Today is preparation day. For January, for the new year, for the new decade. Randy and I have big plans for the month of January- a month-long project that I plan to blog about here. Inspired by A.J. Jacobs and his book , “The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment”, we are going to do our own 30 day experiment.
As an homage to Jacobs, we’re calling it The Month of Living Healthfully (he wrote a fascinating book called “The Year of Living Biblically”, which I highly recommend). It will be our quest to live as healthfully as possible (within reasonable limits) – doing all the things we know we’re supposed to do for our well-being but often times ignore in the face of the modern world with its business and temptations. In short, we are going to do everything our mothers always told us to do. We’ve been living like pigs for most of December and I have been really neglecting myself, health-wise, for several months now. We want to get back on track and we hope this will get us motivated – a jump-start of sorts.
Our Guidelines for The Month of Living Healthfully
- Sleep: Get as closst to 8 hours of sleep each night as possible, and no falling asleep with the TV on! (A habit we have fallen prey to as a couple for about the last 7.5 years – and me for the last 12 or so… )
- Oral hygiene: Brush 2x a day AND floss AND use fluoride mouthwash. (A dirty little secret about me – I haven’t always been the best at taking care of my teeth consistently.)
- Exercise: Work out 6x per week. For me, it will be 1 day of yoga, 1 day of Tap Dancing Class(!), 2 days of weight training with cardio, and 2 days of cardio – possibly including an aerobic dance class. Randy’s exercise will consist of yoga, weight training, and swimming. I thought about trying to swim once a week – its such good exercise – but I just couldn’t force myself. I hate the thought of getting in the pool on a 20 degree day, even when that pool is heated and inside an 80 degree room. I’m a weakling that way.
- Diet: This is the real kicker. I am trying to eat 1400 calories or fewer per day, 40-50% from carbohydrates and the remaining split about equally between fat and protein. I am also aiming to drink 8 cups of water a day and eat 4-5 cups of fruits/vegetables. And if that wasn’t enough, I added another goal of eating “clean” – that is, trying to eat the majority of my foods as unprocessed as possible. Randy’s diet goals are similar, with different caloric proportions. P.S. – We’ve decided to eat all of our meals at our dining room table with the TV OFF. I can’t remember the last time we ate at the table rather than the couch. Oy – my head is starting to spin.
- General Well Being: In order to acheive well-rounded health, we also plan to do something creative each day (Randy hopes to practice the piano or other musical instruments and I want to work on crafts and blogging) and to meditate each evening. Randy checked out a book called 8-Minute Meditation which has little exercises aimed at Westerners who want to rest their minds. We expect that doing this just before bed will help us wind down and get ready for sleep. And, painfully, we have instituted a rule that we can only watch TV if a: we are doing something else as well (i.e. folding laundry or knitting) or b: its a show we’ve scheduled into our day. No more turning the TV on as soon as we get home and leaving it on until we fall asleep.
Whew! Now its all out there – published on the World Wide Web for all to see – which is good for accountability. It will be the most radical life change we’ve ever instituted and I hope we develop some good habits and gain some new insights. And most of all, work towards creating a healthier environment in which to begin the process of trying to conceive again sometime this year. We aren’t ready yet, emotionally or physically, but hopefully this will get us closer.