By Samantha McKenzie
I am so proud of myself. In November I set a small goal to improve my health. This came after a really good scolding from my doctor. I can give a 100 reasons why I wasn’t taking better care of myself at the time, but I know that none of my excuses would change the outcome I was facing. I had to make a commitment to start over…again.
I began eating better. I cut out foods like potatoes, pasta, bread and rice. Yeah, so this meant no pizza (my fav!), no chicken alfredo, no fries, no desserts! I chose to drink water at all of my meals and cut back on my coffee intake (my other guilty pleasure). I chilled on the alcohol consumption and only drank red wine when the mood hit me (come on people, work with me, lol). I didn’t eat sugar, or sugary anything. To all my diabetics out there, you know the drill. I ate small meals and healthy snacks in between. Next, I found a great friend to be my workout buddy. I started going to the gym 4x a week. I was hell bent on not adding a new medicine to my routine and would try my hand at managing my diabetes through diet and exercise.
I had three months to reach this goal and two major holidays to get through. On Thanksgiving day, I cooked a traditional meal – turkey and stuffing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and the rest of the good stuff. The counters were also filled with pies and cakes and spirits. My plate, however, only had turkey and green beans. I was lucky that day. I think by the time the foodie season was over I had eaten two dinner rolls, one slice of pie with ice cream and a spoonful of yams. Not bad at all, I thought.
I consider myself a semi-disciplined person. I’m a workaholic and I have bouts of laziness. But when I get motivated to take on a challenge, there’s usually nothing that can stop me. This was no easy task I must admit. My friends and family had to endure hearing me tell them that I can’t eat this and I can’t have that. I know that had to be annoying. My workout partner had to have tough skin, because I whined the entire time. I caught attitudes and even walked out the gym (just the other day) when I thought he was working me too hard. As of today, I’ve lost 8 lbs and a dress size. I have two more pounds to go before I head back to the doctor this month, but I’m confident that I will get there.
I am so proud of myself today. Small wins do count. While we all have big goals, I want to encourage us to celebrate life’s smaller accomplishments. Make it a daily habit to congratulate yourself for at least one thing that you’ve done. Don’t wait for the birthdays or the milestones or the fireworks to celebrate. Give up the grand notion that big is better. Take a tally of the smaller steps. See where they’ve led you thus far.
I feel stronger today. Both mentally and physically. The confidence I’ve gained in the past two months has made me realize how important it is to give myself a pat on the back more often.
Cheers to small wins!