Creating a new habit

  • I never used to walk anywhere if I could drive.
  • I never used to bring my own food – healthy or otherwise – to work with me.
  • I never used to walk a 5K every morning before work so that I could start my day off with 8,000 steps on the pedometer (that I didn’t own).
  • I never used to do anything about it when I had worrisome medical symptoms.

…but I do now.

For each item on the list above, I’ve created a new habit over the last 14 months that makes me a happier, healthier person. None of those things were easy to change – believe me! – but I knew I needed to change my old way of doing things in order for Project: Happy/Healthy Me to succeed. I started out small, increased what I was doing slowly and steadily, and eventually it became easier to do the new habit than revert to the old way of doing things. Writing here needs to be the same way.

I am struggling to reach a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). The number on the scale doesn’t always go down and certainly it does not do so easily when it does. The 15 pounds between where I am now and a healthy BMI feel simultaneously impossible and yet so tantalizingly close that it sometimes feels as though I’m already there. It’s like the feeling I have when we’re nearing the end of a long road trip: aren’t we there yet? How much longer? This was fun four hours ago but now my back aches and we’re out of snacks, so let’s just get this done. But, like a seemingly never-ending road trip, there are no short cuts in weight loss, either, so I’ll keep plodding along because there is no other option. (Thanks, Kay Lynn, for reminding me of that fundamental truth at our recent lunch chat!)

In the meantime, I ponder these moments in time and remember how far I’ve come:

post-5K 9/3/2011
post-5K 9/3/2011
post 4 miles, 4/26/14
post 4 miles, 4/26/14

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