Passive Changes Are Better Than Nothing, I Suppose

After my physical last year, my doctor and I discussed health goals in general. I was, as always, interested in finding out how to drop a dress size or two and she, as always, was more interested in my dumb old cholesterol. 

“To improve one’s health,” she said, “one must make aggressive lifestyle changes.” 

I am fairly certain there’s a course in all medical schools where future physicians are taught to say “one” instead of “you,” the reasoning being it sounds not only classier, but kinder than saying “Stop eating like a starving bovine and you’ll drop the tonnage, honey.”

That visit was almost a year ago and since the most aggressive lifestyle change I’ve made during that time has been moving the remote control to the far side of the coffee table so I have to reach for it, I think I might be in for another lecture at my upcoming appointment. 

It is harder to make any kind of lifestyle change, let alone the aggressive kind, as one ages. (See? I can say “one” too and I didn’t even go to medical school, although I did get a pretty good education watching reruns of “Medical Center” and “ER”.) There is still a little time before my next appointment, and I am seizing it to try to make a few more changes. Passive changes but changes just the same. Such as: 

-Eating oatmeal for breakfast mostly every day. Or an oatmeal cookie, whichever is handier.  

-Drinking more water. Just for fun, I looked up what kind of diet Tom Brady is on because either he has an aging self-portrait hanging in in his locker or he studies a spell book in addition to a playbook because that guy looks far too young for his years. Apparently, TB does adhere to a regimented diet, too regimented for me, but what caught my eye was that he drinks 25 glasses of water a day. If I drank that much water, I’d have to move my work cubicle into the ladies’ room. Still, I decided to up my water intake considerably. While I recognize that trying to follow lifestyle tips from a 40ish professional football player falls under the category of wishful thinking, drinking more water is something I can manage. 

-Walking over my lunch break instead of eating Pringles. Exercising wouldn’t be quite so painful if it was more fun, like swimming in the Aegean Ocean with the reward of a glass of retsina when one is done. But since reality is walking around the block in snow and ice with the reward of a glass of water, one must deal with that. 

-Cutting down on negative thinking. This is a toughie, especially on the road when every other driver appears to have just taken a hallucinogenic that makes stop signs vanish. I try to generously think, “They must be in a hurry and that’s why they drive like a bat just released from hell.” I try to think that, but more often than not I give into negativity and hope they run into a snowbank.

-Avoiding stress. That doesn’t really belong on the passive To Do list, but I have to think it would help everyone’s health immensely since the only way to avoid stress is to avoid stressors, like work, taxes and other people’s opinions. I haven’t quite figured out how to tackle any of those, but I’m working on it. 

Maybe after my next checkup I’ll graduate from making passive changes to passive-aggressive changes, like bringing keto friendly pork rinds instead of brownies to work when it’s my turn to furnish treats. After that, maybe I’ll be up to making those aggressive changes. And after that, well, I’m not sure what comes after aggressive, but one can hope it will be healthy in the long run. 


2 thoughts on “Passive Changes Are Better Than Nothing, I Suppose

  1. Dave Barry has met his match in you!
    Twenty five glasses of water sounds more like a Chinese water torture, than a health routine. Next thing you know, you’ll make me eat broccoli instead of oatmeal cookies.


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