Zia Hassan

The First Question The Doctor Asks

“Can you tell me about your diet and exercise?”

It’s one of the first questions the doctor usually asks. About 3 years ago, this was the first question I was asked at my physical. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer.

“Uh. I could do better, I guess,” I said.

The truth is, I hadn’t even thought about it. Fitness was just whatever my daily activity was based on my job and my hobbies. Diet was just whatever restaurant or fast food joint happened to appear. For most of my 20’s, that was the food court at the bottom of my office building. My diet and fitness weren’t planned. They were simply a matter of convenience. And that convenience had evolved into some health issues.

I realized something profound that day: diet and fitness need to be intentional and designed, if you care about your health. It doesn’t mean you need to go on a full out extreme diet. Or that you need to spend hours in the gym. Even if your diet plan is to eat mostly whole foods, and your fitness is a 5 min walk every week, that’s still a plan. And even the smallest plans can grow.