When it comes to change, can another person influence or cause you to make a change? What is the deciding factor for a person? Does it take a critical moment–life or death–for change to happen?
This is a topic that really can be a bone of contention with my family. People are constantly telling you, “stop doing this or that bad habit;” telling you, “smoking is bad for you!, you need to lose weight!, you need to exercise more!” Even the more serious addictions of alcohol and drugs!
But the reality is, none of these things are going to stop, change, or become a goal until that person makes the decision for themselves. And really, no amount of cajoling, pushing, or nagging is going to make the decision for that person. No doubt we should encourage them, but it’s not going to occur until something critical happens to that person.
Today I want to look at three events in my life, and explore whether it takes a life or death, critical moment to say,
I’ve seen it happen, the moment that causes a person to make that decision. For my Father, overweight and a two-packs-a-day smoker, his critical moment was life or death. His “Decision Made” moment was a heart attack.
He quit smoking cold turkey. I applaud him; that had to have been tough. And though he struggled with his weight until the day he died, he strived to eat healthy and exercise.
Now, for my mother, her decision to stop smoking was based on a completely different
reason. It was the 1970s; she was 30. In those days, frankly, everyone smoked. However, my siblings and I were very upset that she smoked. We were sure that she would die from her smoking, and we couldn’t imagine losing her.
In her later years, I asked her what really made her decide to quit. She said, “You, my children, made me stop and think about it. I realized I wanted to be around to see you grow up. I realized I wanted to see my grandchildren!”
For me, that critical moment was gaining another 5 pounds. I was topping out at the most I had ever weighed. Looking back, I had gained 5 pounds every 6 months over the last year and half. I knew I couldn’t keep that up!
Was it life-or-death for me? Yes. Because each added pound was ultimately affecting my health. I knew unless I made a change, it would keep adding up, until it was genuinely life-threatening.
Kudos to my doctor, she helped me with how to get started. She simple suggested I count calories and recommended MyFitness Pal, an app for smartphones.
I’m really excited, 4+ months in and 15+ pounds are gone. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my mindset this time. I’m hunting down new healthy recipes, checking out cookbooks from the library and collecting healthier recipes on websites, like my Pinterest Skinny Eating board or my Healthy Living board.
Was it life-or-death for me? Yes. Because each added pound was ultimately affecting my health, and, unless I made a change, it would keep adding up, until it was genuinely life-threatening. That’s it.
One of the most interesting things that came out of this was the realization that I was scared. Scared that if I tried this I would fail. But as my daddy taught me, it is better to try and fail, than to fail to try.
I am relieved, because it has proven, most of the time, to be easy. Don’t get me wrong–I do have days and weeks when I struggle, but my mindset has ultimately changed. When the mind changes, that’s it.
Do you have that one piece of advice you wish you knew at the start? A website, a program, a book? I would love to hear what you are doing, what works, what doesn’t. Tell me all about it!
My challenge to you is to challenge me.
Until next time.
Take Time to Live a Life that Inspires You.
—————————————————————————————————————-I’d like to personally thank my General Practitioner, Doctor Michelle Neal. She always starts with the least expensive and/or easiest solutions to problems. To connect with me on MyFitnessPal/gindavis With this free service I am able track my daily menu, weigh in and watch inches. MyFitnessPal also features a great search engine that allows you to search the database for your daily food items, including many restaurant meals. It is easily modified and effortlessly fits into my out-and-about day-to-day running.