Small Steps

One of the biggest things you can do to help your personal health is just take little steps.

Most of the time – habits build upon each other. These can snowball into a greater sense of personal wellness by finding out how things relate to each other.

I think one of the best things to start out with personal health is just being more aware of what you’re doing every day. Don’t go full out completely tracking calories or running a 5K. Start small: look at the nutrition labels on the majority of things you eat. Try to keep a mental tally in your head about what you’ve eaten, and how much of it you have.

I would suggest using this tool https://tdeecalculator.net. It can help you calculator your “Total Daily Energy Expenditure”. That is, the amount of calories you burn every day. Your body burns a set amount of calories every day, no matter what you actually do. On top of that, there are “Active Calories”, that your body will end up burning when you do any physical activity.

Keeping these in mind and keeping track of how much you eat, at the bare minimum, will help you become more aware of your personal health. Maybe you’ll find out something about your regular meals that you didn’t previously know. Or you may find that you’re not eating enough.

What I’ve done recently is use an app called CARROT Hunger. It’s a fun app with a sarcastic robot that encourages you/pretends to threaten you about your eating habits. In the past I’ve used a tool like My FitnessPal, but I got sick of their slow app, so I switched to this instead.

I’ve found a lot of things regarding my health when tracking calories. Here are just a few:

1: Fruit is seriously the best filler. And it’s super underrated. Often times I may feel like I’m really hungry mid afternoon, but after a banana or an orange I find that I wasn’t all that hungry. A bit of fruit helps boost your blood sugar, and the fiber will help you stay full longer than a less filling food such as chips.

2: There really is an affect on you depending on the category or type of nutrient you eat. You can try this yourself by either eating a protein heavy diet, cutting out carbs for a day, or thing whatever is ‘hip’. Carbs will help you be more energized for a workout, or protein can help you stay less hungry. (One thing to note here – I personally don’t see the point in doing diets such as “NO CARBS EVER AHH” or cutting down on sugar [especially when fruit sugar is perfectly fine]. While these may help you if you’re trying to just cut back on things, what’s more successful is just noticing the calories you eat. Carbs don’t make you more fat than anything else. They just happen to have more calories in general)

3: 2000 Calories is actually a lot of food. If you plan it right. If you eat nothing but chips and microwaveable foods, you’ll find that it doesn’t seem like a lot. But if you focus on things like nuts, fruits, yogurts, etc, you may be more full before you know it.

Where to begin

Look, I definitely was never ever a natural at this. If you saw pictures of me just a few years back, especially near the end of high school, I wasn’t the crazy athletic kid that took an extra PE class. And I wasn’t one to be involved in school sports either. When I first started college I dreaded the idea of anything sports related, and having to do yet another type of exercise class.

That’s the biggest thing with health. We all should take care in measuring it, maintaining it, and keeping it in high regard. But it can seem overwhelming. A task no one really wants to worry about. But, unlike a hobby such as reading, your favorite sports team, or keeping your morning routine simple, health is different – it’s a requirement. If you woke up tomorrow and didn’t eat, you’d feel terrible. And you’d really eventually die if you ate nothing but those nasty little pumpkins things that we get around halloween but during the rest of the year everyone realizes are a terrible idea.

I kickstarted my own personal journey into health about 4 years ago. It never was a single, streamlined process. It had its starts and stops, and times where I thought it was too much to handle, or that microwaveable dinners were cheap and convenient, and dammit I was going to take advantage of the sales Stouffer’s had.

Four years ago I got into running. Mainly because a friend of mine wanted to get back into their running habit, and, being a good friend, I said “Sure, I’ll show up at 6 am and we can go running.”

Running is what started it for me. After you run, you kind of naturally learn towards those 6 eggs or so that you eat afterwards. And while buying eggs you become curious about the avocados, decide to go to a place like Sprouts, and then suddenly you’re making protein smoothies with avocado, blueberries, and about five different types of ‘all natural’ boosters. And when your run and track it, you realize that the bag of chips you’re craving to dig into a good TV show with aren’t really worth it considering how dense they are.

This whole beginning post is somewhat of a self monologue to where and how I got to where I am, and I’ll do my best to more clearly define the actual health habits I have. Know, however, that it could very well be anything, from a new store you find, a type of food you learn to enjoy, to figuring out how many calories are really in that delicious scone at the bakery you frequently find yourself at… health can be something you find yourself focusing on just after one little habit. And that’s a good thing.

Hey there. I’m Kyle

I like to think of myself as a man of many hats, and an amateur at all of them.

Over the past year I really got into continuing a more healthier lifestyle, keeping up an exercise routine, and generally trying to better my self physically. Among the things I’ve done and tools I’ve used are a slew of apps, motivational methods, ideas and ways of thinking, and some gadgets.

I hope to be able to surface a few of those utilities I’ve used personally, to not only keep track of what I have done, but to inspire others who are either in the same shoes as me, or further behind or way ahead. No matter what level you are, or even if you don’t think you can start, I think this will hopefully be a good tool for you.