Changing Your Life

Two out of every three Americans are either overweight or obese. That’s a lot of people! If we are one of these larger Americans, what can we do about it; losing weight is not an easy process. I believe it comes down to eating in moderation and becoming more active, but those two items are not easy either! So often the task seems overwhelming, and because we don’t know where to even begin, we usually fail to start at all. Unfortunately, when we don’t even make an attempt, we are already most certainly doomed! Today, I’m going to tell you how to begin changing your life.

I received an e-mail this week from a friend who told me she is starting her life over again. She is using a combination of “Weight Watchers” and walking to start living a healthier life, and I applaud her determination to change lifelong habits. I know from experience it’s not easy, but coming up with a plan and starting is the hardest part, and she’s already done that! Congratulations my friend: You’re already healthier than you were a few weeks ago! Please allow me to point out to my readers why your plan is a good one.

Eating in moderation. Life teaches us that if we can’t handle something in moderation, it’s best to leave it alone altogether. This is an excellent approach for dealing with many types of addiction, but unfortunately, food isn’t something we can simply choose to live without. We need it to survive, so we have to develop a way to eat without triggering a feeding frenzy. “Weight Watchers” offers a sensible solution to living with food without losing control over it. I still struggle with eating and likely will for the rest of my life, but the general principles I learned from “Weight Watchers” continue to ensure that while I may lose some battles, I am winning the war! I do know some of the foods which trigger this out of control behavior and I attempt to avoid them if possible. When I do feel a bit deprived, however, I will indulge, but in a way that helps me walk away before I plunge head first into the deep end. I love sweet rolls, but can’t stop with just one when I purchase a package; so instead, I pick up a single at the local grocery counter and have them wrap it up for home. I order a dessert at a restaurant instead of making it at home to avoid the tempting leftovers. When I do bake at home, I share my creation with others in another attempt to limit leftovers. If all else fails, I throw the leftovers away: It’s better for them to go to waste than for them to go to my waist! My friend has decided to seek help, and whether it’s “Weight Watchers” or someone else, having a plan in place is always the best way to go!

Becoming more active. My friend is walking an hour each day, which is a very ambitious plan! Whatever the frequency and length, once again the important part is to make a plan and stick with it. If you can only spare one day each week for activity, that’s fine, just do it; it’s better to be active once a week than not at all. Multiple sessions of activity each week are the best however, and most people enjoy themselves more when there is a little variety involved. Gyms are a great place to see what’s available as well as finding helpful people to teach you how to use all that equipment. There are stationary bicycles, elliptical running machines, arm powered pedal machines, ski machines, stair climbers, and rowing machines in addition to treadmills for basic cardiovascular exercise. Try the weights once a week. Take an aerobic class. Spend some time working the punching bag. Shoot some baskets. Do some laps in the pool. Take a dance class. Jump rope. Learn Yoga or Karate. Change up the intensity of your activities too, making some long and easy, and others shorter and more intense. In short, have fun while you are becoming more active!

It’s really easy to become healthier! You don’t necessarily need to make life altering changes, although that is what some choose to do, and ultimately even small changes end up being life altering. No, all you have to do is pick one thing to do that will make you healthier and simply do it. It can be something relatively easy such as skipping a dessert once a week; but by doing it and continuing to do it; you will be changing your life. After it becomes a good habit, something you do without thinking, you may desire to make another healthy change, then another. By taking steps, either small or large, and practicing them until they are easy, you can turn your life totally around. What’s stopping you?