Be Light and Healthy

Life Transitions

Posted on: March 6, 2011

  “All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.”  Sally Ride

Transitions are inevitable as we journey through our days.  Life transitions continually occur and can be scary and overwhelming.  Sometimes we are forced to modify an aspect of our lives due to circumstances beyond our control.  Other times we find some part of our existence is making us unhappy and contemplate altering it.  In either case, we can choose to resist change or flow with it.  Big changes can seem daunting and create anxiety that prevents us from moving toward our goal and leaves us feeling like we’re stuck in the mud.  Refusing to accept change as an unavoidable part of life fuels the negative thoughts in our heads that threaten to hinder us from growing in the direction of our heart’s desires.  If we fail to act and allow fear to envelop us, we feel like we’re being hopelessly pulled under by quicksand.  There are simple strategies that can ease you through big life changes that initially seem impossible.   Accepting that life transitions are inescapable and breaking them down into small steps can help ease you into a new lifestyle.    

When I look back to the beginning of my 100 Pound weight loss journey, I fondly recall it as the beginning of an adventure.  At the time I didn’t think of it as an adventure, but I was not intimidated by it either.  Because I took my time to slowly embrace the idea by letting it seep into my consciousness, the magnitude of my goal did not make me anxious or seem unattainable.  Because I had been overweight since childhood, this undertaking could have seemed insurmountable had I not broken it down into a series of small steps that fit my unique personality and lifestyle.  When it comes to health strategies, there is no magic formula that will work for everyone.  One key to successful lifestyle transitions is to take into consideration your exclusive lifestyle and personal needs.  Each one of us is different and by embracing our individuality instead of resisting it, we can transition to new positive behaviors that are easily incorporated into our lives and leave us feeling happy and healthy. Some people thrive in group settings while others prefer to go it alone and do their own thing.  I’ve never felt comfortable in group settings so I set out to do my own thing and initially didn’t share my intentions with anyone.  Inevitably, people started asking questions as they noticed I had lost weight.  Admittedly, I was a bit uncomfortable often preferring not to discuss the details.  I did what made me feel secure with my decisions at the time, which helped to propel me forward.  Pursue whatever unique approach resonates with you. 

I love transitional behaviors, and they continue to serve me well.  Ultimately, when I have a goal that is far from where I am starting, I’ve found that making small improvements leads me to big results.  Often the small change that I incorporate into my life is not where I want to end up but an important step on my path that moves me forward and enables me to reach my ultimate goal.  There is no way that I could have taken one huge leap from being a junk food queen to eating healthy.  Along the way, I slowly improved my eating habits.  Sometimes it meant selecting the healthier fast food option instead of foregoing fast food altogether.  Categorizing improved food and exercise choices as good, better, or best options, and telling myself that I could choose any of them and consider it a success allowed the seeds of change I had planted in my mind to take root and support me during my evolution to a healthier life.  There are many foods that I ate during my transition to healthier eating that I wouldn’t consider eating today but at the time they were a better choice and served me well.  By never denying myself anything, the unhealthy foods lost their power over me.  In addition, by congratulating myself on each small improvement, I fueled my desire to continue evolving.  I choose to embrace the fact that continuing to learn and grow is a lifelong adventure.    

Consider choosing one behavior that you’d like to improve.  Are you currently in the habit of walking in the door at night and grabbing an unhealthy snack?  If yes, it’s beneficial to contemplate why.  Maybe you typically eat small meals and are truly hungry.  If that’s the case, a healthy snack can quell your hunger pangs until dinner; and the behavior is healthy and appropriate for your unique lifestyle.  If you are snacking when you get home out of habit or as a means to relax, the thought of totally giving it up may create anxiety.  You may have become conditioned to use this behavior as a means to help you unwind after a stressful day or provide an energy boost.  If you’re not ready to completely give up this habit, could you improve upon it?  If you believe you are going to snack, wouldn’t it be better to accept it for the time-being but make some small changes that will move you in the direction of your goals?  Accepting your current situation by extending compassion and kindness to yourself will create positive energy that will shift you in the direction of your dreams.  You could begin to transition away from the undesired behavior by replacing it with an improved choice.  Your ultimate goal may be to give up this habit because you are eating when you’re not hungry; however, you could improve upon it by making a new good, better, or best choice.  As you move forward, you may decide that you no longer need this behavior and opt to put on your sneakers and go for a short walk, take a nap, or read a book instead of de-stressing with food. 

I invite you to gently accept and approach life transitions as opportunities to grow.  By taking a moment to look at your current lifestyle, you may determine that some small improvements could help transition you to a healthier lifestyle.  Be secure in the knowledge that transitions are a part of life.  Embracing them with a daring spirit and believing they are adventures will foster your personal growth far beyond what you may currently believe you can accomplish.  In addition, I invite you to forward this blog to your friends and sign up for weekly e-mail updates at www.belightandhealthy.com to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.  When you sign up, you will receive an e-mail requesting you confirm your subscription.  After you confirm, you will begin receiving weekly updates.

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1 Response to "Life Transitions"

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh Paula, your expression of words, your passion is soooooooooo alive in this, I just sent this to several family members. You inspire me 🙂

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