Change: verb \ˈchānj\
- to become different
- to make (someone or something) different
- to become something else
Recently, I’ve been making an effort to discontinue using the word ‘change‘ when discussing health and fitness issues. Because I do not believe anyone needs the pressure, anxiety or doubt that accompanies the call to “become (someone or something) different”. As a health advocate, I’m definitely NOT hoping to inspire someone to become someone other than who they have grown to become.
I find that I’ve been saying ‘change’ when, really, I am referring to growth, improvements, discoveries and explorations as they relate to our ever-unfolding health journeys. Most importantly, I think most of us will agree, the word ‘change‘ sets off very loud, danger-ahead, red-alert warning signal that something unpleasant, uncomfortable and undesired is on the way.
Let’s say, for example, that you decide (or your doctor tells you) to change your diet and your sedentary lifestyle. Most likely, you will have a good long talk with yourself before you buckle down and steel yourself against the deprivation, denial and suffering that surely lies ahead.
What if, instead, you chose to make small improvements in your daily eating habits…maybe spending a few extra minutes in the produce department discovering exciting new options? Maybe you would explore new ways to prepare your vegetables (steamed, grilled, stir-fried…). And maybe you would find that you love kale and spinach. Or not. But it’s worth a shot.
What if you decided to discover how you feel when you start your day with a bowl of oats, nuts and fruit as opposed to a giant jelly doughnut washed down with a super-sized mocha frappuccino? If you realize that you feel more energetic and satisfied, you can choose to start everyday that way. If, however, oats aren’t your thing, you could try eggs. You don’t have to change anything about yourself…you’re just being adventurous knowing that you always have the freedom to stay or return to your current course.
If you realize that you are not moving enough every day, you have many options that don’t include unpleasant, time-intensive commitments to drudgery.
You could buy a gym membership… lift weights, dance Zumba, utilize cardio equipment or, best of all, join one of my highly anticipated, sell-out Strength In Numbers classes.
Walk your dog or ride your bike through your neighborhood. Learn ball room dance or karate. Join a cycling group, swim class or German polka club. You might discover that you love to move.
If not, your couch and TV will welcome you back.
Health equals Freedom in my dictionary. Opportunities to expand your horizons abound. Don’t get hung up on ‘change‘. Just get out there and take a chance that you might find that yourself touting the benefits of eating quinoa and swinging kettle bells.
Have you recently made a healthful discovery? Maybe you’re planning to try something new? Or maybe you have a ‘change-gone-wrong’ story you’d like to share.
Inspire us with your story…I always welcome your comments and questions.