Wake Up Call
The year 2017 brought with it the stark realization that I was desperately in need of necessary lifestyle changes. Toward the end of 2016, my dad was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. When I heard the news, I knew that I had to do something. I knew that if I didn’t change my own diet, my own way of life, diabetes would be a certainty. My mom is pre-diabetic and both of my grandmothers were. If something doesn’t change, my future will be their present.
I’m 30 years old. I turned 30 in September. For a long time, I have been very disappointed in myself. Out of a sheer lack of self-control, I frequently snack on things that I know I shouldn’t be eating. Even knowing how bad sodas are for my bone health, I was still drinking several Dr. Peppers per day. To say that I was out of control is an understatement. If you add to it the fact that I was considerably inactive outside of work, you’ll see just how poor my decisions have been.
Necessary Lifestyle Changes
I have never been one for making resolutions. In my opinion, they are promises that we make to ourselves without any intention of keeping them. Resolutions are a waste of positive thoughts. What I decided to do is not a resolution. To me, it isn’t a promise to myself based upon good intentions. It is a necessary change to ensure that poor health is not in my future.
The first of those changes was my decision to permanently give up sodas and sweets. It’s something that I have tried to do so many times before, but I always set myself up for failure. To ensure that I hold to it, I’ve stopped taking money with me to work. By putting gas in my car the night before, I’ve stopped myself from having an excuse to take money with me. Not having money keeps me from buying sodas and sweets. If that’s what it takes, I’m okay with that.
Next on the list of changes was the decision to change the way I do things. I now make sure that I have eaten before I go to the grocery store. Going on a full stomach helps prevent hunger-based impulse buys. That means no random junk food at the checkout. My husband and I also cut junk food and heavily processed items out of our grocery budget. Since I know that I usually buy a Dr. Pepper on my way in to drink while I shop, I bought a Brita bottle to fill with water and carry with me. The changes that I am making are habit-based changes. Switching up little things to shape your decisions can lead to much healthier habits. Small changes can be so much bigger than they seem.
In an effort to keep up with these changes, I now pack a lunch complete with something healthy to snack on and a Brita bottle everyday for work. The lunches usually consist of the meal I cooked the night before and yogurt, fruit, and cheese cubes for a snack. Because our meals at home only consist of whole foods and seasoning, everything I take with me is healthy. I still ate a doughnut today because we get free doughnuts on Fridays, but I feel a whole lot better about one doughnut when 90% of my diet is clean.
To keep track of what’s going into my body, I record everything on My Fitness Pal. Of all of the various food and activity tracking apps, My Fitness Pal is, in my opinion, the most user friendly. I would highly recommend it if you’re interested in keeping track of what you consume and how active you are. Knowing that I’m going to be recording what I eat for all of my followers to see helps me make better decisions.