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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Evolution of "Healthy"

What is "healthy" to you?  What does being healthy look like?  What does it feel like?  What does eating healthy mean?  For me, there has been a slow learning process - an evolution.

When I first started making healthier choices it was pretty basic.  Drink more water.  Then incorporate some extra vegetables in my day (alongside the Big Mac of course.)  Over time the items in my refrigerator and pantry have completely changed.

Where once there was white bread, white rice, potatoes, crackers and other processed carbs, there is now whole grain wraps (which I don't eat often), brown rice, sweet potatoes, organic whole grain crackers (which I also don't eat often.)  Where there was Lean Cuisine processed meals or other frozen dinners there is now fresh meats and vegetables.  The whole milk is replaced with organic lowfat milk.  And if there is an organic version of a food, I strive to get that rather than the chemical-laden versions.

There are almost no sodas in the house (except for company) and snacks are usually plain almonds, string cheese, cottage cheese, carrots, celery, organic peanut butter and the occasional organic dark chocolate square.

The point I'm trying to make is that none of this just happened.  It has taken a few years of substituting one item for another until it became a habit, and then tackling another item.

That's how it goes with all of these healthy lifestyle changes.  I have become more active slowly over time. I started working out once a week, then twice, then three I work out a minimum of 5 days a week (because it FEELS so good to me to do that!)  When I started I could barely walk from the car to a store without being winded.  Now I park as far away as possible, take the stairs when possible, and get out and ride my bike when time permits.  (Note: I didn't own a bike a couple of years ago; it's all part of the evolution.)

Here's the takeaway: Becoming healthy is multifaceted and it doesn't happen overnight.  Make ONE "Next Right Choice" today.  Maybe commit to drinking more water for a week.  Perhaps you can vow to add apples to your daily food intake.  Just do SOMETHING that is a choice in the direction of better health, then do it until it becomes habit.  Once that is mastered, make one more healthy next right choice.

Before you know it, you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of where you are now.  Just one next right choice.  What'll it be?

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