Healthier 2021: Mark Celebrates Small Victories

This post appears to be part of our Healthier 2021 series, where we track three WebMD team members trying to improve their health this year. You can follow their journey here.

By Mark Spoor

As I got a little older, one thing I learned was that I really had to allow myself to get excited when small gains in life come up. Life is tough, maybe now more than ever. So whatever I can do to keep my mind and space positive improves the lives of not only mine but also those close to me.

Fortunately, I have been able to celebrate a few wins this week.

I took a full yoga class and survived. When I first came back to yoga a few weeks ago, I felt comfortable in small 5-minute workshops focusing on just one pose. It was like I was dipping my toe into the Yoga River. On Sunday, I was bold and tried the 20-minute beginner flow lesson.

How was it? Let’s say my “flow” was like going through a subsection with about 9,000 velocity bumps.

There were some unusual gestures that gave me some trouble, so I found myself constantly looking at my screen trying to figure out what to do. (Isn’t it quite a metaphor for a fitness journey?) But I felt some of the things the teacher said I had to feel and got through without hurting myself.

In fact, most of them felt pretty good.

I got my diet back. Like my Healthier 2021 blogger friend Bill, I really like food. Sometimes, in my attempts to become healthier, to justify the bad eating, “I deserve it. Can eat like this “

Like Bill, I’m a very social person. So I’ll take almost every opportunity to get together with people on a plate. Usually when this happens, the choices I make are not ideal. I don’t order the quartet cheeseburger or have 10-pound eating difficulties (OK, it happened once …), but I love the occasional chicken wing or the very high sandwich and if the people I’m with are eating it sweet, I’m usually just not good at sipping coffee.

After a week or two when I let my meal loosen up a little more, I put things back in order. More fruit, more vegetables, more protein, less sugar. Can I continue? In truth, this is always the biggest battle of my fitness travels. I am really struggling to create a diet full of habits that I can stick to for a few months here or a few weeks there.

Things are fine for now though.

I gave priority to drinking water. I was inspired recently when my fellow healthier 2021 blogger, Laura, wrote about using a really cool looking bottle to encourage herself to get more water. I often tried to drink more water, but to be honest, these attempts were made involuntarily at best. Honestly, how much would an extra glass of water do here?

This time, at least for now, I’m completely in. I bought a water bottle that some might think of a small swimming pool (128 ounces) and actually got closer to finishing a few times.

The biggest challenge? 37 people go to the toilet before lunch.

But so far so good.

I took 50 cycling lessons. I’ve moved from beginner classes to advanced beginner classes and no beginner classes this week.

This is where I really feel a difference during this trip. I sweat a lot, I feel great when I’m done, and I’m actually starting to learn what I’m doing on the bike. I mean, I’m not ready for the Tour de France or anything, but although the wheels on my bike aren’t going forward, I’m pretty sure I am.

What are you celebrating this week?

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