Accentuate the positive
Posted: Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Amanda Wilson is a student who has a passion for helping others and is now committed to helping herself. She enjoys spending time with her pup, Gia, being with family and friends and traveling. Contact Amanda here.
The start of summer brings about hot humid days, the sight of colorful flowers in full bloom, a yearning to be near a pool or lake, and the beginning of cookout celebrations that last throughout the season. There is nothing that comes close to spending a warm day with friends, family and grilled food. Who can complain about sitting in the shade, eating, chatting while sipping sweet tea, and more eating?Fathers Day last week was the perfect occasion to pull out the grill, light up the charcoal, and stuff our face with goodies until our hearts (not stomachs) were content. Unlike most pre-cookout feasts, I wasnt feeling anxiety over the prospect of being faced with a mountain of temptation. I usually give in to the overwhelming pressure of trying to decide what or what not to eat at cookouts, and then I end up using it as an excuse to eat any and everything with no consideration for portion size. This time was different. I didnt go in to it feeling overwhelmed or defeated. I made sure to eat prior to arriving so that I wouldnt be starving when I got there and willing to eat anything that caught my gaze. I decided what I would have in advance, and in what portion size. This allowed me avoid making these choices while surrounded by people, and standing over hot, steaming platters of tasty goodness. Trust me when I say making the right choice is a lot easier in advance. I even brought some healthy options along with me to fill my plate, which made less room for the chips, dip and cheeseburgers.Needless to say, I felt good about how I handled this situation. I was still able to have a good time and not be completely occupied with food. It was great to feel satisfied with what I ate without having the urge to take an intermission from over-consumption before driving home. The most encouraging aspect of this experience was seeing the small yet influential steps I am taking toward creating my healthy life. Choosing vegetables instead of processed foods has become more of a want-to instead of a need-to. Tracking food intake and counting calories has developed in to a desire rather than a nuisance. Going to the gym has steadily become something that I like to do rather than something I want to escape.The first month of this challenge has been an adjustment for me, but I am certainly making positive changes. That truly excites me. The objective is to continue to solidify each diminutive action in to long term habits with time. As I approach our second weigh-in, it is these small yet significant successes that I will keep in mind. It is in our nature as human beings to seek validation in our lives. To think that the validation of all my hard work will come down to a number on a scale is scary. Wonderful thing is that it doesnt. My hours spent in the gym, my determination to feed my body what it needs, my sweat on the floor goes way beyond a scale. It is this that I will hold on to.
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