Little Choices Add Up To A Big Impact

The other day, I was listening to the latest expert speak about physical health. He talked about the power of choices: That a single choice – say, to have a burger – won’t impact you today, or even tomorrow. However, have a burger every day for a year, and your body, in your unique way, will change.

This isn’t breaking news to me or anyone for that matter on her own health journey. Eat the right things, exercise, and your body composition, eventually, will change.

That’s all well and good when you put yourself on a strict meal plan. Most of my weight loss successes have been from following a strict, regimented diet. What I know well and good is that the word “strict” is the route of the problem.

By denying myself certain foods, I magically feel the need to eat them. (Hello, I’m looking at you bread!) By being SO focused on what I cannot eat, I always want to seem to…well eat. I don’t think I’m alone in this, right?

The phrases “I deserve a snack” or “I have the munchies” run through my head, oh about million times a day. Most likely because I’m trying to be overly strict with myself.picnic-2244407_640

Then there’s the worst moment: I stop being strict. I make a little choice at first. I find myself heading back into bad habits and, Quelle surprise, the weight comes back. Ah, the vicious circle of weight loss!

I was talking about this particular annoyance with my sister recently. She and I commiserate regularly about our weight. Frustrated that while many other parts of our lives are basically awesome, this is the thing that still continues to plague us. (Yes – sister, I know you’re reading this – and yes, you are AWESOME. The end.)

Which leads me back to this week’s post:

If the little choices add up to a big impact, can you also leverage these little choices into making a completely different choice? Rather than letting your desire for a snack control your brain, change the direction of the thought.

In our usual conversation about interesting recipes and potential fitness options, we had an idea:

What if every time we wanted a snack we did one push up? Just one.

My sister laughed saying she’d probably end up doing about 100 push ups a day.

I thought it was an interesting idea. Move the idea of “snack” to an accomplishment, rather than another opportunity to say “I failed my diet” and throw in the towel.I may still have the snack, but if I do a pushup then I have something to celebrate too. I’ve made a little choice that will, in time, have a big impact. I will no longer be derailed by a sneaky snack. I will rejoice in the fact that my arms are strong.

I’m not sure I’ve convinced my sister to join me on this experiment. If you’re struggling with the “snack monster” in your ear maybe, you might want to join in by making little choices. Make a note in the comments if you are. I’m curious.

I’ll do it. Stay tuned for my buff arms.

One pushup at a time.


photo credit: eltpics Strong via photopin (license)

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