Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Little Steps Still Make a Ripple on the Water

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my weight and my health lately.  With spring upon us, thinking about making big changes is, for me, inevitable.  It's hard not to get swept up in the thoughts of cracking down and making good/big changes and seeing results and being happy.  In my mind all of that is wrapped up together.  It's a mental thing, something I've bought-into for a long time; that being good on a diet will make me happy.  And I must admit, there is a certain feeling of self-mastery that comes along to sticking with a restrictive plan.  My brain says, " I am being good, I am doing things that are going to make me thinner and I will like the way I look and that will make me happier." etc, etc, etc.  We've all thought and heard it a million times.  But life doesn't move in such a linear fashion, it is scattered and unpredictable, and assumptions are often discovered to be less reliable after the fact. 
One thing I do know, though, is that one small little change can have an impact on a multitude of others.  Big changes usually don't last long, at least, not for me, not where diet is concerned, especially when it is restrictive.  So instead of a huge dramatic change, like measuring and weighing every morsel or cutting out certain things entirely, I thought about the idea of implementing one small change at a time.  This is not a new concept, but it is hard for my brain to cope with because small changes mean slow/small progress in my mind.  So to say there is a mental roadblock is unfortunately true, but when I think of it as an experiment it helps me to hurdle over the roadblock. 
Lately I have been waking up and noticing how puffy it is under my eyes.  Yes, I googled it, because that's what I do.  There are a multitude of reasons why someone's eyes could be puffy, but one that sort of stuck out to me is water retention.  Of course it happens to all of us, but I have been noticing a lot more dry skin lately, which to me means that I have not been drinking enough water.  I used to drink about 2 gallons a day and now I'm lucky if I get half a gallon.  I still drink a lot of soda during the day.  So, without saying I am going to restrict soda, something I have been unsuccessful in doing anyway, I am going to make my one small change to drink more water.  It might be for a week, or a month or however long it takes to get back in the habit of drinking more water.  That small change alone will likely lead to me drinking less soda just by the nature of me only having so much room in my stomach for fluids.  I am going to aim at a gallon of water a day, which shouldn't be too tough if I am focusing on my goal.  I should be able to measure the effects by my skin, and I am interested to see if it will help the eye puffiness too. 
For now, that is the only goal I will be working on.  When I feel like I've got that change working well, I will add another challenge.  Things I have been thinking of are stretching every day for at least 15 minutes, of course cardio, eventually limiting my soda intake, reducing sodium, eating all the recommended servings of fruits and veg, and strength training to name a few.  There are dozens that have crossed my mind so I'll spare you the long list.  Some have to do with a harmonious household and some are health related and some are for mental health.  I don't want to try more than one at a time, though it's hard to get past that feeling of all-or-nothing, I just think it would make me lose focus on one or both.
So, I will consider today day 1 of this goal, because there's no time like the present!  And because I'm thirsty, damn it! 
So what are you waiting for?  What's your goal this month?  Why not start today!

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