Adulthood is great. It’s all freedom and cookies for dinner and staying up til four in the morning for no reason, just because you can. Adulthood is also terrible, for those exact same reasons. As kids, we never really appreciate how awesome it is to have someone taking care of us. Turns out, it’s actually great to have someone making sure you eat balanced meals and brush your hair and go to the dentist and generally make sure that you don’t die. Then suddenly you head off to college, and you have none of that. I think there’s also a tendency to glamorize not taking care of ourselves, the mentality of “Oh, I’m soooooooooo busy with work/school/my crazy social life/etc. to have time to eat right/bathe/go to the gynecologist.” Unfortunately, there is nothing glamorous about diabetes, or just being a slob. So, six signs you need to start taking better care of yourself:
1. The last vegetable you ate was deep fried, covered in cheese or was the celery stick in your Bloody Mary.
I get this. I have been there. I remember the first time a guy at work tried to make me eat kale chips, and I was just like, “These are gross” and went to the vending machine for potato chips. But, according to my extensive research (I read two health blogs, so I’m basically a nutritionist), apparently there are “vitamins” and “minerals” that the Flintstones vitamin I take every morning might not be adequately providing. (Yes, I know they’re for children, I just like the way they taste.) Anyway, these nutrient things are apparently key to staying healthy, and one of the better ways to get them is fruits and vegetables. Yes, they go bad, yes, you may actually have to visit an actual grocery store or farmer’s market to buy them, but they are surprisingly delicious and you will feel all kinds of virtuous after eating them. Self righteousness aside, I also tend to feel physically better when I’m eating foods that grew from a plant as opposed being made in a plant that also processes food.
2. The last time you worked out was your high school gym class.
It seems like every news website I read lately at some point has some article about how we’re all going to die young because we all sit in front of our computers all day. This is totally annoying, because I’m pretty sure not having a job might also lead to me dying younger, and I just don’t think I’m cut out for construction work or cheerleading or some other job where you get paid to actually move around. So I try to combat this at least a little bit by exercising. Also, I just really like running. You might hate it, and that’s fine. But I promise, if you look around and try some things, you’ll probably find something you can do for an hour a couple of times a week that involves moving, and is fun for you. I have no idea what either of these things are, but I hear people like “Crossfit” and “Zumba.”
3. Your last visit to the doctor was to a pediatrician.
When I was little, my mom used to bribe me to go to the doctor (or do anything unpleasant, really) by taking me to get a milkshake afterward. As an adult, I’m capable of getting a milkshake whenever I want, so this isn’t a great motivator for getting myself to the doctor. Also, going to the doctor as a kid is really fun, because you get told you’re taller and you weigh more, which is great, because you’re growing, and you usually get stickers or candy when you leave. As an adult, you get told you weigh more, which is less great, and you usually leave with paperwork that forces you to go to Quest Diagnostics and have blood taken. I know, I’m not selling this as a thing you should do. But I think everyone has that friend who’s had the terrifying health scare, so perhaps it’s time you go to a dermatologist and have that weird mole looked at. Or find yourself one of those Primary Care Physicians I’ve heard so much about and schedule yourself an annual checkup. Also, go to the dentist. It’s no fun, but do you know what’s less fun? Dentures.