Recently, I was watching a TV show in which one of the characters said to another, "(You got fat) because you didn't have any structure. That's what happens when you don't have any rules."
His statement seemed pretty profound to me a couple of hours later when, stuffed full of four peach-mango lemonades, a burger and fries, I felt even more painfully full of regret.
Rules ... I'm not sure I ever really had any. As the youngest of six kids, I think my mom was about four kids beyond enforcing anything other than the major laws. I did have some routine when I was growing up - bedtime and wakeup call at a certain time, breakfast every morning and so forth - but apparently the concept of making and following personal rules didn't stick once I moved out.
My work schedule puts me in the office when most of the population is eating dinner and going to sleep. I like to be asleep within three hours after I lock up the office, but I have no set bedtime. I wake up whenever the college kid next door starts up his rumbly muscle car.
I definitely don't eat breakfast. I used to joke that I'd rather sleep in late and just eat lunch.
I've got to get some structure, though, and breakfast is where I'm starting. I can manage a bowl of oatmeal or a banana.
Next, I have to set some limits on the amount of time I sit at the computer every day.
I've no choice when I'm at work. But, at home, there are better - and more productive - things on which I can spend my time.
My second rule will be to limit myself to an hour of computer use per day at home. I'm planning for it to be the hour right before I leave for work, so, hopefully, I'll feel more pressed to obey it.
And, finally, I vow to exercise at least three times a week, which will be more than usual.
I know what you're thinking ... "Three rules??Is that all she's making?"
But for someone who so far has been blithely skipping along, merrily free of even these simple responsibilities, it could be a challenge.
Hopefully you won't hear any wailing or gnashing of teeth.
Lock is the Sun-Gazette health editor. She may be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 326-1551, ext. 3116.