Leap Day – Diet Day 48

Leap year is a constant reminder of the human species recognizing they are not perfect. It’s funny, every day much of our lives are dictated by the calendar and the clock. We have time-based appointments that require us to rush from activity to activity. We gauge our success in how much we are able to accomplish based on a 24-hour day. Very few of us ever stop to question why we let the clock run our very existence.

But clocks and the calendar are not absolutes and they are not infallible. We are reminded of that fact every four years when the calendar needs an extra day inserted in order to make up for the errors in calculation of time passage. The error is further magnified by the fact that it’s not every four years that we get this leap day. The calculation itself shows that we really don’t have a good and effective way to measure time.

According to Wikipedia, the omnipotent body of Internet knowledge by the nameless masses, a leap year only occurs in years that are evenly divisible by four meaning that there will be some century marks where an extra day is not added. The purpose of adding the day is to even out the rotation of the Earth around the sun (or the rotation of the universe around a teenager for those of us who have children between the ages of 13-19). It is necessary because a solar year is actually 6 hours longer than 365 days.

But rather than harp on the fact that we as humans have our lives ruled by an inaccurate measurement I decided to take an optimist’s view of today. We are given a gift, one that many of us wish for each and every day.

When looking at the insurmountable to-do lists that we make every day and the frustration we feel every night looking at that same list with little or no progress made; we find ourselves wishing we could have just a little more time to accomplish the things we wanted to do.

Today is the fulfillment of that wish. Today is that extra day that we all beg for in order to get our lives back in order. The question is, what will you do with that extra time?

For my life leading up to this point I likely would have spent leap day the same way as I spent every other day. I would get up, make poor choices about what I would eat, I would sit in front of a computer screen or a television for 12-15 hours continually eating processed foods or those with excessive amounts of sugar. My body would absorb all of these calories and I would literally inch my way closer to death. That may seem overly dramatic but in reality that was what I was doing subconsciously.

My outlook is a little different now. I have begun a journey to become healthier. It began in mid-January and has progressed for the past six weeks. I now have a health coach, Amy, who takes an active interest in helping me become healthier. I was up early after a great night’s sleep and had a healthy breakfast. Despite having to work all day I took small breaks to walk around and be active. Tonight I had a healthy meal of fresh vegetables and a right-sized portion of grilled chicken.

Rather than being sluggish and laying around or working on the computer I took a walk with my wife. For nearly an hour we walked and talked about our lives, the kids, work, and dreams. It was a day made possible because I realized how important it was to change my life and begin taking better care of myself.

This really was a free day. Not because I was free to do anything I wanted but one that helped me realize how much more freedom I had by changing my lifestyle and working with a health coach to become a better person who will hopefully extend his life to watch my family grow and reach their potential.

For once the failure of man to come up with a way to track time worked to my advantage and that makes for a great day.


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