"How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time."
~Really old joke
"The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step."
Today, I received a Motivational Memo from ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website that I use to help me reach new goals, and one I sometimes cross-post my blogs to. It was entitled, "Keep Moving" and spoke to the concept of making small changes to move forward, as opposed to large, sweeping changes that are sometimes too difficult to adhere to.
You can read it HERE: http://thistimeimeanit.com/category/motivation-2/
This was a concept I learned early on in my (latest) quest to lose a large amount of weight. Yes, like many of you, I tried and failed MANY times before I finally succeeded. More on that another time...
In my inaugural post on this blog, I discussed my initial visit to the nutritionist. This post addresses the follow-up. Because after I learned that I had some mistakes to correct, I had to learn how to correct them. The nutritionist discussed this in terms of making small changes to what I was doing - changes that I felt I was able to make and stick to. She even let me pick them myself. I chose to make one change to WHEN I ate, one change to WHAT I ate, and one change to the amount of physical activity I was getting.
WHEN I ate: I used to eat all the time except in the morning, but I had read that it was good to eat within 2 hours of waking, and to stop eating at least 2 hours before sleeping. I really felt with some focus, I could make this a habit and stick to it. Check.
WHAT I ate: I love to eat, so I decided that cutting out certain foods, any foods in fact, was not something I was comfortable I could do. Instead, I decided to allow myself to eat anything I wanted, the only limitation being that I could only have one portion of it. Second change; no seconds. Check.
HOW often I got off the couch: As I mentioned in the last post, I love to be outside, so I decided to make it a goal to get outside everyday for 30 minutes. Whether it was taking a walk, doing yard work, or gardening, I had to get out of the house for 30 minutes a day. Check.
Now, the changes each person makes must be personal to HIM/HER. All I knew was that as I read these changes out to the nutritionist, I felt that I could really do these things - felt it in my bones. They were simple, but not easy. No change is ever easy, because it hasn't become a habit yet. But, I focused all my energy on doing these things consistently, daily, and soon, they did become habitual. In fact, in the first 5 months of my new life, I'd lost 27 pounds. But most importantly, by making these small changes and sticking to them, I became confident in my ability to effect real changes in my life. After the first 30-45 days, I was already searching for other changes I could make to my nutritional/activity habits, and felt confident that as long as I focused on what was immediately in front of me, I could make any change into a habit. That's major, right?
Allow me to demonstrate how major it was for me, by posting a 'before' picture for you, my friends:
Where will your baby steps take you? As far as you want them to. Now get to steppin'.