Today, I feel great! This morning, I weighed myself on my bathroom scale and it said 108.8 pounds! That’s probably the least I have weighed in about 5 years! Woo-hoo! This is down from a high of about 120 pounds a few years ago, when I knew I had to make some changes in my lifestyle because I just didn’t feel good! My clothes didn’t fit and I needed to buy larger ones. I felt bloated and unattractive. And even though I was otherwise healthy and continued to train for and run marathons, my pace was a lot slower than just a few years earlier. And I was struggling with my self-esteem. It was time for a change.
Making lifestyle changes is not easy for most of us – and yet every day, we make small choices that might be setting us in a new direction, and each small choice can add up in the long run. Sometimes, we are so used to doing something one way, that we don’t even realize that it might be hurting us and preventing us from feeling as good as we want to feel.
The Positive Thinking Diet is not about what you eat. It’s about how you feel about yourself, your life, and the world. It’s about *choosing* to think and do things that will make you FEEL better about yourself. It all starts with how you THINK, and then the DOING follows.
You might ask, “what did you think or do differently, that brought you these results?”
Well, there was no miracle cure. I cannot point to just one thing. There were a lot of different small choices that I made, that added up over time. It’s like they say, you start by taking just one step in the direction you want to go, then another step, and another, and you just keep on going. And then one day, you are in another place! That’s the way I have finished most of my marathons. I cross the starting line, and I just keep on going until I cross the finish line. It doesn’t matter how fast I am going. I just want to enjoy the experience and get to the finish without pain or injury. That’s a successful outcome for me. How come I can always do that in my running life, but not always in my regular life? Well, I can, but I have to focus on different things, and make sure I am going in the right direction.
So it’s important to take a look at your current daily habits and usual choices and see where they may be taking you. If you are always doing the same things you have always done, without noticing what those habits or choices might lead to, you might end up where you never really wanted to go. If you feel stuck in a bad relationship, bad job, or feel unhealthy or overweight, chances are, you weren’t paying attention to what you were thinking or doing and the choices that you were consciously or unconsciously making – that led you to this current (and hopefully temporary) situation.
In the case of my weight, I’ve lost 12 pounds in 2 years, or 6 pounds per year. This is not a dramatic change by any means. I had a plan, but I did not always follow the plan. I had good days and bad days. Today is a good day. I hope to have more good days like this.
The weight loss plan has been pretty simple. Eat more protein (fish, chicken, greek yogurt, etc.) Eat more veggies (salad, brocolli, green beans, fresh veggies, etc.) Eat fewer processed white carbs (bread, pasta). Eat fewer sweet foods with added sugar (not hard for me since I don’t really have a sweet tooth). Avoid drinking your calories (choose water, green tea, sparking water over soft drinks, wine, beer). Keep on running and exercising as usual (I’ve been running for over 20 years, so my exercise habit is pretty ingrained.) I didn’t count calories. I didn’t focus on portion sizes. I didn’t try to eat less. I just tried to eat differently – and make healthier choices. And so long as I followed the plan, I lost weight. And when I didn’t follow the plan, I gained weight.
Now that I’m eating healthier for the most part, I know that I will continue these healthier habits for the rest of my life. At some point, my weight will stabilize (hopefully @ 105 pounds) and I’ll just continue to eat this same way to maintain my weight and healthy. No need to get skinny. My old clothes are already starting to fit again. That feels so good!
I have other friends who say they would like to lose weight, but when we go out to eat or grab a snack, they continue to choose to order that bagel, scone or pasta or sugary soft drink, or put 2 lumps of sugar in their tea or coffee, or order another glass of beer or wine, or eat the entire loaded hamburger instead of maybe eating only until they are full and bringing the leftovers home. I understand their choices. Occasionally, I still make those not so great choices. But consistently eating/drinking those foods will not make you happier or healthier, just the opposite.
So choosing what you eat is just one of those every day small choices that everyone makes – that really adds up in the long run. Other every day choices we make that have similar consequences are:
- Exercise habits or lack thereof
- Always showing up on time – or always being late
- Communicating regularly with your friends and family – or not
- Managing your money – or ignoring it
- Developing skills that other people value and will pay you to do – or not
The list goes on and on. Small choices matter. What are you choosing to do and where are those choices taking you? Time to take a look at those things you aways do, but never think about.