The experimental health kick

Junior tries eating healthy and exercising for 5 days

Story by Ricky Cooks, staff writer

If there’s one thing everyone should know about me, it’s that I love eating junk food and hate working out (I’ve always been pretty active, but I’ve never truly “worked out”). I want to be healthier— I want to use my FitBit to “GetFit” (GetIt?).

Day One: Tuesday

I woke up at 5 a.m. to run around my neighborhood. I’m not going to lie— it was horrible. Through a mix of walking, jogging, and running (dying, too), I went about 4.5 miles. I returned home, fell to the ground, and reveled in my exercise accomplishment (it’s a big deal to me, okay).

Here’s where it got really ugly: breakfast. On the few mornings that I don’t get Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, I eat waffles at home. On those waffles, I add a little more syrup than I ought to. That day, I ate an extravagant breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios, an apple, a granola bar and delicious OJ.

By the time I showered and went to school, I had a ton of energy that I didn’t have before. It was pretty nice, honestly. I also made sure to increase my water intake, and by lunch, I had drunk four bottles.

Instead of eating the cafeteria’s questionable array of foods, I brought a lunch from home consisting of a ham and cheese sandwich (on wheat), a granola bar, an apple, and water. I went through the rest of the school day just fine. At home, I ate a simple turkey sandwich, a banana, drank lots of water, and also lots of chocolate milk (let me have this one). My energy from this morning was still very high.

Day Two: Wednesday

I’m not proud of my eating habits on this day, so to make myself feel better, I’m calling this my “cheat day.” I woke up early again, and ran another four miles. For breakfast, I ate some oatmeal. I went to school feeling great, but when I got out, I was offered chicken strips at a luncheon. I devoured nine of them, along with a roll and some Sprite. I know, it’s pathetic. However, the rest of my day was okay, considering I was so full that I didn’t eat again.

Day Three: Thursday

I woke up early again, and only ran two miles. I stayed up late doing homework the previous night, and really needed to catch up on sleep. I ate some toast with jam, and for lunch, I bought some Subway. I did pretty well, I guess. At this point though, I was tired of this plan. The exercise wasn’t bad at all, but it was becoming more and more difficult every day to watch what I ate.

Day Four: Friday

Waking up a little later that day, I only had time to run about one mile. I ate another homemade breakfast sandwich, and went to school. I had to go to an away football game, so sadly, my dinner choices weren’t too healthy. Being the never prepared guy that I am, I didn’t think to pack my own food for the game. I was a little disappointed. I went home exhausted, dreading another day of this “diet.”

Day Five: Saturday

I would have to say that on this day, I did my best. Obviously it was because it was the last day, but I finished strong. Although I was exhausted from the previous night’s trip, I ran a little over five miles in the morning. I didn’t wake up early, but without school to worry about, I felt comfortable going the extra mile (literally). My mom, bless her, made grilled chicken fillets with steamed broccoli on the side. Those that know me well know I love chicken, and they know I love broccoli. The meal was amazing and I can say that I had a great last day.

In hindsight, there’s a few things that I learned from my healthier lifestyle: the first is that restricting what I eat is horrible—I will never do it again. The second is that running is energizing and exhilarating. The third is that the key to eating healthy is to eat whatever you want, but in moderation. The last is to increase your water intake—it does wonders.

Every time that I took a bite of a chocolate bar, or ate a couple of french fries, it didn’t make me feel horrible. Although this plan only lasted five days, I’ve had lots more energy than before I started. Also, surprisingly, my friends have told me that I’ve been a little nicer too.

I’m proud of what I did, but my love for sweets is too great. I feel like I’ll continue running, but I’m not going to not going to be a health nut ever again. Moderation is key—that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.