Inch by inch it’s a cinch…

j0182524 Mile by mile, it’s a trial. It’s as true for life’s challenges as it is for marathons. My own $25 good-food challenge officially ended on Sunday, but it’s been such a positive experience that I’ve decided to make some long term lifestyle changes as a result. The changes I’m proposing are for my own good and will only help me get to my goal of being fit at forty, faster. But still, there’s a knee jerk reaction that comes with declaring a lifestyle change that asks the question “Will I be able to do this for the rest of my life?”

The irony in my resisting a positive lifestyle change is that when it comes to diet and health, I’ve been been making poor lifestyle decisions for much of my adult life. By not taking my health and well being into my own hands, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing – committing to a lifestyle – but a bad one. Why is it easier committing to doing bad for the rest of your life than committing to doing good? Maybe some of you who are wiser can shed some light on that for the rest of us. In the meantime, I’m beginning my work on doing the right thing.

For me, the right thing looks like reducing the amount of animal protein in my diet. It’s committing to buying and preparing only ethically raised meat and poultry when I do consume animal protein. And I’ve also decided to stick to a reduced monthly grocery budget. Having done it over the past month I’ve realized that I waste a lot less food and take less for granted. Another step in the right direction is returning to a time when I always gave thanks for my food. At the dinner table when we were growing up, my father would ask God to “bless this food to our bodies, and our bodies to your service.” It was a simple but powerful prayer, one that I’ve gotten away from saying as an adult.

So as I begin the process of permanently folding my new lifestyle changes into my daily life, I keep reminding myself that success in the long run comes, as with everything else in life, one day at a time. I don’t have to think about being healthy and living healthy for the next (hopefully) 50 years, I just have to make those little decisions today that add up to making the day a good one. Then repeat, one day at a time.

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Grace is a freelance writer and blogger living in Atlanta, Georgia.