Friday, May 19, 2006

Living in the now

While I follow eDiets' Glycemic Impact menu plan, I take advantage of any and all of the other get-healthy motivational messages out there, including the excellent advice from SparkPeople, who send me daily e-mails on various topics. eDiets does this, too, and so does Discovery Health. There probably are others; they all run together after a while.

The SparkPeople messages are short and to the point, especially their "Healthy Reflection." Yesterday's message was:
Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.
– Grant L. Miller, motivational guru

Enjoying the road to accomplishment
It's possible to be a little too focused. With blinders on, it becomes easy to completely live in our vision of where we will be in the future, while ignoring the improvements that we have made in the present. The road to a healthy lifestyle is a long trip. While it's very important to realize what we are shooting for, we also need to make sure that we keep our heads in the present to enjoy the progress we've made. If your goal is to lose weight, instead of waiting to celebrate until you lose it all, enjoy today's small victories and take advantage of your improved health now. This approach serves as motivation for any aspiration in life. Set ambitious goals and enjoy the road to accomplishing those goals. Because life might pass you by if you are always planning for tomorrow without ever seeing today.
I needed to read that, and I need even more to live it.

As someone who has been in a recovery program for more than 15 years, you'd think I'd have learned by now to live in the present. And as someone who reads a good deal – if not all! – of the weight-loss advice out there, you'd think I'd have picked up the idea that little non-food rewards along the way are a good way to stay on the path.

But I do find myself thinking of That Day, instead of this one. You know, the day the scale displays the right number. That's all I'm working for, but ultimately that's not enough.

So last night I mentally checked off some of the positive changes I've noticed so far.
  • I can mow the grass and weeds on the slope at the edge of our front yard with the push mower. [Last year I wouldn't even try it; when I had enough energy, I used the weedeater. When I was too tired, which was most of the time, I just let it grow.]

  • I sit, stand and walk with better posture than I used to. [Thank you, Exercise Ball! And thank you, H, for the suggestion!]

  • The ring I wear, which had been my grandmother's, is so loose that the diamonds frequently slide around my finger to the palm side of my hand. [It used to leave a mark on my finger when I took it off.]

  • I can wear jeans that button and zip. I can wear jeans that button and zip!!! [The last pair of denim pants I bought last year, sometime in last fall, had an elastic waist, and that was the beginning of the end of my complacency. I only wore them twice.]

  • My average daily intentional exercise time has gone from barely half an hour to more than an hour and a half since the first of the year. [Thank you, Shuffle!]
I need to keep adding to this list. I think these fall into the NSV [non-scale victory] category, a term I first read on a Weight Watcher message board. I'm not going to lie to you: When I finally do see the right number on the scale, that will be a momentous day. But I need to focus more on enjoying life while I get there.

1 comment:

Tami said...

Hi Debbie! I love your post and plan to link to it in my blog. It really hit home for me. I've accomplised so much in the past 5 years but don't stop often enough to appreciate the success of my efforts. Much like you, I am always looking ahead at accomplishing the next goal. Thank you for reminding me to live in the now!