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photo credit: @aerial_m via photopin cc

As I have gotten into being more healthy, I’m learning some interesting things…both about health and about myself. I am one of those people who is pretty much an all or nothing kind of person. It has stood in the way of my getting healthy again.

When I was younger, I didn’t have a huge sweet tooth. It wasn’t hard for me to avoid gobs of sweets. When we lived in Jamaica, I used to bake a lot, but I didn’t sit down and guzzle them up either. I would eat a slice of this or that and I did fine. Back then, I was chasing little people all over. It was rare that I could get through a meal without jumping up to help someone or get something for someone. So I used up my calories from all the running around!

As I got older, I did okay, started exercising more and after I changed some medications and was on some that made me gain weight, I had to pay more attention to what I ate. I lost the 20 pounds I gained when I started on the medication but it was the first I had been on a diet…Weight Watchers. That’s how I started my fifth decade!

I still don’t know how to count calories really. Numbers and I don’t do well…especially when I have to add them up and put them into my mouth! It gets very confusing. Weight Watchers changed so much that the last time I tried it, I got befuddled with all the numbers. It wasn’t as easy to figure out as it was the first time around.

So this time, I am wanting to be on a diet that will be healthy and will have some flexibility that will be more permanent. For those of you who have been on diets most of your lives, you are either laughing your heads off or throwing your hands up in disgust that I am so picky/stupid about dieting. Others of you are nodding your heads and saying to yourselves, “Maybe I’m not so bad off afterall. Someone else thinks like me.”

So, whether you read this and feel self-righteous or more relaxed and can identify with parts of my missive, read on and learn about the bite sizes you can take as you become more healthy.

A healthy lifestyle can get started in bite sizes

When I was in the gym the other day, the trainer told me it would take about 8-10 months to lose the weight (30 pounds) I want to lose with exercise alone. Add diet to it and it will take less time. For now, I can expect to lose a pound a week. With diet, it will probably be 2 pounds a week.

I know that it takes about 3 weeks to get a habit solidly integrated into your life. For that reason, I want to spend this month getting exercise integrated as part of my lifestyle before I start my diet. But I am getting some other healthy habits started along with it. I have started drinking only water now.

Well, except for my daily chai latte of course…and an occasional hot tea. And I’m drinking more water than I was for the sake of good health. No sodas. No junk.

Another suggestion the trainer made was that I could have certain days where I follow a strict diet and other days where I cheat, not gorge, just cheat a bit. He said that some people lose weight better that way!  That was a brand new concept to me. I had this austere view of diet and gutting it out! Having a day or two a week when I plan on cheating sounds good!

Imagine taking baby steps in these healthy lifestyle choices. Instead of overwhelming yourself, take them one at a time. Maybe it is wimpy. Or maybe it is simply realistic in light of how long it takes to get a new habit integrated into your life.

Then I’ve added regular exercise…3 days a week right now until I get a regular regimen in place. By the end of the month, I’ll get started on the diet. It will probably be one that includes removing one kind of food and replacing with another healthier one. I may try the no cheat days at first so I can get settled into it.

No, I won’t lose all this weight overnight. Not by a long shot. But I will get toned down. I will start eating a more healthy diet. I will be monitoring to see that I am losing at least a pound a week.

As I start my healthy, bite sized changes, my healthy goals will be reached

And in the process, my boxes around the house are slowly getting emptied. I still have a good ways to go, but more and more empty boxes are good! As I toss and give away, it gets easier and easier.

It helps to take little bites of these jobs. When they become lists that get checked off and boxes that get emptied, the jobs aren’t nearly as burdensome after awhile. It is fun to get more and more order.

I know that by spring, I’ll have a different looking apartment. It still might not be completely done, but it will be close. By then, I’ll have lost some weight too. I won’t be at the place I want to be, but I’ll be closer than I was. And I’ll be healthier and feeling better and less overwhelmed. That’s what I want isn’t it?

So look at the goals you have for the year. 

How can you make them into bite-sized pieces?

Do you need help to do it?

Get the help you need…a friend, a professional, a few friends?

Do you need the prayers of friends for the motivation and accountability?

When you are weak, GOD will show Himself strong…count on it!