Saturday, January 10, 2009

A new approach


I've never been a fan of the New Year. I tend to cling to the old rather than embrace the new -- it feels safer, I suppose.

But it's hard to start a new year without at least thinking about what you hope will be, or hope to change, or hope to do. And inevitably, when you're me, that leads to thoughts about health and fitness and weight loss.


2008 was not a banner year in that regard. In fact, I pretty much wrote it off last year. It is a bad place to be, believing that you are fated to a lifetime of obesity (there, I said it). It is depressing, and scary, and paralyzing, and is a sure-fire way to seal the deal -- and fast.

This year I'm thinking about things a little differently. Rather than approach this lifestyle change bluntly, struggling every day (every minute) to Do The Right Thing, I'm working on the smaller habits that will get me there. So I'm not intentionally making big changes to my diet -- but I am keeping a food journal, a habit that not only keeps me accountable but also makes me mindful of what I eat. I'm not creating a rigid schedule of workouts and weight training, but I am getting my ass out the door to take a walk around the block with my family. I'm not broadcasting my efforts and preaching What's Right to everyone I meet, but I am intentionally connecting with people who understand my struggles and encourage me to continue fighting the good fight.

I've finally, finally realized that big changes don't -- can't -- come about with one or two major fixes. They have to come about through layers and layers of little ones. Some might seem insignificant, but I believe they will be the foundation for bigger and better things to come. I have to believe this. There aren't many alternatives left.

In a lot of ways I'm applying these principles to all sorts of areas in my life -- our home, my future garden, hobbies, friendships, new skills I'd like to learn, new ways to earn a living. I'm not just going to take the sewing machine out of the box & whip up a ball gown. But I do need to get it out of the box, right?

Baby steps, baby steps.

Happy New Year!

Addendum: An article that was helpful for putting things in perspective. Yes, it's from O. Love her or hate her, Oprah and her minions always have something to say!

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