This month is my two-year anniversary of my journey to better health, and I'm proof that small steps do add up to big change.
In two years I've lost 50 pounds, competed in a duathalon, stopped drinking coffee with sugar or artificial sweeteners, have packed the majority of my lunches to work, became a vegetarian, ran a 5K, am running every day, shop at least once a week at a local farmers market, and try to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables one day a week.
All that is not what I intended two years ago, and as a matter of fact, if I had known that much change would transpire (or that it would take TWO years!), I probably wouldn't have started. But for me, it was about one small step stacked on top of another and another until eventually I am where I am today. And two years from now, I'll be somewhere entirely different.
My bowl of oatmeal this morning is a perfect analogy.
I'd been eating those instant packs of oatmeal for breakfast for awhile, and then found out I didn't like the sweetener that was used in them. What I thought was a healthy way to start my day was actually pretty crappy given the amount of sugar I was consuming. So I switched to quick rolled oats, and my breakfast looked like this:
1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup of water, dash of cinnamon, a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a swirl of half-and-half.
I cut out the half-and-half. And when I ran out of brown sugar, I didn't buy more. I bought honey instead.
My bowl of oatmeal is now this:
1/4 cup rolled oats, 3/4 cup of water, dash of cinnamon, two teaspoons of honey and fresh fruit (either a half a banana or fresh peaches).
Small steps = big change.
I should also tell you I'm not perfect.
I recently binged on Pringles and Wheat Thins, and ate a pint of ice-cream. And I ate way too much macaroni and cheese at a friend's house, precipitating a 36-hour fruit fast that I broke with salmon and summer vegetables. My body was SO GLAD for FRESHNESS after the crap I'd forced it to consume.
Oh yeah, and I'm also not a size 2, and I get frustrated (still!) by the numbers on the scale. I'm trying to make peace with it: maybe it's not about the numbers, maybe it's about overall health.
And maybe, in two years, I'll finally be reconciled with that notion. :)