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What Is Most Important?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I think human beings have a natural predilection to become attached to things that don't matter. Of course, I'm speaking primarily from my life as an example (and I know I'm weird and not indicative of the human race as a whole), but I think about all the differences between my life this year and last year and how out of whack my priorities were.

Old Me:
+ "Too tired" to make my own meals, so eating out very frequently.
+ While eating out, not making the healthiest choices (not having a salad, eating an entire portion, not choosing a healthy entree, eating an appetizer AND dessert AND having drinks).
+ Insisting on having a sweet after every meal.
+ Buying a "treat" at every grocery trip. And by "Treat" I mean things like cookies, cake, ice cream.
+ Being "too tired" to workout.
+ Eating and watching internet videos.
+ Not eating breakfast because I felt too sick to my stomach.
+ Not asking for nonfat milk and sugarfree syrup for my lattes.
+ Having multiple lattes in a day.

Compare that to now:
+ I eat out MAYBE once a week. More often than not, I go weeks without ever stepping foot in a restaurant. And I haven't been to a fast food joint basically since last year.
+ I ALWAYS order a salad or veggies when I do eat out. I check and double-check to make sure that my entree is grilled or healthy. I don't do appetizers or desserts - I'm too full!
+ I have one sweet treat a day, usually at the end of the day. Right now, I'm doing my MediFast brownies or cookies, but when I'm off program, I plan on continuing to choose small, properly proportioned, fairly healthy desserts for my treat.
+ Treats at the grocery store include things like hummus, organic tomatoes, kale (for kale chips!), zucchini (for zucchini chips), squash, a Greek salad, or sugar free cool whip. I avoid the bakery section like the plague - I realize (I think I always have honestly) that 90% of the foods sold here aren't as good as what I can make in a healthier format!
+ I workout several times a week - in fact, I schedule my workouts first and then I plan around them! (Tuesdays = Spin, Wednesdays = Run/Walk with a friend, Fridays = Zumba)
+ I tend not to eat and watch TV or internet videos at the same time. In fact, I spend a LOT less time in front of either - I'm too busy at the gym or with friends!
+ I always have breakfast, whether it's a bar or oatmeal or, what I hope to add, yogurt.
+ I'm very careful when ordering coffee. I've started asking for a small soy latte with one pump of X syrup (like pumpkin). It's a small treat, and I savor it for like an hour.
+ I also limit myself to ONE latte a day. Any other coffee I have is an Americano, maybe with a splash of soy, but that is ALL.

Old Me didn't prioritize my health. Old Me just gave up trying to be healthy, to look good, and to take pride in my appearance. Old Me didn't think losing weight was possible anymore; Old Me felt like it was a losing battle right from the start. Old Me thought that, well, this is what I was, can't change it. Old Me found the taste of the moment, the present was the most important thing in her life.

That's not the me of today. Sure, I love food. I still love most of those bad-for-you foods - the chips, the cookies, the cakes, the pizza, all those naughty, salty, sugary, carby delicacies that I ate before. I'm not one of those people you might see in infomercials who is like, "I don't have any cravings anymore!" No, my cravings aren't what they used to be; *I* am in control of my cravings, instead of my cravings controlling me. But sometimes, I really want to have some candy. Old Me would have downed an entire chocolate bar; the me of today will instead have a small piece of dark chocolate and savor every bite.

The biggest difference between Old Me and New Me is this: I have realized what is really important to me. Eating a lot of a food RIGHT NOW that sacrifices my health? Not cool. Exercising today to build my strength and tone my body, so that I start out my 30's healthy? YES MA'AM!! Spending hours watching Internet videos mindlessly eating? Nope, not happening. Having a small treat at the end of the day, such as a square of dark chocolate or a modest sized brownie or even just berries and cool whip? Sign me up!

Unlike chips and soda, you can't buy good health at the store. There isn't a kiosk for it, you won't find it on the shelf, you can't surf Amazon for it. The only way to get it is to make it your priority. And the way you make it your priority is realizing that YOU are AWESOME and AMAZING and deserve to treat yourself right!

There are a lot of things I want to spend my 30's doing - traveling, meeting new friends, seeing new places, running more 5K's. With the Old Me, none of that would happen. But the New Me? She's got a bright future in store and is ecstatic to start living it!
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