As a relatively new resident of New York, I feel that my transition into my new world has been for the most part pretty painless; I have a full time job, am making friends, and enjoying my time in the city. However, one thing that I did not take into consideration is how different my dietary and exercise habits would be once leaving my parents’ house and being out on my own. I’ve found that working out has taken a major backseat (I don’t even think it’s actually in the car anymore, we may have forgotten to pick it up from soccer practice) and indulging in office treats and happy hours has taken its place.
Attempting to keep control in a new world
When I moved, I was under the assumption that my eating habits would get better because I wouldn’t constantly be surrounded by the millions of desserts that my relatives tend to bring to our weekly Sunday dinner and then leave at our house for us to devour in our spare time during the week. I knew that I wouldn’t be exercising a lot, but hey! New York is a city of public transportation, I’d be getting more walking in! While I do walk a lot, it’s certainly not enough to make up for my pigging out on the weekends. So, now that some time has passed since I’ve moved here and I’m almost fully adjusted to my new lifestyle, I know now is the time to devote myself fully (as opposed to the half-hearted ways I was before) to eating right and getting in more activity.
Working in an office, I bring my lunch, meaning that I can at least plan to eat right during the day. At home, I also dictate my own meals, make a sole meal for myself, and stock up on healthier options (I’m always grateful that I am more than satisfied with an apple and fake peanut butter.) Also, I’ve learned that just because there’s free food around, it doesn’t mean that I’m obligated to eat it. I’m allowed to say “no thanks” when someone brings in cookies, or just walk away on beloved bagel Wednesdays. Where I was cheating before and taking continuous fourths of halves of bagels throughout the day, I’ve decided that I don’t need the bagel, I just want it because I’m sitting at a desk and mindless eating is more fun than working. I’m now back to dedicating to eat well on weekdays, because I know that at least I’ll have done well the majority of the week should an unexpected chance to eat or drink or eat because of drinking occur over the weekend.
My other hurdle is working out.
When I get home from work, all I want to do is eat dinner, watch tv, and surf the internet. My biggest work out has been opening and closing my mouth to chew and moving my fingers across a keyboard. But I have taken steps to fix my sloth-like lifestyle. Before I moved, I worked out four to five days a week because my schedule was part-time and allowed that. I know myself however, and I know that after working an eight-hour day at a full time job, I won’t want to go to the gym and work out before going home. The timing just won’t work out for me and my laziness is out of control. However, I’ve taken other steps. Literal steps, actually. Instead of taking the elevator, I walk the five floors up to my office and the five floors back down every day (that’s a really good test of learning how out of shape you are. I’m always out breath by the third floor). It’s not much, but it’s at least something. Plus, I make sure to drink tons of water throughout the day, which is important (and also a good way to get some activity in since I have to walk to the bathroom twenty times a day). Also, I know that rather than paying for a gym membership I won’t use, I can instead look up workouts on YouTube or Netflix, and try to get activity in that way. That’s absolutely better for me than just lying on the couch for hours, waiting until it’s time for bed.
Moving is a difficult process for numerous reasons, but since I’ve lived away from home before, I wasn’t expecting controlling my diet and exercise to be one of them. I think realizing that there are small steps I can take in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite what obstacles I may come across unexpectedly is extremely important and helpful. It’s far too easy to just give in and think there are no other options other than what is handed to you, and I fully intend to keep all I am learning in my mind at all times.