I said healthy – not miserable

Image: © iStockphoto.com

Being healthy does not equal being miserable. Nor does it mean you have to torture yourself into a nail-biting frenzy.

For some strange reason most people think that when someone is healthy they are a ‘health nut’. They don’t eat sweets, or sugar, or fat, or anything that tastes good (because we all know all that healthy food has not taste, no flavor, and you have to force yourself to eat it)?!

So, people assumed that I meant that being healthy equates to being on the edge and miserable about your choices. Folks, I’m here to tell ya being healthy and more health-conscious does not mean you have to sacrifice your sanity!

I consider myself healthy – and I by no means torture myself, or punish myself.

I confessed last week to not being perfect and succumbing to cravings, and to also being just like you. I believe there is a ‘healthy’ balance between being healthy, being happy, being successful with your goals and maintaining your sanity. It’s all about control and it’s all about the ‘big picture’. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It’s learning to know when enough is enough. Learning to recognize your bad habits – and being able to stop them. Case in point: this past week at work a former patient brought in a box of chocolate to show their appreciation for the care they received during their stay. A whole box of chocolates.

My confession is I have a horrible sweet tooth. Horrible! We do not keep any sweets in the house because of this. If they are not accessible, I do not eat them. Well they were accessible. So I ate them.  I had one. Then I had another. Then another. Then another. By the end of the shift I was guilty of eating half the box!

I went home that night feeling all kinds of ‘guilty’. Oh, and I was feeling all kinds of sick – sick to my stomach. I wanted to go work out, I spent time bashing myself, punishing myself for what I had done. I was calculating the amount of empty/bad calories I consumed versus how many pounds of fat I was adding to my body… it was horrible.

Then I had an epiphany. I realized that I could not remember the last time I had done that. I couldn’t recall the last time I even had a piece of chocolate! I  happily remembered that I had taken control of this bad habit. I purposely don’t buy that stuff so that I don’t have the opportunity to gorge on the sweets.

I had taken control.

Yes, of course I lost control that day at work – but I knew what I did wrong. I knew what the solution was to the problem. And, I also knew this was temporary! The next day I went back to work. There was the other half of the box of chocolates and another newly unopened box! I promised myself and repeated throughout the day that I was in control, not the box. It was my choice to eat or not eat those delicious treats. I was not a victim, and it was nobody’s fault but my own if I repeated my actions from the day before.

I am proud to say I never even touched the box. And I never felt guilty that whole day for my previous day’s actions. In fact I felt good knowing that it happened. I had learned from the experience. I learned more about myself and my healthy lifestyle. I felt good.

Remember, we are human! We will and are going to make mistakes, we are going to ‘slip up’. There is no road to weight loss that is not filled with bumps, hills and valleys, and frequent rest stops! Weight loss is a journey not a destination. Give yourself credit when credit is due and be sure to accept your mistakes.

The difference between success and failure in the journey to weight loss is making sure the good severely outweighs the bad. Have more good days than bad, and be sure to learn from each mistake and ‘slip up’ you make.

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