Friday, May 28, 2010

Baby Steps

Baby steps.  That's all you need to do. Take baby steps.  Having the courage to move outside of your comfort zone and current habits can sound intimidating, but it becomes much more comfortable when we realize that all we have to do is take baby steps.  Change is a process that takes time, and the good news is that no one but us decides how quickly we will progress.  We all want fast results in this day and age.  I know, I like them too!  When we work towards a goal, we need to be seeing the fruits of our labor, or else it can be challenging some days to keep moving forward.  At the same time, there is a lot of FREEDOM in knowing that each step that we take is our own decision and we get to decide how quickly to take it.

Let me give you an example.  I was getting a skin rash from time to time on my hands and feet.  My skin just got red and itched like crazy. I wondered if it was because I might have had a slight intolerance to wheat products, as many people do.  I decided to eliminate wheat from my diet to see if it helped. Instead of depriving myself entirely of bread, crackers, and cookies, for a while, I sought out Food of Life Ezekiel Bread which is sprouted-grain bread, Sesmark rice crackers, Mi-Del gluten-free cookies, and other wheat-free crunchy foods from the natural food section of my neighborhood grocery store.  I merely substituted some of my regular purchases for new, similar foods.  I just tweaked my purchases.  I didn't eliminate an entire food group just because I wanted to approach eating wheat differently.  It wasn't stressful.  I just took a baby step that was moving me in the direction I wanted to go.  It was really easy.  It was a piece of (gluten-free) cake!  Personally, my body feels a lot better without wheat in my diet, but I don't expect everyone to do this, of course.  I was trying to find the "cause" for a negative "effect" that my body was experiencing.  Reducing wheat in my diet definitely helped reduce my skin rashes.

Think about what your body may be saying to you.  Do you eat a lot of sugar?  Do you reach for cookies or candy when you are stressed?  Or are you more of a crunchy-food lover?  Do you go for the chips, crackers, and anything you can munch on?  Whatever the case, consider what food you can tweak in your diet.  Just as a first step.  Instead of eating Cheetos to get that crunch, aim for Santitas tortilla chips with only 3 natural ingredients (corn, oil, and salt).  Eliminate all of the additives and colorings and ingredients that you cannot pronounce in foods like your ice cream and choose Breyer's All Natural Ice Cream with only natural ingredients like sugar, cream, and vanilla.  Don't worry about the calories for now - worry about eating pure, clean, natural foods that aren't processed or full of chemicals.  Instead of eating a sugar-filled jelly or jam on your breakfast toast, try a 100% natural fruit spread. Just start with one food in your diet and think about how you can make it a healthier option.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something new that leads you towards your destination.  Then celebrate that you have taken this baby step.  Each time you eat that food, praise yourself for making a healthy decision - and enjoy every bite!