As I suck down a pile of peanut butter coated, from scratch, pancakes…drizzled with real maple syrup and chug back a giant mug of cold milk, I peruse the list of challenges I’ve just signed up to follow for the next six weeks.
A health challenge, offered by our local health club here in Ninilchik, Alaska, has pointed me on the path to better living. Though, I’m not sure how much better it could get than peanut butter coated pancakes. IS there life after syrup?
I’ve lived my entire life commanded by food and my love of flavor, and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say…it’s been great. My weight has fluctuated more than the economy and I’m currently at an all-time high. Oh boy, what a winter of cold weather will do to the roller coaster of boredom eating…and my, oh my…have I been bored.
But if I must be honest, it’s not only about the weight…though it would be nice to be able to slip into the pile of jeans in my drawer and that last hole on my favorite turtle belt is stretching its limits. The thick waistline is a contributing factor, yet it’s not the only reason I’m making some changes.
Just after Christmas, with the onset of chest pains that turned out to be stress induced, I made some severe decisions about lifestyle in order to eliminate impending death and doom. It seemed like the thing to do since I’ve got all these kids to raise. So, as I’d done a thousand times in my life, I swore off all things yummy.
And six hours later, I remembered that such an oath had never worked before. Why set myself up for yet another failure? I tossed back an Oreo and rethought my plan.
I tried a different approach. I picked two things that I wanted to change. Just two things. I left all else intact. I decided I needed to quit drinking fancy-foo-foo coffees. And I needed to up the water intake. That is it. No coffee, more water. Seemed simple enough.
I may not be able to change my entire world overnight, but it is within my power to change just two things.
I kept eating ice cream before bed. I continued to eat heavy breakfasts. I left hot chocolate in my evening ritual. And I baked more bread than ever before. But I also broke out the water jug to make sure I got my daily allowance and began to take it everywhere. And I avoided the local coffee shop like it was on fire.
Now, a month later, I’ve decided to throw exercise into the mix, since this bitter cold winter has kept my ski’s in their rack and my butt on the couch. A bit of cardio at the gym may not be the sole answer, but thrown on top of the high water intake and the discarded coffees, it is sure to make a positive difference, even if I do continue gorging on ice cream and slices of freshly buttered bread. Because really…any improvement is just that. An improvement.
And you know what? After a while, I didn’t even miss the coffees, and the water jug became a part of me. It was that simple. Habits…after all…are the key to both success and failure and it only takes about three weeks to change a concerted effort into a habitual part of life. Two bad habits…changed…for good.
Two down, eight hundred sixty-four to go…