I’m one of those people who makes really ambitious resolutions and goals.
Hmmm… wait. “Ambitious” isn’t really the right word.
“Completely unrealistic and doomed to fail” is more accurate.
I’ll decide one day, after scowling at my reflection in the mirror or sighing in frustration over the scale for the ten thousandth time, that “I want to drop 50 lbs” or “I’m going to run five miles a day.”
And for the next 48 hours, I am singularly focused on making it happen.
I slash calories from my diet and wake up at 5:00am to hit the pavement. I am energized and full of determination.
And then by day three, I’m stretched out on the couch, feeling sore all over from working out for the first time in months. I’m inhaling a candy bar because I can’t handle one more minute of a starvation diet of little more than rice cakes and salads.
See what I mean? Doomed to fail.
It’s a vicious cycle that ends up leaving me feeling worse than ever. The really crazy thing is I’ve been doing this to myself for years.
Get frustrated. Make a dramatic, unsustainable change. Fail miserably. Get frustrated.
One day, I did ONE THING differently…
About 8 months after the birth of my second daughter, when my weight was at its highest and my body confidence at its lowest, I finally had enough.
I knew I needed to make a change, but I couldn’t stand to put myself through that horrible cycle one more time.
Juggling two young children (one of whom doesn’t sleep through the night and the other wakes up at 5:30am) and a full-time job leaves me absolutely exhausted on a daily basis. But, even so, I knew that it wasn’t an excuse to just give up and not take care of myself.
One night at dinner, I was about to put the last forkful of food in my mouth, when I stopped.
I set my fork down, feeling oddly giddy.
I realized that I didn’t have to put myself on a crazy diet. What if I just ate one less forkful? Just one.
I got up from the table and cleared that last bite of food into the trash. It was just one small bite, but it represented something BIG.
The next night I did it again. And the night after that. By the end of the week, I was still doing it.
Something BIG was happening…
I realized that I didn’t have to make a big crazy change to feel better about myself. I just had to do ONE THING differently. It didn’t have to be a big thing, either. Just one small change.
One evening after dinner, I decided that going for a walk was a much better idea than sitting on the couch. And soon there we were. The baby was in a carrier on my back and my oldest daughter was riding her scooter, and we were making our way slowly around the cul-de-sac.
“One thing,” I whispered to myself.
A few days later, I was at the store and reached for my usual candy bar at the checkout lane when I stopped. I wasn’t even craving chocolate. I was reaching for it out of habit.
“One thing,” I said to myself, and let my hand fall back to my side.
“One thing” has become my mantra. My personal philosophy. My battle cry.
It’s been a month, and I’m doing all sorts of “one things.” Going for walks with the kids when we can. Eating a little less. Choosing healthier foods.
Out of curiosity, I stepped on the scale yesterday.
I’ve lost 8 pounds.
I do still want to lose more weight (I’m still rocking the maternity clothes 9 months postpartum), but I’m not focused on the number on the scale. All I let myself think about is the ONE THING I can do right now to make myself healthier.
And this time, I know I’ll succeed.
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