39. Resolution Not Revolution

39. Resolution Not Revolution

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You

Not Revolution

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
 ~Peter Marshall

Eight, 10, 12, 14. . . year after year, I watched my jean size creep up, along with the number on the bathroom scale. Feeling weak and ashamed, I responded by exercising like gangbusters and severely limiting my caloric intake. I would promptly lose five to 10 pounds, and then slowly fall back into my old habits—overeating and infrequent exercising. Falling back into bad habits meant falling back into larger jeans, too.

In late 2006, I began to think about my previous attempts at weight loss. I realized my goals were always too demanding and I was inadvertently setting myself up to fail. In previous years, I had told myself that I would lose 10 pounds by the end of January, five more pounds by the end of February, five more by the end of March and so on. I set a much different kind of goal for January 2007.

I vowed to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes at least five days a week. It was a small, manageable goal. I began walking just two miles per hour for 15 minutes, giving myself the weekends off. I worked my way up to three miles per hour for 15 minutes and then three miles per hour for 20 minutes. Month after month, little by little, I increased my rate of speed and the length of my walk. I now walk four miles per hour for 30 minutes each day.

I added another manageable goal for January 2008. I had been drinking at least one soda every day. I wanted to drink less soda and more water. Again, I cut back little by little, month after month, and over the course of the year, I reduced my consumption to just one soda a week.

In January 2009 I set myself another new fitness goal. Previously, I was eating fast food two to three times each week. I knew that if I could manage to scale that back, I would be doing my body and my pocketbook a huge favor. Again, just like with my previous goals, I cut back little by little. After two months, I was already down to eating out just once a week.

After just two years on my journey to a new and healthier lifestyle, I was down 20 pounds and comfortably back into my size 8 jeans. By keeping my goals small, I was able to follow through and sustain each one for the long haul. I continue to see the results on the scale, and I feel so much better with each passing year and each new resolution!

~Kimberly M. Hutmacher

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