When you make any major change in your life, experts advise you to start a “quit date” or a “start date,” and then visualize what you will do when that date gets there. I think that’s been my problem with my
defiant non-compliance failure to launch my “live healthy” campaign.
I talked to Goddess of Mindfulness, because she is wise in every subject, and she told me that she was involved in research about treatment compliance. One of the major things that keeps people from complying is that the motivating force is external, not internal. For example, I originally started my “get healthy” plan because my doctor (an outside force) told me I had to or I would die.
Of course, I’m self-motivated in some ways. I want to feel better, to be able to breathe, to be able to really get out there and exercise. But really, I’m only marginally motivated.
I’ve done some thinking on this, and I know that if I really want to change my lifestyle, I have to want to. I’ve been pretty ambivalent about it for the past six months, but there was a time about two years ago when I dropped 65 pounds and quit smoking for a year and a half. I was walking 3-6 miles a day, eating healthy, and I just felt better.
Goddess of Mindfulness tells me that I need to find a specific instance where I felt really self-motivated to change. I can pinpoint it — last Wednesday. I was going to the ballgame by myself because Dad was out of town.
I had to park really far away because I was late, and by the time I made it to the entrance to the gym I was breathing hard, my legs and feet hurt, and I was just plain tired. Then, during the game, I couldn’t help but notice how hard it was for me to sit in the uncomfortable bleachers, how I huffed and puffed up the stairs to go have a smoke, and just how damn unhealthy I felt. I didn’t feel sexy fat, I felt unhealthy fat. My self-confidence had hit a bottom and I knew I had to get out of it.
I know I am ready to make a change. Not because the doctor told me I’m going to die. Not because my family thinks it’s a good idea. I think it’s a good idea, and I know I can do it because I’ve done it before.
Sure, it’s hard work the first 10 days or so, but I’m a person that falls into routine easily. Once I can get past those ten days and eat healthy and quit smoking and start doing the little exercise I can do, I know I’m on the right path.
My quit date for smoking is Monday, March 3rd. My eating healthy plan starts Monday, February 25th. I’ve started on my eating healthy plan already, implementing small things.
For example, I didn’t have popcorn at the ballgame tonight. I waited to eat until I got home and had a Lean Cuisine. Just that one step makes me feel better about myself. Forget the crap that I ate earlier in the day.
Living healthy is not all-or-nothing, or black-and-white as Goddess of Mindfulness says. Just because I ate like crap in the morning doesn’t mean that I have to say screw it to the rest of the day.
And tomorrow, I aim to do a little bit better, because I know I will feel better. And the next, then it’s full-on hardcore healthy. I’m ready, life.