Remember those “choose your own adventure” books from when you were a kid? The ones where you would reach a decision point and get to select the direction you wanted the story to go? Each time you read the book you could make the same choices or seek adventure by selecting a different option. FIT is a lot like one of these books.
Each decision you make throughout the day has an impact on you – on how you feel, whether you exercise, the food you eat, and the ways you relax. Let’s imagine a pretty typical day, and I’ll explain.
You wake up, barely in time to run a brush through your hair and comb through the piles of clothes strewn across your floor. On the way to school you stop at the corner store to grab an energy drink and a breakfast burrito loaded with cheese and some mystery meat. Whatever, it tastes good and you’re starving.
Halfway through your second class you’re starving again and struggling to stay awake. The energy drink has worn off . You power through to lunch but in your half-asleep mad dash out the door this morning forgot a sandwich. Fries, a cookie, and another energy drink it is!
You cruise through the afternoon, with a candy bar and a soda to keep you perked up. In your last class, you get back a test that you bombed. You’re not surprised though, because you had a huge fight with your best friend the night before and were texting until the wee hours of the morning. Whatevs. You’ll do better on the next one, right?
Free at last! As you’re leaving school, your phone buzzes with a new text. Your buddy wants to play the new video game he just got – sweet! You spend a few hours playing until your mom calls to tell you to come home for dinner.
As you walk in the door, you see that dinner was Chinese take-out and it’s already been put in the fridge. You grab the first box within reach, scarf something that tastes like chicken, and walk upstairs to your room, grunting a greeting in the general direction of your family. You boot up the computer, sign into Facebook/email/Tumblr/YouTube, and remain in front of the screen without moving for another couple hours.
When you finally make it to bed, you continue to text your friends because you can’t fall asleep. Eventually, you drift off with the phone nearby.
So what does any of this have to do with FIT? Everything. Really.
Let’s start from the beginning. Remember how you didn’t get enough sleep and couldn’t wake up on time? And since you were groggy you didn’t remember your lunch, ate a pretty gross breakfast, and nearly fell asleep in class. And that test you failed? You didn’t fail it because you didn’t know the material, you failed because of the fight you had with your friend and because you stayed up super late. And if you ate the same breakfast/lunch combination you did yesterday, that didn’t help your performance either. Spending hours with your butt glued to a seat isn’t helping your figure, your self-esteem, or your sleep. Movement– walking, running, cycling, dancing, or anything that involves not sitting on your butt — is going to do wonders for your body and your mind.
That is FIT. It’s like the butterfly effect. If you get enough sleep, all of a sudden your grades are better, your mood improves, and you have the energy to go for a walk or even- gasp- a run! The same thing happens when you eat better. When you eat well and get enough rest, you want to move. It’s not a chore. And then your mood improves, along with how you feel about yourself. It’s simple, really.
Good food + ample rest + movement + dealing with your feelings = FIT