30 Days of ZooFit: Day 11- Healthy Hygiene Habits

I’m definitely no beauty queen, but I recognize that taking care of myself doesn’t only apply to my diet and exercise program. Daily hygiene is definitely a part of ZooFit, as they are habits we can take to the next level while still promoting a healthy environment.

Some of these habits include brushing and flossing our teeth, taking care of our skin and face, washing, and even our hair.

I went for a dental check-up not long ago and to see about getting a deep cleaning. It’s been a little while since I’ve been to the dentist, but I was distressed with the news I received. I don’t eat a lot of candy. Sugar is actually really low on my diet currently. But that didn’t stop the dentist from noticing my teeth are in rough shape. Scary. I am not as diligent on my flossing as I want to be, and now it may be too late. I have to see a periodontist to consult on what needs to be done. Because I didn’t apply my diligent exercise and diet habits to my dental hygiene, there is a chance I will need a few teeth extracted.

I’m getting better with other hygiene. Perhaps I learned my lesson from my teeth. I have lotions and creams I put on every day. I know it sounds ridiculous for someone in Washington to wear sunscreen, but it is important.

And when I workout, I have to shower. I HAVE TO. No one wants to be around me after my workout unless I’ve showered.

So how does one take care of themselves the ZooFit way?

Two main ideas stick out in my head. Number one is ZooFit’s pillar of developing habits- shaping through operant conditioning. If I had time, I would try to break down the habit of flossing and brushing into smaller steps. But since I’m already in crisis level, trying to save my teeth, I need to make sure I am brushing my teeth thoroughly for a full two minutes (if not more) and flossing all my teeth. So, I decided to give myself a reward card.

It may seem childish, but if it motivates me to maintain a healthy habit of taking care of my teeth, there is nothing to laugh at. When I achieve my goal of 20 days brushing and flossing thoroughly twice a day, I give myself a reward. This round, I set my reward to be a $50 shopping spree at Lush. Lush is kind of a luxury, but it fits with where my husband and I have been heading with our consumer choices, so it’s an appropriate treat to motivate me.

(Side note- notice I am using the term reward instead of reinforcement. Honestly, I don’t know if the shopping spree is a reinforcement…yet. What is reinforcing right now is marking off the reward chart.  Seeing I’m getting closer to a fun splurge at a favorite store is motivating me to keep brushing my teeth and flossing. That is the reinforcement. Not the reward at the end).

If I were really going to develop a habit of flossing and brushing, I normally would start with a short tooth brushing, and flossing a couple teeth. Setting the standard low makes it easy to achieve. Once I have developed a habit of getting started, then increasing my time and focus would be a piece of cake. It’s remembering to start which gives most people the most trouble.

Also, notice I am not giving myself a self-negating treat. There is no ice cream or pie when I complete my goal. In fact, the reward compliments my achievement. Since Lush is a beauty supply store, it fits with my habit of brushing and flossing.

The other way hygiene fits with ZooFit is connecting our consumer choices to conservation. Which is why I have started shopping more at Lush. Now, let me be clear, Lush is not perfect. Not in a zookeeper’s eyes. Lush is fairly vocal in their opinion of zoos and aquariums. They don’t like them. This aspect doesn’t really surprise me, they promote vegan lifestyle, no animal testing (so do most zookeepers, by the way), and are adamant against anything they feel is cruelty to animals. To me, it makes sense. My one beef with Lush is they won’t support some conservation organizations doing amazing work simply because those organizations also get funding from zoos. That’s ludicrous.

So, Lush has a fault. A major flaw, but what they do offer, I am almost willing to turn a blind eye. Lush doesn’t package their soaps in plastic. Most of their products come without the plastic packaging. We also found shampoo and conditioner bars while at Lush. Again, no plastic packaging.

One of their products which does have plastic packaging is their charity pot lotions. I will give them a pass in that it is hard to package lotion in paper. And Lush has a deal where if you bring your charity pot back, you receive a small credit. But the best thing about the charity pots are the proceeds goes to different charities. Some charities are for social change, but a large chunk of charities is for conservation.

So, Chris and I can get soap, shampoo, conditioner, and a slew of other products without crappy plastic, AND support conservation organizations.

We are looking further, too. I’m researching some DIY toothpaste clays to help eliminate the plastic non-recyclable tubes we keep purchasing. I found great reusable products to eliminate my waste during my monthly cycle. And we switched from store bought toilet paper and paper towels to a company called “Who Gives a Crap”. This company uses 100% recycled paper, doesn’t use a lick of plastic in their packaging, and only ships certain number of rolls to eliminate wasted box space.

There are tons of ways to improve our health and wellness with daily habits. These habits can also help save the earth in phenomenal ways.

How are you taking care of yourself today?

 

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