Director's Column - Feb. 2020

Did you make a resolution for 2020? Researchers discovered that most people give up on their resolution on January 19! How are you doing? Did you beat the odds?

Changing your behavior or thought patterns is hard. The only new year’s resolution I have stuck with for many years is the commitment to reusable bags for items purchased at the grocery store. Getting started wasn’t easy. There were many times I got into the store and realized I didn’t have one. I would MAKE myself go back to the car to get a bag rather than to give in and use a store bag…even if they had paper. I decided to go the reusable bag route when I read an article that it can take 10 to 100 years for a plastic bag to decompose. Some researchers say they never really decompose rather just get smaller and smaller in shape.

Leading a healthier life style wasn’t really a resolution rather a personal challenge motivated by my doctor in 2018 who wrote on my chart at my yearly physical that I was obese. She made me really mad at first which lead to me to a “I’ll show her!” attitude. But how could I do that? I know that I tend to look at diets as having a starting and ending date which has not helped me to KEEP the excess pounds off. You can’t go back to eating the same old things that caused the weight gain and expect a different result. So I decided to find a new strategy. Rather than be motivated to change how I looked, instead I decided my focus would be about trying to avoid the health issues that occur (diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure) as a result of excess weight.

I began the journey to a healthier life style18 months ago. I began by deciding to make better choices about what I put in my mouth. I reduced my portion sizes, made the portion size of fruits and vegetables larger than starches (potatoes and rice) and avoid deep fried foods. I decided to continue to eat the things I liked but found a different way to prepare them. Before eating a donut hole in the morning in the office, I had to decide if I’d rather have a glass of wine with dinner (for me, wine always wins!) and pass on the donut.

Wearing a Fitbit has helped me keep up with my commitment to get healthier. For the first 10 months it was about hitting 10,000 steps daily. That changed when Mona told me her doctor said that was good to get 10,000 steps a day but the impact to your health was minimal if you don’t get your heart rate up for 30 minutes. That motivated me to commit to walk or swim for 30 minutes 3 days a week. As my ankles and legs got stronger, I have increased that goal so today it is 40 active minutes five days a week. Per a suggestion by Devon, I added 2 lb wrist weights and added stairs to change up the routine.

The result has been that today I feel the best I have in a long time. I wear clothes that were previously too tight and since August 18, 2018 have lost 22 lbs!

I like to watch Dr. Phil in the morning at 5am on the OWN channel. Some of my favorite Dr. Phil lines from the show are: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”, “You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result” and my favorite “How’s that working for you?” If something in your life isn’t working for you (your relationships, your job, where you live, etc) take a step back from yourself and consider what will. You are the only person that can make you happy, what will make you happy and go for it!!! It’s work but so is anything worth doing.

Enjoy your February and Happy Valentine’s Day!