Life Hacks: Un-Hacked

My friend, Ethan Kaplan, has got a winning plan. I was doing almost the same thing for a few months, and the results were great… then the holidays came around and my efforts feel to apart. I’ve taken a few steps backward, and I really need to get back on the right path.

I’ve always felt that the day-to-day life of a geek is already ‘hacked’.
Gadgets, toys, networks, hardware, software, etc – all are things that are supposed to make life easier but really just add layers of complexity to your life. You’ve become the Borg, buried so deep in technology and efficiency that you forget the underlying basics of life.  Returning to the basics, and using common sense, is a great start to getting healthy. It’s essential to be able to ‘un-hack’ yourself and be able to separate your ‘digital life’ from your ‘real life’.

My basic plan was to alter my habits without doing a 180. I find it easier to modify my long-term behaviors by slowly changing things. Trying to change to many things at once usually results in failure.

So here is my self-compromised plan:

Exercise: Ok, I wasn’t doing much exercise but I was making a point to try and get out of the house and walk instead of just plopping down at the computer or TV. I’ve got a nice gym here, I never use it… and I should. Some exercise is better than none, and the time spent exercising is time not spent sitting at a desk or couch.

Food:  Essentially I was trying to eat 2 low calorie meals a day. Additionally, I’d have one ‘regular meal’ where I wouldn’t so much worry about the number of calories but instead have exactly what I was craving for the day but eat a smaller portion, and of course try to make it as healthy as I could. Throwing in some low-cal snacks throughout the day kept me going as well. Low-Cal pre-made things to eat:Lean Cuisine meals (300-500 cals) for Lunch or Dinner, Lean Pockets and South Beach breakfast burritos for Breakfast, and 100 Calorie Packs for snacks.

Liquids: Water. Water. Water. I cut out soda, iced tea, and regular (sugary) juices. I substituted  regular  juices with the Ocean Spray low calorie/low sugar Cran-mixes. Adding lemon to water sometimes changes it up nicely too.  If you’re only peeing a few times a day, you’re not drinking enough… and pee is not only a great indication of hydration levels, but also of the amounts of excess intake of sugar (as well as other things). Color is everything ;)

Hobbies/Activities: Computers/electronics SUCK UP ALL MY TIME if I let them. I have to make a concerted effort to find other things to do; walking, exploring, photography, cleaning, doing errands, etc. Anything that gets me out of the house and moving around, or being ‘non-computer’ productive, is a good thing.

And Ethan’s 100% right… wives and girlfriends really do appreciate the last bit.

The hardest thing about all this is just sticking with it.  My 2 month ‘break’ ends now. Today’s the day. Thanks for the re-inspiration Ethan!

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