Healthier 2021: Mark Celebrates Small Victories

This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.

By Mark Spoor

As I get a little older one thing I’ve learned is that I really have to allow myself to get excited about life’s little victories when they happen. Life is tough, maybe more than ever. So anything I can do to keep my mind and space positive is not only improving my life, but the lives of my loved ones as well.

Fortunately, I was able to celebrate some victories this week.

I took a full yoga class and survived it. When I returned to yoga for the first time a few weeks ago, I only felt comfortable doing small 5 minute workshops focused on a single pose. It was as if I was dipping my toe in the Yoga River. I had the courage on Sunday and tried a 20 minute beginner flow class.

How was it? Let’s just say my “flow” was a bit more like driving through a subdivision with about 9,000 speed bumps.

There were some unfamiliar moves that gave me a bit of trouble, so I found myself constantly staring at my screen trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. (A metaphor for a fitness trip, don’t you think?) But I felt part of what the instructor said I should feel, and I went through it without hurting myself.

In fact, much of it was pretty good.

I put my diet back online. Like my colleague Bill, 2021 health blogger, I really like food. Sometimes in my attempts to be healthier, I will justify eating poorly by saying, “I deserve it. I train so that I can eat like that. “

Also like Bill, I’m a pretty sociable guy. So I take almost every opportunity to get together with people around a plate. Usually when this happens, the choices I make are not ideal. I don’t order quadruple cheeseburgers or take on 10-pound dietary challenges (OK, there was once …), but I like the occasional chicken wings or dizzying sandwiches, and if the people I am with have dessert, I usually don’t agree to sip coffee.

After a week or two of allowing myself to be a little more lax on my food, I put things back in order. More fruit, more vegetables, more protein, less sugar. Can i continue? In truth, it’s still the biggest battle of my fitness trips. I really struggle to build a diet that is rich in habits that I can stick to all my life, as opposed to the ones I can stick with for a few months here or a few weeks there.

For now, however, things are going well.

I made drinking water a priority. I was inspired by my fellow 2021 health blogger Laura when she recently wrote about using a really cool bottle to encourage yourself to have more water. I have often tried to drink more water, but if I am honest these attempts have been half-hearted at best. I mean honestly, how much good can an extra glass of water do here or there?

This time, at least for now, I totally agree. I bought a bottle of water that some might mistake for a small pool (128 ounces), and actually almost finished it a few times.

The biggest challenge? The 37 trips to the bathroom before lunch.

But so far all is well.

I took 50 cycling lessons. I switched from beginner classes to advanced beginners classes for classes that are not beginners at all this week.

This is where I really feel a difference on this trip. I sweat a lot, I feel great when I’m done and I’m starting to know what I’m doing on the bike. I mean, I’m not ready for the Tour de France or anything, but even though the wheels on my bike aren’t progressing I’m pretty sure I am.

What are you celebrating this week?

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