Wednesday, 1 January 2014

HEALTHY NEW YEAR

There is something empowering about making a commitment to good health, don't you think? And not just the sort of commitment you make on the first of January and forget about two weeks later. I'm not opposed to New Year resolutions, in fact when you're really serious about making that big life change (such as taking better care of your health), positioning that commitment at the start of the year gives that initial boost and burst of motivation. But how many times do we start off with good intentions before giving up or getting frustrated? That question comes up so often that it has become a cliché in itself. It's still worth asking though, especially when it actually leads to a remotely useful exchange...

It has taken me a while to understand that the key to health is not to view it as some goal you can reach and then tick off a checklist and forget about. The decision to be healthy needs to be a weekly, daily, hourly thing for the rest of our lives (dun dun DUN!...only kidding :p It's not that daunting...kinda...)
As it's an established fact that we're all imperfect human beings, isn't it about time we stopped acting so darn emotional each time we 'fail' or encounter an obstacle? (And by emotional, I'm talking frustration and self-loathing and throwing shrivelled carrots across the kitchen). The fact of the matter is that 'failing' is inevitable - the cheeky fried snack or two (or five, or ten) will find its way onto our plate; we will go a couple of days without eating fresh fruit and veg. It will happen. We should expect it.
It's what we do with the next mealtime that's the important thing. It's about the process of making better choices until it becomes second nature. It's about holding on tight to the conviction that our health does matter and should be the best that it can be. Once that is the primary motivation, then we can be quick to forgive our little slip-ups and commit to making the next time better. Over and over again. Until the year comes to an end and we can look back and say: "Hmm, this and this has changed for the better. Still a few more things to keep working on, but I do this and that now without really thinking too much about it". Whether it is significantly reducing the number of fizzy drinks we have every week or upping our fresh food intake by always having a salad with dinner, it's all good stuff. Little changes add up over time, leading to significant health benefits.

Let's take the pressure off this new year and appreciate the 'bigger picture' aspect of health. Let's recommit as often as is necessary, especially in those moments after we've wiped the sugar off our lips or let the leafy greens wilt at the back of the fridge.

I am looking forward to what 2014 has in store, both on and off this blog. Thank you to everyone who reads, tries a recipe, leaves a comment or sends an e-mail. This still blows my mind.

God bless + Happy New Year! :)

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