miss. Luckily most of my friends are light drinkers, and they are very supportive by not drinking around me. Fried and fast food is still a demon I’m fighting, especially McDonald’s French fries. I’ve cut down immensely on the amount of fast food I eat, but I still eat it on occasion.
Cutting the bad foods from your diet is only one part of getting in shape and getting healthier. The next part was figuring out what I needed to eat instead. I did a lot of research based on my health concerns, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight control. For most of these health problems, I found that eating whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and white meat, in addition to getting rid of dairy and red meat is best. I’ve found that trying to eat healthy food is really expensive, especially in Japan. A six-slice bag of whole wheat bread is around 400 yen and a small bag of whole grain rice is about 900 yen.
The final part is exercise. This was, and is, the worst part, but this is the reason that really made me change my life around. I’m not athletic and I hated PE class in school. I started going to a personal trainer with my roommate. He set up personal plans for both my roommate and me, including suggestions for our diet. If you go with a partner, it makes you much more responsible and likely to work out harder, plus you can share the cost of the session.
This is something I have been meaning to do for years and this was my year to finally do it. It’s still a struggle, but I’m quite happy with the results so far.
addiction (n) – a strong and harmful need to regularly have or do something
chronic (adj.) – continuing for a long time or recurring often
once in a blue moon (idiom) – to do something rarely
swear off (phr. v) – to stop doing, having, or being involved in (something)
immensely (adv.) – huge; vast; immeasurable
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