Because my health and well-being are often wavering like a rope bridge over an abyss. The rope is also about 40 years old and weathered. A few slats are missing as well, but the bridge still holds and sways in the storms.
Without the obscure metaphors, I can say that I have made positive changes in both my mental and physical health so that I can maintain a healthy and positive lifestyle.
The first habit I formed was to drop energy drinks and drink more water. The second habit is to journal every single day. The third habit is to focus on hygiene every morning, and the fourth major habit was sleeping more consistently with an early wake up.
Drinking more water had made obvious positive changes in my health. With my decision to drop energy drinks and pick up water, I not only prevented the potential heart attack I had been feeling the night before my cessation, but I also inadvertently gave myself vastly more energy. This seems ironic, but the truth is, when you take in caffeine – it is usually in order to feel more awake.
Energy drinks are primarily comprised of a sugar or sugar-substitute, water and all of the fun things that make it an energy drink (taurine, guanine, creatine y mas). Caffeine is a natural diuretic which causes one to lose more water. It also contains a large amount of sugar. This sugar is a fast burning carbohydrate and only provides a small amount of energy for the body versus a drink comprised of whole fruits and vegetables. Ironically, per ounce, there is more potential energy in a smoothie than a can of fizzy-chemical-water.
For instance, the amount of energy in an energy drink can be decided based on its caffeine and caloric content. We will say each can of sugar free energy drink has 15 calories. The smoothie I just made that contains: a banana, a cup of strawberries, a scoop of veggie superfood powder, one scoop of vegan protein, and a scoop of creatine. In this smoothie there are roughly 500-550 calories. Most of the calories in this drink come from slow-burning fruit. This means that not only will the smoothie provide more energy overall, but it also won’t be followed with the post-caffeine crash.
Sure, you might say that the energy drink is better because you get caffeine and it has fewer calories. Calories are not the enemy. Poor food choices are. Calories are energy. If you are getting ready for a long work day, and you grab an energy drink. You are grabbing it for energy. They are both energy, but only one is good for you. Mistakingly grabbing what has fewer calories and more caffeine is where proper nutritional education is paramount.
Thanks to media, we as Americans (not speaking for all countries), are trained to believe that more calories = gaining more weight. This is true. More calories in excess of what you are burning in a day will amount to more weight. Choosing healthy foods within your caloric range is the best way to not only maintain energy but also health and well-being.
Aside from the nutritional changes, the decision to keep going to therapy for my mental health has been another positive change. I also have been taking my medication as I am supposed to and do my best to be kind to myself.
The most important part of maintaining my well-being is working out. I have wrote in many posts prior that I am an elite athlete. I am! I workout as much as I can by participating in CrossFit, flag football, and swimming. The past month has been a little bit of a vacation for me, and it has been nice, but I am ready to get back to the gym and into training for the CrossFit Games 2024.
Moreover, the most important change? Taking time for myself, focusing on happiness, and doing what makes me feel good.