Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I CAN....but I choose NOT to!

Good morning everyone!  Other than the grammatical error in the text, I love the quote on that clip, “I can eat this….but I choose NOT to.” The principle behind those words is one that has really helped me on this journey….not just in losing weight, but in the real goal of becoming a better person. I sincerely believe that changing the way we THINK about things is one of the keys to being successful in changing our appearance.
I readily admit that I often find myself saying, “No thanks, I can’t eat that” when someone asks me if I want a cookie. Almost immediately after the words come out of my mouth, I correct myself and say, “No, that’s wrong. I COULD have a cookie, but I don’t want one….or I choose NOT to.” Saying and believing that we have a choice in what we eat is so important because it helps reinforce the idea that it is OUR CHOICES that will determine the outcome. I’m not talking about things that we cannot control like cancer, death, inclement weather; but, rather, those things which we CAN choose….like what we eat. 

 Many times a person will fail at a new eating plan because he/she feels deprived and left out when others around him/her are enjoying cake or treats. The poor me, “I have to eat an apple while my family is eating ice-cream”…. “Don’t you feel bad that I can’t go out for pizza” or “I’ll just sit here and watch everyone eat birthday cake” mentality is sure-fire way to sabotage your own journey. No one wants to feel deprived or left out. When I first started on my journey, I struggled with that myself, but I think it bothered others those around me even more that I wasn’t eating what they were. It was almost as if they felt guilty about eating in front me. Honestly, it didn’t bother me a bit to see others enjoying food, because I was enjoying my food too….it was just “different’ food.

 I always have food with me everywhere I go. When I’m invited to birthday party or holiday gathering, be assured that I will have something with me that I will CHOOSE to eat over cake. Oftentimes, it’s a Greek yogurt, a protein bar, or melon. All of those taste sweet to me and feel like desert. Certainly, I COULD eat a piece of cake, but I don’t want to…..not because I think it’s BAD….but rather, because I fear that if I ate a piece of cake, I would eat another and another, and I would very quickly go back to my old way of thinking and eating. I simply don’t trust myself, and even though I have not had even a bite of cake since March 1, 2011, I don’t want to even go there, so I choose to eat something else instead.  It’s all about choices….

This mentality has changed other areas in my life as well. There are many days when I would rather stay home from work than get dressed and go to the office. This morning is one of them. It’s cold and dreary, my body is aching, I’m weary, and enjoying sitting here in my pajama’s drinking coffee. Instead of saying, “I don’t WANT to go to work….I believe whole-heartedly….that I GET to work.” Aren’t I blessed….to GET to go to a job that I love and that helps provide for my needs?  I’m certainly not excited about lacing up my sneakers in a couple of hours and taking my walk in the cold, foggy air before I go to work….but I GET to; I CHOOSE to.  Aren’t I blessed…..that I CAN walk….after so many years when I struggled to take a few steps?  I have more things on my “to-do-list” today than hours in my day; a sink full of dishes to wash; a garden full of weeds to pull and plants to cut back before winter; a car that needs new tires; and list of people to call or e-mail.  Aren’t I blessed….to have people that care; food to eat; a yard to enjoy, a car to drive, and many things to occupy my time?   You, too…..are blessed beyond measure! It’s all a matter of perspective and how you choose to THINK about things.  Gratitude….and attitude…..change one’s life much more than eating plans!

I encourage you today to choose one area and try to be think about things a bit differently.  At mealtimes, try to remember that you are choosing to eat healthier food because you want to feel better or look better….not because YOU HAVE TO.  At work, when you feel annoyed or frustrated, try to remember that YOU have chosen to work at that particular place; you are not there because you HAVE to be. While jobs are hard to come by….you do have a choice…but being unemployed isn’t a very good place to be!  When someone irritates you; your kid sasses back or acts fussy; someone disappoints you…try to remember that while you cannot control the behavior of someone else, you can CHOOSE how you respond.  Above all things….choose to be grateful for all that happens this day….good and not-so-good…because each of us has been given a new day; a new opportunity; and are blessed beyond measure.

I hope you have a great day….and make great choices.