Time waits for no one, no I’m not talking about the Rolling Stones song. I’m talking about the old phrase I’m sure you heard a thousand times throughout your life and at one point probably even said yourself. It has such a deep meaning behind it, say it with me again, time waits for no one. How many of us take time for granted? I know I’m definitely guilty of it. I tell myself, "I’ll get to that tomorrow." My favorite is, "I’ll start exercising next week."
I think we are all guilty of this, taking time for granted. It’s so easy, right? We have all the time in the world, we can get to it when we get to it, right? I think we need to change that around a little. We don’t have all the time in the world, we can get to it if we start now. After 2020, I realized we really don’t have as much time as we think we do. I’m sure you thought the same.
Most of us were impacted at some point during this pandemic. Some of us lost our health, some lost our jobs, a loved one, our mental health, ourselves. Life can be easily changed in the blink of an eye. So if we know this, why do we take life for granted? I know one of my biggest flaws is telling myself "I’ll start exercising when my health gets better." Now that I’m actually writing it out, I realize how ridiculous I sound. Wanting to see results before I take any action is one of my biggest flaws. It’s ok, I’m working on it.
I’ve realized my need to begin taking steps (baby steps) to improve my health. My health won’t change unless I do. It’s been a very long journey for me so far, but it all started with those baby steps. My first baby step was wanting to get outside but not having the energy to get up and move. Instead of saying I would go for a walk, I would say, "I’m going outside today." It was as small as going to check the mail, even if it was only a few steps away. It was having self compassion and understanding I didn’t have to walk a mile; just going to the mailbox was a great achievement for me and was the best I could do right then and there.
My second baby step was clean eating. I honestly couldn’t expect to get healthy and active by eating fried foods, tacos, chocolate and chips. Those should give me energy, right? Although delicious, it’s not the best way to get energy. I started cutting things back, again in baby steps. Soda one day, acidic foods and breads one day, chips, chocolate, fried foods, another week. Eventually I cut out all of them and it became habit for me to make better food choices and be healthier. It didn’t mean I was on a diet. I feel like the word "diet" sends a negative message and often times derails those of us who have the best intentions to get healthy.
Baby step number 3 was challenging myself to do things I haven’t done in a while. This includes going fishing more often and bike riding. I desperately needed more sunlight in my life! I’ll never forget the first time I got back on a bike after almost 15 years, it was a month ago. I rode my bike around the block and I was already regretting the idea. I forgot how much energy was required to use a bike, after about 15 minutes I was like, "Okay, that’s enough for today." When I walked back in the house, my wife said, "That’s it for today??" I politely replied "fuck you" and laughed.
There is no shame in that. Again it was a baby step. You’d be surprised how quickly baby steps turn into larger steps. All it takes is a little push and self compassion. I’m glad to say although my journey is not even close to being over, so far it has been fantastic. I can look back at myself just a few months ago and say I’ve com