Yup. This blog post is really happening.
Last Friday I lost my iPhone, and the hardest part about the following week was not being able to play Candy Crush Saga. I know. I’m embarrassing. But it got me to thinking about the game (a lot), and the next thing you know, I was analogizing it to health and fitness in a feeble attempt to make my withdrawals significant. And instead of keeping these thoughts to myself like any other self-respecting adult, I’ve decided to publish them on the internet in a post that will hopefully be somewhat amusing, but will probably just result in me losing half my followers. Oh well.
1. The more you nail in a row, the greater the reward.
Three yellows in a row is great and all, but there’s nothing more satisfying than that disco ball candy that appears after lining up five. In the same vein, having a healthy day of eating right and hitting the gym is awesome, but real results are seen when you stick to it consistently. A week is great, a month is better, a year is fantastic, a lifetime is the goal.
2. Thirty minutes is a really long time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for that 30-minute time out when I’ve used up all my lives—if Candy Crush didn’t force me to stop playing, I’d probably have no social life at all. But 30 minutes feels like 30 years when you’re stuck on a long bus ride and desperately trying to beat a level.
When it comes to staying fit, 30 minutes is again a significant amount of time. In just half an hour a day (or even less), you can get in amazing shape and do wonders for your body. And at the same time, 30 minutes is no time at all. That’s just 2% of a day. Suck it up and dedicate that time to breaking a sweat.
3. Spending lots of money makes it easier, but the real champions are the ones who don’t spend a dime.
Being on level 364 is a lot less impressive if you’ve spent $400 on lollipop hammers to get there.
I often think about how much healthier I could be if I had unlimited money to spend on organic foods, exotic beauty products, world-renowned personal trainers and trendy boutique fitness classes. But at the end of the day, you don’t need any of those things to live a healthy life. Going for runs and doing bodyweight interval training at home may take a little more self-discipline than having a trainer at a fancy gym force you to workout, but it’s a free way to get the same results.
4. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people—-you can do it alone, but a support system makes a world of difference.
Thank god I have friends who are equally as addicted to Candy Crush and will help me unlock new episodes. Without them, I’d have to complete those obnoxious quests every time I was ready for new levels—oh the horror!
Similarly, it’s so much easier to live a healthy lifestyle if you surround yourself with people who do the same. Having a friend who wants to go to Pilates classes with you or a family who is dedicated to cooking healthy meals for dinner each night makes a world of difference.
5. If you’re not constantly working to whittle it away, those sugary treats will multiply like rabbits (on your ass).
That motherf*cking chocolate. You know the levels I’m talking about—those blobs of chocolate spread across the board if you’re not constantly chipping away at them. It’s no imaginative stretch to see that real chocolate (and all sweets) act the same way. A cookie here and there isn’t going to kill you, but you have to balance indulgences with healthy eating the rest of the day and a good workout.
6. Sometimes you’ll get stuck along the way. But it only makes your eventual advancement feel like that much greater of an accomplishment.
I was stuck on level 169 for like three weeks. It got to the point where playing wasn’t even fun and I was losing hope and ready to just delete the app. But when I finally lined up two disco ball candies in a row and decimated the board, it made reaching 170 all the more satisfying.
Weight loss plateaus are frustrating as well, but you can break through them, and when you do, you’ll be that much stronger for not giving up.
7. You can post about your progress on Facebook and social media…but everyone will think you’re annoying.
So And So likes your activity on Candy Crush.
Wait. What?! How do they know?? I panicked. Had I just inadvertently committed social suicide? Probably. Nobody cares about your CCS success cluttering up newsfeeds—it’s like one small step up from getting Farmville requests. We’re all trying to stalk pictures of ex-boyfriends’ new girlfriends and feel better about ourselves by reading statuses from that one kid you went to high school with who still lives at home and thinks “is” is spelled with a “z” and “that” spelled with a “d.” Oh, you just completed level 83 of Candy Crush? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
For some reason, constant updates about that run you went on and that green juice you started your day with are met with the same annoyance. It’s ironic because I have a health blog, but I’m guilty of feeling irritated at times, too. I think part of it is that if you’re sitting on the couch heading into your second straight hour of creeping on the ‘book, seeing that someone just did CrossFit makes you feel bad about yourself. It’s kind of like when I’m hungover, stuffing my face with food at brunch and see someone who definitely just got eight hours of sleep jog by the restaurant. So rude.
The other part of it is that people who consistently live a healthy life don’t think a morning run or salad for lunch is newsworthy. Like if you updated your status every time you took a shower. Cool, I showered today, too. Yawn. At the end of the day though, we should all be supportive of anyone who is striving to live a healthy life…or beat level 169 of Candy Crush Saga.
8. Candy is addicting. But the less you consume it, the less you crave it.
Day 1 of being phoneless was rough. Day 2 without CCS was even harder. But by day 7, I didn’t even think much about playing the game.
Sugar is just as addicting, but the less you consume it, the less your body will crave it. If you give up sweets, you may crave an ice cream for the first few days, but two weeks into it, you’ll be saying Ben & Jerry’s who?
9. It never ends; it’s a way of life.
Every few weeks, those maniacal, asshole Candy Crush developers come out with new levels. They’re up to about 400 now, but it’ll continue to grow. You’ll never reach the end. Never complete the game. Never be able to stop playing. They’ve got you hooked for life.
Being fit and healthy is the same way—it needs to become a lifestyle. Success can’t be maintained if you go on a weeklong crash diet or go to the gym every day for a month and then stop. You can’t have the mindset that it’s something you’re only going to do for a fixed amount of time or until a certain goal is achieved; you have to adopt fitness and healthy eating habits into your permanent way of life.
Alright, I’m done. Thanks for tolerating this blog post, and I promise I’ll provide you with something useful tomorrow.
And congratulations to the winner of the Gymboss Interval Timer! I’ve sent you an email.
For all you fellow Candy Crushers—what level are you on??