Living LifeWise: A Day of Small Victories

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Living LifeWise is a regular column provided by LifeWise Ambassadors — LifeWise employees whose healthy choices are helping them live better lives. Today’s column is provided by LifeWise Ambassador Aaron Reid.

Few things are as satisfying as the knowledge that your day was full of healthy actions: You exercised and ate right, so you end the day ready to sleep like a baby.

But not every day can be an all-star day.

Even if your day is not full of healthy actions, there is something to be said for when you make it through with no explicitly unhealthy actions. Some would call this a lowering of standards, but I prefer to call it: A Day of Small Victories.

Yesterday was one such day:

6:00 a.m. – The first critical decision of the day is triggered by my alarm. Remaining in bed all day and slowly composting where I lay is surely not a healthy move — but it’s all I want to do each and every morning. I fight the temptation to go to sleep, and instead plod toward the shower. First battle won.

8:15 a.m. – Usually when I get my morning coffee, I add more than a couple splashes of cream. (Watching the color change makes all the calories worth it, I tend to think.) But today, I leave the cream on the counter and drop in a handful of ice to cool the coffee down. This allows me to get through the unpleasant experience of drinking my cream-less coffee in a few quick gulps.

Tastes like victory.

11:30 a.m. – As I sit at my desk and deal with the pangs of mid-day hunger, I think about the Jack in the Box Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger and how it represents the perfect combination of delicious and affordable. I get up and head out to my car. Then I think about how the burger does not represent the perfect combination of delicious, affordable and healthy. I turn around and go back to my desk, opting for a more health-conscious lunch instead. So not only did I make a good dietary decision, I also went out for a walk. Double win.

10:40 p.m. – Late evening is a vulnerable time for me, when most of my poorest decisions are made. As I sit in the living room, staring at the television, I remember that I’ve only watched the first 40 minutes of Live Free or Die Hard. If I start now, I can finish it and still be in bed shortly after midnight. I start the movie where I left off and am quickly reminded how bad the first 40 minutes were. I delete the rest of the movie from my DVR and head to bed. Not the biggest triumph in history, I know. But it does give me an additional 90 minutes of precious sleep before another day in the office, and it also frees up the time I would have squandered some day in the future listening to a barrage of corny one-liners from Bruce Willis, Instead, I bought myself 90 minutes I can spend doing something a little healthier. (Ninety minutes is the perfect amount of time for a good workout, I muse …)

10:45 p.m. – On my way to bed, musing about exercise, I pass through the kitchen and open the refrigerator without ever making the conscious decision to do so. The action is raw, animal instinct.

Then I close it again and continue on my way to bed. I deserve a medal.


Aaron Reid is a lifelong non-athlete, husband and father of two. Aaron lives in Tukwila near a nice running trail with rabbits, most of whom have never seen him. He began running in 2012 and ran his first 5K that same year. However, his most impressive fitness accomplishment is that he has been sucking in his stomach from the age of 12 to the age of 38. Living LifeWise is a part of Aaron’s quest to one day enjoy running and have washboard abs. Meet Aaron and hear more about what Living LifeWise means to him on the LifeWise Health Plan of Washington YouTube channel.