Friday, June 4, 2010

Little changes add up...right?

When I first started really trying to lose weight I decided to make small changes instead of big ones. For example, I didn't start working out two hours a day and cutting whole food groups like carbs completely out of my diet...I knew I couldn't maintain those things for very long!

So, I simply traded my sweet snack of choice at the time (Peanut m&m's) for 100 calorie packs and dark chocolate Hershey kisses. I traded my afternoon chip-fest for string cheese, almonds, and yogurt. I traded huge, overflowing plates (and seconds) at dinner for smaller plates and no seconds. I added fruits and veggies. I cut back on butter and cheese.

Small changes...but ones that led to weight loss over time. No quick fix. No drastic measures. Some of my changes were harder than others, and sometimes I wondered if they were making any difference, but eventually I saw the benefits.

So lately I wondered if this strategy would work in other areas of my life as well. At the grocery store, for example. Our food budget is much smaller these days than it used to be and I'm finding ways to make small changes that will hopefully add up to savings. Clipping coupons. Switching from bottled water to tap. Switching to frozen concentrated OJ. Cutting back on my daily coffee and switching to a cheaper brand. Using rags and dish towels instead of paper towels. Reducing the amount of side dishes I make. No more 100 calorie packs...except for the almonds because they are just worth it. (For real.) No more microwave meals for lunch. (That one is HARD!) There are more, but you get the idea.

Small changes, that will hopefully add up to make a difference.

Okay, so how about even MORE using this strategy to change my attitude? For example, using silence more often. Last night I was feeling grumpy and wanted to be rude to my husband, but instead I kinda just made a small decision to be silent for a bit. Now, this isn't a perfect solution (I could have just been NICE to hubby despite my feelings) but these are SMALL, baby steps...that's the point! I've been trying to make the small change of picking one thing to be thankful for when I'm feeling sorry for myself. Things like that, I'm sure I'll think of a thousand more!

So...I guess the point of this post is that maybe we'd all be better off focusing on the small things we can change instead of the big ones that overwhelm us. It takes longer to see real change perhaps, but it's better than attempting to do an instant, complete, dramatic self-makeover and failing miserably over and over and over again!

Or am I the only one who does that? :-)