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Eating Healthy or Unhealthy ~ The Choice and the Consequences are Yours!

May 21, 2008
Want to continue eating unhealthy day-to-day? Stop reading. Want to learn and make the choice to eat healthy, knowing you are human and may have an occasional day where this doesn't happen? Read on and open your mind to some new possibilities!

Put a "STOP" and "THINK" sign on your cupboard and refrigerator doors to remind yourself to ask these questions before proceeding. Then choose your plan of action and proceed knowing the decisions and the consequences are yours!

Are you hungry? Is there a gnawing and growling in your tummy?

*If no, then examine why you are at the cupboard or the refrigerator looking for something to eat.

*What emotions are you feeling? Sad? Happy? Depressed? Angry? Bored?

*Has a specific incident just happened? A fight? A disappointment?

*What activity were you just doing?

*Is going in search of food a habit you have developed whether you are hungry or not?

*If so, then examine the reason why you are at the cupboard or the refrigerator

*Have you given any thought to what motivated you to begin your journey? Your health? Lowering your blood pressure or your cholesterol? Living to see your children or grandchildren? Wanting to share more time with your spouse? Being able to be active? To wear pretty clothes? To improve your self-esteem? To feel better?

If you are hungry and you feel a gnawing and growling in your tummy, then examine if you want to make a healthy choice or an unhealthy choice.

If electing to eat healthy, then select good nutritional items that contain acceptable caloric content . Eat protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, non-fat or low-fat dairy. Eat in moderation.

*If electing to eat unhealthy foods, then realize what you are doing by understanding what it will cost you to make this choice. Your health goals may be affected; your weight and cholesterol numbers may increase.

You may have a larger relapse following this choice. You may die earlier due to associated health related issues. You may not live to see your children raised or enjoy your grandchildren. You may have to resort to wearing over-sized clothing or tight clothing and those pretty clothes you yearn to wear simply won't fit. Your self-esteem may suffer. You may feel worse, physically and mentally.

By this time, if you are truly hungry and elected a healthy option, you are on your way to the success you desire; Congratulations! If you are not hungry but wish to eat anyway or if you continue to be challenged with the urge to eat in an unhealthy manner, there are a few more thoughts to consider.

*Not hungry? Then try implementing these changes.

*Sad? Go do something you know will make you happy, get your nails done, call a friend, go for a walk, get out of your present location, read motivational thoughts, get online and talk to your support group friends.

*Happy? Yeah you .. go somewhere where you don't eat, like a walk in the park, skip around the block, take a candlelit bath.You don't eat in the tub, do you?

*Depressed? Join a support group. Get out and do something new. Go shopping for a self-help book and read it. Get outside and feel the sunshine on your face. Watch the clouds move. Listen to the birds sing. Count your blessings.

*Angry? Go work out at the gym and run on the treadmill, ride a bike, or hit a punching bag. Go for a long, fast-paced walk. Take a pad of paper and go sit outside in the sunshine or a library and write down your feelings. Journal your feelings online in your support group ~ they can be shared with all to gain assistance and knowledge from others within the site. You can elect to share your journal site-wise, with only those you have elected to be your online friends or you can keep your entries private ~ for your eyes only. I would recommend not handing them to the person you are angry at...sometimes we say and/or write things in anger we wouldn't say otherwise and might regret later.

*Bored? Come to my house, I've got LOTS to DO! LOLLL Find a new activity or interest. Take a class at a community college or local university; they are inexpensive and you meet new people. Start a new project or finish an old one that you've been meaning to do. Exercise. Volunteer to help others; it will bless your life.

*A fight? We all do from time to time. Be sure you "fight fair"

-State the action: "When you yelled..."

-State how YOU feel, you are entitled to your feelings."It made me feel like I wasn't important"

-State what you would have liked to have had happen (sometimes it's good to give two options) "I would have preferred that we talk quietly about what was bothering you and ways to make improvements "OR"
I would have preferred there had been no yelling and that we planned a later time to discuss this when tempers had cooled"

*A disappointment? Disappointments are unfortunate but not a reason to be unkind to you; they are a part of life as well. Believe it or not, without disappointment we would not know pleasure, happiness and contentment. It is all about balance. Perhaps when feeling disappointment, you can find another activity to do that brings you joy or you can simply think of the pleasure and joy you have shared before and count your blessings.

Now, all that said, if you still elect to make a choice that is unhealthy, then by all means do NOT beat yourself up for it! Realize you are human, you will make and choose decisions that may be contrary to your goals, but they are for that day. Accept the choice, enjoy what you are going to eat, forgive yourself and start the next day out without guilt and a renewed commitment to live healthier and make better choices. Life is a learning process for all of us and while we enjoy and share the company of others along our path, our journey is of our making and leads us where we wish to go. I'll restate a favorite quote and a few others that helped me many times when faced with these decisions...

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be?" Nelson Mandela

"The only limits to our realization of our tomorrow are our doubts of today." Franklin D Roosevelt

"To achieve the seemingly impossible, you must first dream it possible." Victor Havel

"As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way." Emerson

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Henry Ford

To quote a dear friend, "Too many times we have a dream and we have voices that tell us why it can't be done or how hard it will be, explaining to us in great detail the obstacles and the difficulty. In doing so they are well meaning yet damaging beyond measure.

Too many times we listen to those voices - too many times ours is one of the voices.

It is our dream no one has a right to prevent us from reaching it, least of all us."
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