Skating Uphill - September 2018

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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“September is my birthday month, and I usually like to take a minute to re-evaluate
my life this time each year. Somehow, this month that minute turned into a big deal!”
– The Uphill Skater

I like to take genuine quiet and alone time around my birthday to take a look at where I’ve been, and even more importantly, where I think I might be going next. As you know, Skating Uphill often comes with bumps in the road that can make forward progress difficult. This year is no exception, so I thought I would share to see if I am alone in the dark, or standing in the daylight with friends. I have four things I would like to put out there to think about this month.

Weight Gain: My first speed bump is my 10-pound weight gain. I have gradually pushed it down to a net a six-pound gain, but that is the best I can do, which is not good because it means I have to take a good look at things like snacks, eating out, lack of exercise, and a ton (no pun intended) of other things I am, or am not, doing to keep these six pounds hanging around. I may just look this one in the face and move on. It is not good to be a slave to a few pounds, so I am not going to worry. I will try to do little things a little better. I recommend this approach; it is much easier on the nerves.

Diet: Next in my line up on the bumpy road is what I will call diet for lack of a better word. I do not mean being on a diet; I am referring to the things I buy and eat in general. I have been enjoying a certain type of chip and cookie that keep calling my name. My saving grace is the goodies at the farmer’s market that are oh so healthy. I’m trying to substitute a small apple each time the cookie calls or the chips chant. You, nor I, will choose the apple every time, but each time you do it will make a big difference over time.

Attitude: Another item on my September looking back and forward list is attitude. How are you feeling about you? I feel pretty good about me because some of the goals I set for myself this year have worked out pretty well. I joined a membership massage center, which makes me give myself a treat like a massage, or facial each month. I am also taking a more active role in my church, which makes me feel good. My husband and I care for our 4-year-old grandson on a pretty regular basis, and we love every second. My attitude score looks like a nine out of 10, which I will take all day long. Bad attitude, or bad self-image, can be such a downer. It’s not good for any part of your life and makes even good things seem grim. If you look at that glass as half empty long enough, pretty soon you’ll see it completely empty and possibly get so down you want to fill it with wine at inappropriate times and then...its all down hill from there.

In conjunction with having a bad attitude is what I call your social attitude. It does not take long before you might stop going out as often as you once did, which leads to not getting invited places because you are no fun and have abandoned the social scene. This starts a vicious cycle: The more you sit home and watch HGTV, the worse you feel because now you do not have any friends and you think your house is a mess! Okay, this is extreme but you get it, don’t you? The way you look at not only yourself, but also your surroundings can make a huge difference.

The more things like weight, diet, personal attitude, and social attitude come into your life, the more space they take up. Perhaps you are feeding them inadvertently, but nonetheless, these negativities grow and feed off of each other.

Repeats: I call my last point repeats! This means bad things get to be a habit. Sitting around watching TV with a bag of chips and a glass of wine is so nice and easy, one may choose to do it rather than something more productive or healthy. Please don’t ask me how I know this. Bad habits are easy to form and hard to break. Did you ever quit smoking? Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean. The snacking habit, the sitting habit, the not washing your face habit, the going to bed too late habit and the bad/sad attitude habits are every bit as difficult to kick.

So, #AnAppleADay for September!

Let’s do better. Little things can make a big difference, like taking time to re-evaluate each year during my birthday month. I also give it a shot at the New Year. My best advice is to take baby steps. Try little improvements and see how much better you feel and how much more you accomplished. For example, when I started walking my dog, I didn’t plan on doing it every day. However, he loves it so much he waits by the door every morning, so off we go. Also, I have completely stopped drinking, which, let me tell you, has been a huge change in how I feel physically—definitely worth it. I have also started telling my husband I love him every day, which has had lovely and unforeseen consequences that I will not even go into! Let’s just say breaking bad habits and incorporating new positive habits definitely have a way of revving you up and making you feel great. Love, Judith

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