Is Today THE Day?
THE Day…is it today, next Monday, January 1st, or 6 months before that class reunion? As you may or may not know, my day came after a series of events. It started with thinking that losing “baby weight” was probably out of the question as my baby turned 6 years old. It continued with hearing health and wellness expert speak about health and wellness. It hit me like a ton of bricks after my mother had a devastating stroke. My day finally arrived that day.
Let’s think about your day. My first two cents comes in the form of me yelling in your ear “TODAY IS YOUR DAY!!” Don’t make the mistake of waiting for some arbitrary day to start making those healthy choices. When you wait for THE day-that day circled in red on your calendar- you begin what feels like a death march. You do things like eat an entire cheesecake believing that it will be the last time you’ll taste that creamy goodness for the rest of your life. You drink 3 margaritas telling yourself that after THE day you’ll be drinking water with lemon during your next girls’ night out. I know some of you will have that ceremonial last supper that represents the end of all bad food choices by completely gorging yourselves.
Don’t waste time. Try to remember that life is long…hopefully. You didn’t develop your habits overnight. They’ve come as a result of gradual changes over time. It is this kind of change that is everlasting. Let’s get that pendulum swinging in the direction of health and wellness. Start with thinking “both/and” versus “either/or”. Instead of saying that pop or soda is the devil, drink a large glass of water before you grab that carbonated beverage. You may or may not be thirsty enough to drink it. Instead of passing that pizza up all together, have a hearty salad first and then have the pizza if you have room. I guarantee you will not have as much room for the pizza as you would have if you jumped right in to that cheesy slice first. Adding versus taking away always feels better to me and I’m guessing for you as well. ANY change you make, no matter how small, is definitely worth doing. This also goes for exercise or activity as well. I have been there. Completely motivated, bordering on manic. I’ve taken 2 exercise classes back to back or been over confident in the weight room. The morning after is never a pretty thing. Activity like that results in creative swearing, awkward hobbling, and usually a lot of over the counter pain relievers. What I suggest is to just do more. That’s right. Just do more. I understand that it sounds a bit simplistic, but why does it have to be complicated? If you are a couch potato – you know who you are – get up and walk for 10 minutes. If that feels okay, then go ahead and walk for 15 minutes the next day or go for two 10 minute walks instead. If you have been active in the past, take it up again, but start realistically. If you used to work out 5 days a week, try starting with 2 or 3 days at first.
These gradual changes apply to your family as well. You know that the “others” in your household will rise up against you should you try to instill a slew of drastic changes. Who needs that kind of additional drama? Swearing off fast food all together may be impossible. I know this is the case at my house. I try desperately to plan ahead and not get caught in the drive-thru lane. Alas, I’m not Wonder Woman and I’m okay with this reality. We, as a family, eat very healthy about 80% of the time. What’s that look like? No one in the house ever skips breakfast. We all pack lunch 4 out of 5 days during the week. There are always 2 servings of vegetables or fruit with every meal. Fruit bowls are full of apples, pears and bananas so we grab those first. When we do get fast food we share fries instead of getting a box for each of us. We drink water or milk. When we have something that is not so good for us, we balance it by doing something that is good for us. Good for us ideas can be a long family walk, a glass of milk and an apple with dessert, or making sure that we have extra veggies the next day.
You know where you are. Now is the time to take yourself and your family forward. These changes are meant to reward not punish. You all deserve a healthy and happy life. In the midst of all the chaos of life, take the time to make health and wellness a conscious part of your daily routine until it becomes routine. As I think about my mother who didn’t take the time to make healthy lifestyle choices. I hope and strive for a different life for myself and my family. Health and wellness may not be a priority until you don’t have it. Don’t take your health for granted because it may just be a day away from being something very different.
Make today THE day!