Why is it so hard to change our behavior? I mean, I know what I need to do to feel better physically and mentally: eat a balanced diet, exercise, get better rest. If I spent as much time doing those things as I spend thinking about doing them, I would be golden!
Years of practicing bad habits have trained my mind to crave instant gratification. Sleep late instead of getting up early to take a walk? Of course. Waste time on Facebook? Why not? Baskin Robbins’ Peanut Butter n’ Chocolate Ice Cream? Oh, my God, yes! Like Pavlov’s dogs, I automatically salivate at the thought of waffle fries.
I went to a doctor’s appointment with my mom on Thursday, and as I listened to her talk to a doctor about her health and the medication she’s taking, I thought about what she’s endured over the years: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pulmonary embolism, cancer and cancer treatment (three times), and knee surgery for a torn meniscus. I don’t know how much of those ailments can be attributed to her lifestyle, but I realized that if I don’t take charge of my health, I might face some of the problems. (For the record, my mom looks fantastic! When people see her, they always comment on how good she looks, and I am in awe of her resilience.)
I’m overweight, but I don’t have any health problems commonly associated with obesity (although there is research that contradicts the idea that obesity is inextricably linked to poor health; more on that later.) I have, however, become unhappier than usual with the way my body looks and feels. Bra straps dig into my shoulders, belly fat makes me go “blech” every time I look at myself in the mirror, double chins haunt my dreams, and I loathe having my picture taken.
A little over 20 years ago, I joined Jenny Craig and lost 35 pounds, reaching my lowest adult weight of 153. Although I looked and felt better at that weight than I had in a long time, I still had about 20 pounds to lose. Now I would kill to be 153 again! How sad is that?
So today, I’m changing my habits. I took a walk instead of spending 30 more minutes on Facebook. I ordered food for the 3 Day Challenge at My Fit Foods. I swear I’m going to start winding down my evening at 10:00 tonight so I can fall asleep by 11:00. I know it’s crazy to try to change three bad habits at the same time, but I think I need to do something radical.
I am addicted to Scramble with Friends. For me, it’s a great way to get out of my head. It’s mentally stimulating but also relaxing. This morning I decided to make playing Scramble with Friends my reward for walking; I won’t allow myself to play unless I’ve done my morning and evening walks (I know, two walks a day is ambitious, but I have got to get my ass off the couch!)
I have the time to do everything I want to do professionally and personally. I just have to spend my time in ways that give me the energy and stamina to do all the things I want to do!
Reaching your potential as a human being is more than an ideal. It’s the ultimate goal. The wonders we’re capable of have nothing to do with the measurement of mankind, the lists of what’s in and what’s out, who’s hot and who’s not. I’m talking about the real deal: Whose life did you touch? Who did you love, and who loved you back?
Read more: O Magazine
It’s a cliché to blog your way through weight loss, but I’m going to do it anyway. It will keep me honest and give me an outlet for all of my thoughts about body image, emotional eating, and how reality TV has lowered our national IQ by at least 20 points. In addition to writing about the changes in my eating, exercising, and sleeping habits, I will blog about Intuitive Eating, a book about listening to your body and breaking the cycle of dysfunctional eating.
Let the transformation begin!