How family life inspired a bid to live a healthier life…sort of

Having a baby in itself is a life-changing decision and I viewed it as the pinnacle when it came to focusing on what’s important.

But as I’ve learned in recent months, buying a house also has a habit of sharpening your mind.

Perhaps it was the depressingly serious life insurance chat, in which we explored all the possible combinations of painful illnesses and, ultimately, death, which could hinder our ability to repay our mortgage at any moment.

Perhaps it was a combination of committing to such a huge investment and fumbling through looking after an increasingly mobile one-year-old.

Whatever it was, I have begun thinking about my life choices and what I can do to be a bit healthier.

Yeah, eating pumpkin is going to be a step too far at this stage…

At the outset, this isn’t going to be a major epiphany where I shelve a history in which the local Greggs employees know my order and I start bringing rough-looking smoothies and quinoa to work.

It is rather an account of a small change I’ve made on the road to being a tad healthier.

In the last few days, I’ve made a conscious effort to cut my sugar intake. With a busy job in journalism – and a background of drinking tea at probably a younger age than my son – my caffeine intake has been through the roof.

The slew of brews is accompanied by a solid serving of sugar, poured freehand as I imagine Jamie Oliver would do it. If you’re packing in an apple danish and a coke or two per week, the intake quickly racks up.

I had been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, partly prompted by the uplifting reading of all the critical illnesses I was unlikely to shell out being covered for when I picked my level of life cover.

In reality, what pushed the change was the local convenience store being out of sugar on Saturday, leaving me no option but to give sweeteners a crack.

I dream of not appearing to be an old codger in a (relatively) younger body

The only other person I recall using sweeteners was my gramp. Older folk managing diabetes was probably the stereotype in my mind as I pondered the purchase.

It’s that image, strengthened by my love of the often-branded ‘old man’s sport’ golf, which I battled with in the aisles on Saturday. A few days in, it’s less of a concern over sounding like I’ve bought a bumper pack of tic-tacs as the things rattle around in my pocket.

It’s slightly satisfying, though, to be getting the taste of a sugary cuppa in what must surely be a healthier way. Rough maths would suggest a six-cup-a-day habit with at least a teaspoon of sugar is saving me a good 24 grams of the stuff a day – not far short of the recommended daily amount in itself.

My bubble was somewhat burst, however, when a trainee reporter piped up in the office: “Aren’t they carcinogenic,” he proudly questioned.

“So are sausages,” I replied, before assigning him a particularly mundane story as a reward for his smugness! Brief research appears to suggest they’re ok.

Sugar is step one. The Greggs addiction and the caffeine may come at a later date…

Has a major moment in your life inspired you to make a change?





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