‘No Excuses November’ encourages healthy habits

Courtesy Photo / Aaron Ducharme
Aaron Ducharme

Courtesy Photo / Aaron Ducharme Aaron Ducharme

Samantha Butcher

As men across campus embrace No Shave November as an excuse to give their razor a rest. While raising awareness of men’s health, one Grand Valley State University student is opting out in favor of a different goal.

Aaron Ducharme, a sophomore, is using this month to shed some pounds, raise his grades and improve his habits.

“I decided instead of No Shave November, which is kind of itchy and gross for most people, I’d participate in No Excuses November and get everything in line,” he said.

Ducharme set up a Facebook page to document his efforts. The page, No Excuses November , has 140 fans, but Ducharme said he’d like to see that number increase.

The page’s wall is full of well-wishers and advice. Ducharme said friends and family have been supportive of his efforts.

Ducharme said he plans to continue his efforts past the end of the month.

“Even though my page is No Excuses November, I’m still going to keep updating it through the next couple of months to tell people how I’m doing,” he said.

To fully realize his goals, Ducharme broke them down by week. The first week he focused on a work-out routine and then moved on to improving his organization and cleaning more frequently. This week, he wants to stop biting his nails.

“Biting my nails has been one of the harder things because I always do it,” he said. “People think it should be easy to quit, but it’s not.”

The last week of the month, Ducharme said he’ll put the focus on making No Excuses November a no excuses lifestyle.

“The hardest part has been motivating myself to continue to do it,” he said. “I did something like this last year, and it fell apart because college stresses just kind of piled up. The hardest part has been saying to myself, ‘I know you’re stressed out, but just go to the gym, just do it.’”

So far, his efforts have been successful. Ducharme has spent five days a week at the gym, increased the amount of time he spends on homework and kept his apartment cleaner.

“I kind of realized that it’s college, and this is my opportunity to change if there’s anything about myself that I’m not OK with,” he said. “I decided that I’m healthy for the most part, but I’m not at a healthy weight or living a healthy lifestyle, so I was just like, you know, I could probably start working out more, studying more and getting my life together.”

Finding healthier ways to cope with stress has been critical.

“When I’m stressed it used to be like, let’s throw a bag of chips next to me while I’m doing homework, and now it’s like, what’s a healthier way to do this if I want to snack?”

[email protected]