100 Days to Change Your Life
By Carolyn Allen
I’m not quite sure how August and early September “Back to School” supplies equate with October 31 Halloween candy, but there’s no denying that in the aisles of any discount store, the notebooks, crayons and markers are right next to aisles and aisles of Halloween candy. Although I think the retailers are definitely taking advantage of us and our children by making it so difficult to stick with the necessities of life, just look at the calendar! September 23, just two days after this article appears, marks the countdown of the last 100 days in the year and it’ll be January 1 … again.
How has the year gone for you healthwise? And what will you do with the remaining 100 days? End with a fizzle, or a big bang?!
100 days … 100 days! It’s enough to really do something and blaze a trail whether you’re the new U.S. President with the world watching you as you start your administration, or a kindergartner learning to count and establish yourself in school.
100 days is definitely enough time to make a significant difference in your health, weight and energy.
For starters, what were the health goals you set for yourself on January 1, 2009?
You have either:
1. Exceeded your expectations of what you thought you could achieve; (Yay for you!!!)
2. Met expectations of what you set out to accomplish; (Good going!) or
3. Fallen below your desired expectations of what you wanted to accomplish. (It’s not over yet!)
If you’re at 1 or 2, the good news is, there’s 100 days left so that you can both end 2009 and start 2010 with that spectacular big bang . If you’re at 3, Our Heavenly Father loves us no matter what size we wear or what the scale says. He allows and encourages u-turns, so we can too!
Moving on from where you are: Can you imagine anything feeling better on New Year’s Eve than:
1) Weighing 5 – 15 pounds less than you do now?
2) Being comfortable in a size or two smaller than what you’re wearing now?
3) Feeling the energy and self-confidence that instantly comes with smart eating and exercise?
4) Looking back with self-respect and a sense of accomplishment on your personal self-management through the flood of treats and fattening foods that literally define Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas?
If you’re answering even a wistful “yes!” then that is the Spirit whispering to you that you have a desire, even as Alma says, a small desire, to change.
In a wonderful Stake Conference talk for the Annandale Virginia Stake on September 13, 2009, our Stake Patriarch, J.D. Evans, shared wise inspiration that came to him while giving a son a Father’s blessing. He says he doesn’t remember much about this powerful blessing this son who was struggling to find a wife, but he did remember the counsel, “The Lord will guide your steps, but you must move your feet.” How profound!
Which steps to take? The most expensive program or equipment in the world usually aligns sooner or later into the facts: Move more, eat less. Respect 1) your body as an incredible machine personally created by God for you and 2) food as the way to fuel it. In short, there is “no other way.”
What could be the difference this time? Well, what if a camera crew joined you for 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the next 100 days while you went for your goals?
I bet three things would happen….
1) You would START doing the things you say you need to do.
2) You would STOP doing the things you know you shouldn’t be doing.
3. You would MAKE monumental performance gains and change your life.
In reality, we do have that camera crew with us. We’re never alone! When we decide that we choose to live healthfully, our Heavenly Father will always be there to help us make the choices that count. Success happens when no one else is around.
Though the following list of 100 healthy choices may not be original, every one of them works, when we do!
1. Prayerfully choose one food that causes detours and problems, and go cold turkey till New Year’s. See what happens! For me it was ice cream. Every time I had a little, it turned into a lot!
Several years ago, I made a prayerful commitment to not eat it at all – unless I was at the beach or it was my birthday. Since both happen only once a year, it worked! Now 4 years later, I don’t miss it at all. Although I continued to provide some for my family as a treat, it is now pretty much ignored by all, except for special occasions. Interesting!
2. Limit dairy foods: get your calcium and strong bones through dark green veggies and sesame seeds. In many ways, your body will thank you. (In my next article I will share more information and how my husband and I have eliminated dairy for an immediate difference in overall health.)
3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV, or “chair walk”: simply sit on the edge of a hard chair, and lift those legs and pump your arms. You’ll break a sweat in no time!
4. Don’t eat your children’s leftovers to “not waste.”. Say to yourself “My body is not a trash can” as you throw leftovers away.
5. Drink a glass of water before a meal. Your body needs 6-8 glasses of water for basic functioning each day.
6. Eat way less meat, lots more beans and legumes for protein.
7. Eat only half your dessert – save the rest for tomorrow night! Or save treats for one-day of the week.
8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.
9. Take a family stroll after dinner.
10. Avoid food portions larger than your fist.
11. Try a gentle de-tox. Many of us carry pounds of yucky stuff in our colons that can be easily eliminated to feel better quickly and to keep our bodies cleansed of the toxins from living in a chemical world. We’ll absorb the nutrients of what we eat much more effectively, thus curbing cravings and aiding the digestive process. (You might want to look at the tea at my website, www.MyMiracleTea.com)
12. Get out and do some yard work instead of hanging around in the kitchen.
13. Increase the fiber in your diet.
14. Aim for at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies every day.
15. Walk the kids to school.
16. If you don’t have a dog, borrow a neighbors and go for a fun walk outside.
17. Join an exercise group.
18. Trade in soda and diet soda for God’s beverage of choice: water!
19. Replace a Sunday drive with a Sunday walk.
20. Clean out a closet or drawer when you’re tempted to nibble. One woman I know cleaned out her whole house in the 6 months it took to lose 45 pounds.
21. Eat from a smaller plate to help control portion size.
22. Get off the bus a stop early and walk.
23. Stop eating after 8:00 p.m. Your body needs to start digesting the food you’ve already eaten for a good night’s rest and proper elimination.
24. Skip seconds.
25. Set up some shelves in the basement for food and kitchen basics. You’ll love the extra space in the kitchen, plus be going up and down the stairs for exercise!
Skip buffets and all-you-can-eat offers.
27. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying.
28. Cycle to the shops instead of driving.
30. Add a multi-vitamin to your regimen.
31. Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
32. Use vegetable oils over solid fats.
33. More carrots, less cake!
34. Fetch the newspaper yourself.
35. Breathe deeply several times a day. Inhale through the nose, then exhale through the mouth.
36. Wash the car by hand.
37. Don’t skip meals.
38. Swap potato crisps for celery sticks.
39. Run when running errands.
40. Pace the sidelines at sports games.
41. Take a brisk walk at the airport instead of sitting during layovers.
42. Choose an activity that fits into your everyday life.
43. Use the car parking space furthest from your destination (when safe).
44. Ask a friend to exercise with you.
45. Make time in your day for physical activity.
46. Use an exercise video if the weather is bad.
47. Switch from white bread to whole grain.
48. Keep to a regular eating routine.
49. If you find it difficult to exercise after work, exercise before work.
50. Take a walk or do desk exercises instead of a snack break.
52. Avoid labor-saving devices.
53. Take small trips on foot to get your body moving.
54. Play active games with your kids for 30 minutes a day.
55. Dance! Even to the radio works!
56. Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office.
57. Make a Saturday morning walk a group habit.
58. Walk briskly around the shopping center when shopping.
59. Choose activities you enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with them.
60. Stretch before bed to give you more energy when you wake.
61. Take the long way to the water cooler.
62. Explore new physical activities.
63. Just get out of the house and away from food! Vary your activities, for interest and to broaden the range of benefits.
64. Think of yourself as a healthy person and healthy habits will become second nature.
65. Choose fruit or yogurt for dessert.
66. Carry a water bottle or a drink of ice water in your hand at social events – it’ll keep you from nibbling.
67. Take stairs instead of the escalator.
68. Conduct an inventory of your eating and activity patterns.
69. Share a main course with a friend.
70. Grill vegetables instead of roasting in oil.
71. Eat before grocery shopping.
72. Choose a checkout line without a chocolate display.
73. Make a grocery list before you shop.
74. Buy 100% fruit juices instead of fizzy or sugary drinks.
75. Swim with your kids.
76. Flavor foods with herbs, spices and other low-fat seasonings.
77. Remove skin from poultry before cooking to lower fat content.
78. Eat before you get too hungry.
79. Don’t skip breakfast.
80. Stop eating when you are full.
81. Snack on fruit and vegetables, not crisps and chocolate.
82. Top your favorite cereal with apples or bananas.
83. Try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
84. Include several servings of whole grain food daily.
85. When eating out, choose a small or medium portion.
86. If main dishes are too big, choose an appetizer or a side dish instead.
87. Ask for salad dressing “on the side”.
88. Don’t take seconds.
89. Try your burger with just lettuce, tomato and onion – forget the bacon and cheese.
90. Try a green salad instead of fries.
91. Bake or grill fish.
92. Walk instead of sitting around.
93. Eat sweet foods in small amounts, if at all.
94. Take your dog on longer walks.
95. Drink lots of water.
96. Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads.
97. Stay active on holiday – walk the beach instead of sunbathing.
98. Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of emailing or calling them.
99. Carry your groceries instead of pushing a trolley.
100. Reward and acknowledge your efforts by thanking your body for taking part in achieving your goals
I could easily continue this article with 100 reasons to make these healthy choices, but I think you know the ones that matter to you!
Prayerfully make a list. Post it where you can see it, and start the countdown.
On your mark, get set, go!
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