Pursuing a “mid-year resolution”

Who needs January 1st to resolve to make change in your life? Most people break their New Year’s resolution within a week or two. In January I didn’t make a traditional “resolution,” but I made a conscious effort to be healthier.

Many people set out to lose weight, quit smoking, or get fit for their spring vacations. Since none of those apply to me, I only wanted to feel like I was living healthier. It sounds earnest, but what exactly is “healthier?” Trips to fast food places, operating on little sleep, and letting stress pile up were the first things I tackled. Cooking nutritious meals and getting quality sleep were a bit easier than I expected.

For the most part, my new, healthier lifestyle lasted about a month. Unfortunately the stresses of school, work, and my personal life made it all too easy for excuses.

My obligations and personal wants demand an astounding amount of energy and drive, which I am generally able to sustain. Something was missing, however. To make a comparison, it’s like a car in desperate need of a tune up and oil change. The car will still run, getting you from Point A to Point B, but could operate much more efficiently with a little care. About a month ago, after school ended, I decided I had exceeded the recommended mileage for a “tune-up.”

I’ve started cooking almost every night, with plenty of lean meats and veggies too. Every day I run close to 5 miles through Natchitoches (I do slow down to walk for a quick break). It really helps when you have such a picturesque route motivating you. I’ve been playing tennis too. (Side note: Practices DOES NOT always make perfect). My only goal is to convince myself that I am treating my body better. I think some of my greatest obstacles are psychological. I’ve developed new habits, which I hope to stick with. However, I am making an effort to avoid going overboard.

Too many people develop this strange concept of what defines health. I don’t believe it means never eating certain things or becoming obsessed with counting carbs. People should learn that it’s all about moderation. You should know that eating certain healthy things is inherently good. However, eating things like a hamburger or fast food isn’t necessarily bad. Consistently eating too much of one thing can’t be healthy. I still indulge in fast food, like Sonic or Dagwood’s, from time to time. Actually, cooking my own meals has shifted from wanting to eat healthy to also focusing on trying new things. Cooking a great meal is quite the fulfilling experience.

I’m seeing small victories in this approach to a “healthier me.” I feel like I wake up in good spirits and with much more energy. Rarely do I feel overwhelmed by obstacles. Obviously, the body takes it cues from the brain. If you can convince yourself that your mind is healthy, the body will follow suit. You don’t have to wait until New Year’s rolls around to make a change in your life. If Christmas can come in July, so can my “New Year.” If you want to feel better, do something about it. Quit the excuses and realize it will take hard work.  You will thank yourself in the end.

What do you think being healthy means? Which road blocks do people commonly hit when forming new health habits? Do you have an interesting story? Share it with my readers by posting a comment!

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Northwestern State University. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2008 Lane Luckie

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