Every Sunday, I type out this social media post…”Take time to plan your meals and #fitness for the week. Those that plan tend to stay on track.” I post it as a reminder for folks and to myself to do just that.
I want to encourage others to take a few minutes, open up their fridge and pantry and see what they have and then make a healthy meal plan in addition to sitting down and finding time in their calendar to add fitness in. I truly believe that when you put something on paper and refer to it often, that it helps you in accomplishing your goals.
While this can be a hard task to some, even if you just do a portion of the meal planning and add in some fitness in the week, you might just be amazed at what can happen over time.
Today, I want to share with you a personal testimony from someone very close to me who has for the last few months has done some of that.
When Bob, my hubby, was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol, he realized that he had to make a change. His health was on the line. He could continue to live as is and risk additional health issues or make an attempt to reduce them.
Because we already had healthy foods in our home, Bob simply had to start eating them on a regular basis to see changes in his health. More importantly, he had to decide to do it when he wasn’t at home. That’s where most of his temptations would actually lie.
For the last six months, Bob’s been making simple changes in his diet and adding in some additional fitness. Here are some of the simple things that he’s been doing…
- Swapping milk for soda.
- Eating a healthy breakfast before he leaves for work.
- Drinking more water and omitting energy drinks.
- Taking a piece of fruit and/or a bag of sliced veggie for snack.
- Saying NO! to the donut, cookies or a bag of chips at lunch (They didn’t come with his meal and cost extra too!)
- Ordering a chef salad when we do eat out, even though it might be “All You Can Eat Wing Night.”
- Walking Teddy, our pup. It’s been a win-win for them both.
- Participating in League Softball one night a week.
Just doing these little things, Bob, reduced his cholesterol from 214 to 190 in six months time and his blood pressure has been regulated. These were simple changes that he felt he could make in his life to better his health. He didn’t really need to lose weight but ended up losing 5 lbs in the process. I’m VERY proud of him for doing this and I knew it wasn’t easy.
I’ll confess…I’ve been there and there are days that I too struggle. It’s all in being human. I do my best to plan and give myself grace when I slip up. My motto…”Today is a new day to do better than I did yesterday.” And that’s what I aim for every day and that’s what I teach my children.
To me, part of living healthy is making it a manageable lifestyle. If it’s overly complicated, we tend to find excuses and then that usually turns into failure. No one wants that!
When we replace those unhealthy behaviors that we’ve done over and over again for years, just a little at a time it can make life much easier. You don’t have to have perfect conditions to begin. You can simply change one thing at a time, like Bob did, and see changes in your life. Even if you’re not planning the entire week’s worth of meals or planning your fitness, you can still start exactly where you are.
This week, I challenge you to replace one unhealthy habit with one healthy habit. You might just surprise yourself. Comment back with your plan. It would be my honor to encourage and cheer you on.