A Wellness Confessional: Intro & Chapter 1
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Hi Sparkers! I've been thinking lately, about myself, my goals, my journey trying to live healthfully. I am so obsessed by the question of how to make myself do what is good for me that I've gone and gotten a master's degree searching for some behavioral/sociological/scient
ific basis for health behavior change. I'm still obsessed and hoping to get a PhD in public health.
Beyond my education and future career, my obsession with health is selfish. I mean, sure, I'd like to make a difference in this world and help others. But I haven't been able to help myself yet. I haven't cracked the code for what will have me eating well and exercising regularly and all that other good stuff.
So I was thinking that what might help is to be accountable somewhere, publicly. What better place than my SparkPeople blog, surrounded by a supportive community of people with similar struggles? This is the beginning of my confessional. If I'm doing it right, it will be ugly at times. If I'm honest to myself, it will be difficult to admit to my own behavior sometimes. But hopefully by holding myself to a standard of accountability, my successes will begin to outweigh my setbacks, and I can forgive myself for my own unhealthy "misdeeds." Because we all have setbacks, or moments where it's ok to indulge, and then the important thing is to get back on track afterwards.
This, then, is the beginning of my wellness confessional.
Just before I sat down to write this, I ate a whole box of Junior Caramels and half a box of Rainbow Nerds. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I did it anyway, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I still had the rest of the Nerds and another box of caramels waiting to be eaten.
Then I thought, "Well I can't go on like this, eating junk food to unwind or ease boredom or comfort myself or what have you. It's ruining my health!" And I know it is. But I do it anyway!
Why does knowing what's healthy not make a difference in my behavior? I know what to do to be healthy, and I want to be healthy, but all too often I don't engage in the healthy behavior.
This has always been the case in my life. I'm no longer surprised by it, but I am still disappointed in myself. And I can't explain what makes the difference when I successfully engage in healthy behaviors versus when I don't.
Last summer, I began the Eat To Live nutritarian style of eating. I want this to be my default way of eating on a regular basis. I write out elaborate schedules and make goals and plans and when it comes time actually to DO something about it, I don't act. The big, heavy, leaden laziness in me rears up and says, "I hate cooking," and "I'm not really that unhealthy," and "It'll offend so-and-so if I don't eat this," and "My hip kind of hurts today so I probably shouldn't work out," and so on.
Why do we waste so much time, effort, and energy fighting ourselves over what we want?