"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's." ~Henry Moore
I recently came across a photo of myself taken on one of my girls' weekends in Port Aransas several years ago. I was standing by the rail of the ferry crossing to the island, flanked by two friends.
But at first glance, I didn't even recognize myself in the photo. Soon after it was taken, I started on a journey to get healthy. Not to lose weight, because I felt I'd already tried everything I could, diet- and exercise-wise, to lose those last fifteen pounds, but no luck. I was resigned to my weight. It wasn't that much, after all. I just wanted to be healthy and fit inside as I headed toward my fiftieth birthday.
I never expected that those changes I made in my life would melt the pounds away and make me feel healthier and more energetic than I'd ever, ever felt before. Seeing that photo made me realize what a huge difference our every day choices can make.
And it all started with a Lenten Promise.
I've never been one to go the "giving up" route during Lent. I know me too well. Why set myself up for failure?
Instead, I preferred to add beneficial things that I could continue beyond Lent, like saying the Rosary every morning when I walk the dogs or doing something nice for someone every day.
But that year I got it in my head to give up sugar as the first step of my journey to better health.
I quit adding it to my coffee and vowed not to eat any store-bought sweets...except for dark chocolate. I didn't like dark chocolate at the time, but I had heard it was sort of healthy, so if the Smarties leftover from Halloween or the Chips Ahoy cookies I knew were in the pantry starting calling my name, I allowed myself a piece of dark chocolate to pacify my sweet tooth.
I also allowed myself homemade treats of any kind when they were offered - in moderation, of course. (They're made with love, so it's probably a sin to turn them down, right?)
But it surprised me how hard it was to pass that candy bowl without grabbing something. It had become a habit. I started praying for the strength to stick with my Lenten promise, and that's when I finally "got" the giving-up thing: it's about realizing your own limitations and weaknesses, and learning to rely on God's strength instead of your own.
By the end of Lent, the candy bowl no longer tempted me and I could easily pass up store-bought goodies. My taste buds had come back to life and my sweet tooth was satisfied by a handful of grapes or strawberries.
(Alas, along the way I developed a love for dark chocolate. Now I look forward to two pieces in the evening.)
That first step led to others, taken one at a time. Along the way I continually educated myself on health and fitness so that perimenopause was pretty much a breeze for me (and those around me!)
I've decided to share my journey with others. Perhaps the steps I took aren't the right ones for everyone, but on the other hand, they might be; at the very least, I hope to inspire others to know they're never too old to make positive changes in their health and their life.
But there's too much to include in one blog post. Maybe I'll create a series...or even an e-book. I'll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, what changes have you made in your life that resulted in more than you hoped for?
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