How Going Homeless Made Me Healthier


I should clarify…

When I was preparing to go homeless, there were a number of factors I had to consider.

  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Hygiene
  • Nutrition
  • Gear & Equipment

I knew right from the get-go that without a regular home where I could rest and re-cooperate, I needed to take every precaution to not get sick. I’ve always been the type of person who seems to get a cold almost every month or two. With frequent drinking, not enough sleep, and rampant stress, my immune system has been a mess for years.

All of that changed when I went homeless.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the month before ditching my apartment I joined Tim Ferriss (and a bunch of other people) in a NOBNOM month. Well guess what? That month turned into two… and I don’t intend to stop. Not drinking booze has not only saved me a ton of money, it’s kept me in good health during a period of HUGE change and stress. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle.

I’ve given up:

This often brings up some questions…

So you don’t go out anymore?  I do! I still go out to bars / clubs from time to time. I just drink non-alcoholic beer or soda water with lime. It’s forced me to become comfortable without the help of the so called “social lubricant.”

No masturbation? Yup. But that doesn’t mean no sex ;)

What’s with the weird food thing? I’ve recently been trying the Paleo diet. No grains, cereals, candy or the like. In the past month I’ve likely eaten more vegetables than I’ve eaten in the past couple years. I’m monitoring progress and will continue or alter this regimen depending on results.

While I’ve given up a number of things, I’ve also taken on quite a few as well.

I’ve taken on:

  • Morning workouts before work
  • Standing while working instead of sitting
  • Eating vegetables I used to not be able to identify (e.g., chard, brussels sprouts)
  • Reading online articles in my industry and about my passions
  • Reading books (what a concept!)
  • Writing (in a daily journal and here on this site)
  • Professional development activities (e.g., startup competition judging, speaking engagements)

Which comes back to the original point of this post.

Throughout my life, I’ve spent countless hours playing Civilization, eating junk food (I love pizza), and watching movies (sometimes back-to-back.) But now… I’m doing push-ups in the office (Push-Up Friday’s have become a real thing — even Engineering joins in), gobbling up broccoli with guacamole, and studying the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Not only has my lifestyle changed, but my sense of who I am: my values, my goals, my competency, has changed.

You obviously don’t need to “go homeless” to take any of this on. It just so happened that making these lifestyle changes wasn’t such a big deal in contrast to ditching my apartment. It makes me wonder what else I can take on… =)

Image Credit: Nancy Regan

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