As another year comes to an end I find myself at a new beginning. A new beginning in my journey to living a healthier lifestyle. This is not about an up-coming New Year's resolution; it is about realizing that as I let little habits back into my life, I completely and totally lost control again. Have you ever been in that situation?
I had given up all things chocolate for exactly 2 years; on the anniversary this past summer, while in Savannah, GA, I decided to begin to eat chocolate again. I had been aware that my reason for giving it up in the first place, to cut-out my biggest vice, was being replaced with eating anything and everything but chocolate! Since then, I have again lost control over my cravings for chocolate. I am changing my approach with my nemesis; we will learn to co-exist peacefully in my life. To avoid replacing one crutch with another, I am going to plan to reduce by chocolate intake over time. This is a great approach you can adopt to anything you want to reduce from your "normal diet".
If, for example, I each chocolate every single day (to be honest, during the holidays I have been eating it more than once a day), I will cut it down to no more than once a day for the first month. Then during the second month, I will limit my intake to three times a week or less. The third month, I will only eat it once a week, and finally, the fourth month, I will limit chocolate to no more than twice a month. This slow approach, and not completely eliminating it from my regular intake, will not make me feel deprived but will keep me ever-mindful of how often I am putting chocolate in my mouth.
I was given a Misfit Flash for Christmas. I am so thankful for my wonderfully supportive wife for buying this for me! She also received one from her mom for Christmas and we are all set-up and becoming more conscious of how much we are moving each and every day. I have linked mine to My Fitness Pal to track both my activity and my food intake. I just LOVE the My Fitness Pal (no, I am not being paid to say this!) because it is so easy! You can just scan what you are eating or create and save meals, smoothie recipes, etc,,, It is by far the easiest way to journal your food intake, something, that in the past I have HATED to do!
My focus has also switch more from "making proper choices" to being more mindful of my choices while centering on loving the person who I am today. I have realized that my struggle with weight loss and leading a healthy lifestyle will never become a permanent change in my life until I learn to love and completely accept the person who I am now instead of waiting to love the person I will become when I weigh a certain amount. I must also deal with my emotional reasons for turning to food as a coping mechanism in life. This, I know, means deal with unresolved issues from my past but, unlike before, I will walk through these steps with love for myself instead of judgement, acceptance instead of self-hate. This, I believe, has been the missing link in my journey.
I am excited to begin this new chapter of my journey and invite you to join me. I have several people to thank for this new focus and for being amazing support; My wife, who has always loved me for who I am now, and who has never, ever, noticed my size. Julia Havey, author, life coach, and amazing person who has walked the walk and talks the talk of living a healthy lifestyle. Jen Oliver, my newest cheerleader and coach. The release of her e-book 21 Days to Loving Yourself was the definitive turning point for me after months of sitting on my pity-pot knowing I was back to where I was three years ago and not doing anything to change what I was doing. I am a part of a few support groups online through Facebook and find amazing inspiration, accountability, and encouragement from all of the members.
I encourage you to really dig and find out what it is inside your mind that is holding you back.....holding you back from going further in your journey, or from starting your journey to living a healthier lifestyle. I can promise you that if you clear away all of your excuses, and trust me I am the QUEEN of excuses, you will realize that all of your barriers are mental ones. It is ourselves that hold us back. No money, not enough time, my children come first, too tired, can't get up that early.....trust me I have said all of them. I can now honestly say that they are not real barriers; they are excuses that my mind uses to convince me that I can't do it.
Tell your mind to step aside and get out of your way!!
Make a plan. Over the next few posts I will be sharing my plan. Copy as much as you want of what I plan to do and find other things that work for you.
Small steps and small changes done with self-love and mindfulness - this is my new motto.
What is yours?
In health and love,