Wednesday, 2 October 2013

When Small Steps Turn into BIG Steps

           "If you have taken the first step, you are already half way there." 

Have you ever heard the expression? I don't know who ever started this saying but I'll bet they were talking about changing their lifestyle to be a healthier one! This is hard work! It is easy for everyone, including ourselves, to point out the "don't" and "shouldn't", the "never" and "can't" in our diet and lifestyle. Why is it that everyone points out the negative?! Well I am here to that there is always more positive than negative in any situation; sometimes we just have to search hard to find the positives when the negatives are right there "in our face" so to speak.

A friend shared this on their Facebook page just the other day. Sometimes, just when we need it the most, we come across a picture or a saying that feels like it was put there just for us. On this day, I needed to be reminded what small step originally started me on this journey to a healthier lifestyle. Today I decided it was time to share this one small step with you.

We need to go back to a cold February day in 2012. I was waiting for my medications to be filled at my local Costco pharmacy and I saw this book on the counter. I read the title, "The Vice Busting Diet" by Julia Havey and immediately thought, "Man, have I got vices for YOU to bust!!!!" When the pharmacist came with my scripts I jokingly said to him, "Is this book free!?! There is no price on it!!" To my utter surprise his reply was, "Yes it is free. Please help yourself to it!" Being one to never pass up most things free and one to usually try anything to help me lose weight I thanked him and added the book to the other stuff in my supply bag. And this is where the book stayed; forgotten, buried, and ignored until the end of June.

As I was sorting through and storing my teaching supplies from that school year I came across this book in the bottom of my bag that I did not even recognize at first. After reading the title a few times I remembered how this book came to be here and thought, "well, why not Sheri, might as well try reading this one, nothing else has worked!"

And that, right there, was the smallest of steps in the right direction that ended up being the biggest step of my life! You see as I taught that school year my negative eating habits had gotten out of control; I was a huge closet eater and would pick junk up to eat each and every day on my way to school and even on my way home sometimes. I weighed the most I had in almost 10 years and knew I had to do something but felt like I had tried everything and always failed. I knew if I did not do something I would end up on my same path that ultimately ended my father's life; type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Yeah, remember those scripts I was getting filled? One was for high blood pressure!

I began to read Julia's book and became immediately hooked. For the first time ever I was reading advice from someone "who had walked the walk and now talked the talk!" This lady had lost over 100 pounds over 15 years ago....she knew what she was talking about from personal experience! By the end of the second or third chapter I had question, and so, after reading her invitation for me, the reader, to contact her I sent her an email. I told her a little bit about me and my story and to my complete surprise she emailed me back and asked me to call her!! Can you believe that!?!

Julia ended up coaching me through my first three months following her program. We would speak once a week on the phone and also had contact on Facebook when needed. She still is there for me over a year later; not as often but if I need her to help I know she is only an email away. She checks in with me and asks how I am doing and I am honest in my response. Sometimes it is a GREAT response and other times I admit that I am struggling. She never fails to offer my both advice and positive motivation. I love her for that; she has never, ever, left me feeling anything but positive.

We all need those positive motivators in our lives, especially while on our never-ending journey to be the healthiest person we can become. Julia always reminds me that even if I have had a bad day, week, or yes, a bad month, it is not really bad; bad would be completely reversing all of the positive changes I have made since July 2012. EVERY step is a step forward, even a step that keeps you in the same place you were yesterday. I have had many days and weeks like that over the past year and a bit. But if I kept track on a calendar (which she actually suggested that I do!) I would see how many more good days I have had than bad days!

I hope, that through this post, and my blog in general, I can help motivate and educate others who are on the same journey as myself.  Maybe you are just beginning your journey; well welcome aboard! If you are further along on your journey, I hope you will share your experiences, insights, and yes your struggles on here with me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I look forward to continuing my journey with you!