What’s Your Hurry?

Have you ever stopped to think about the reason that we Americans are in so much of a hurry? me_on_the_laptopWhy is it that we are always in a rush to get wherever we are going? A few days ago I watched someone pass me seven times while I was on my way home from dropping my husband off at his truck. The person was stopped by the same stop lights that I was stopped at, the person definitely seemed to be in a hurry, but the hurrying wasn’t getting that person to where he or she wanted to go any more quickly than I was going. In addition, the constant passing and cutting bumper riding that the person was doing was not only endangering that individual’s health by the stress he or she was creating for him or herself, it was putting other people in the cars around that person as well. I contrasted this with myself who was in no hurry to get to where I felt no stress getting where I wanted to go, yet, I was getting there as quickly as the stressed out person was getting to wherever he or she was going.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

Sometimes you just need to stop fighting the current and simply enjoy the ride.

How does this relate to either of my resolutions, to finish what I start or loving more?  It relates to how I finish what I start because it reminds me that it is important for me to plan my time properly so that I do not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to finish whatever I want to finish. In addition, it reminds me that I need to allot myself enough time to finish those items. I will get to where I want to go just as quickly and with a lot less pain if I stop to enjoy the journey as I will if I try to rush toward my next goal. It is not that important that I rush to where I want to go. It is more important that I learn to be mindful of where I am and where I want to go. This is why having decided to designate Monday, Wednesday and Friday to post blogs here on The Ugly Duckling, post hubs on Hubpages on Tuesday and Thursdays, why I am limiting my novel writing to 2800 words per week as well as why I am making simple changes in habits related to my health rather than dieting.

      One of the main habits that I want to focus on is being mindful of what I eat and drink. We Americans are so obsessed with rushing around, that we don’t take the time to enjoy what we eat or what we drink. I want to learn to stop and really enjoy the food that I am putting into my mouth. Did you ever notice that the first bite always tastes the best? Part of that has to do with the fact that we salivate in the anticipation of eating and our taste buds and our brain is prepared to set out and enjoy whatever it is that we put into our mouths. I want to be able to take the time actually  to  look at my food. I want to see the symmetry of an apple, the colors of a salad. I want to see all the bright colors of my salad, the green of the lettuce, cucumber and green onion, the creamy whiteness  of the meat, nuts, or dried beans, the redness of the tomatoes , the purpleness of cabbage the orange of carrots, and the bright colors of the fruit that I eat after the salad. I want to listen to the crunch of the vegetables as I chew, feel the tingle of the vinegar in the vinaigrette on my tongue, smell the mixture of smells from the salad, as I load each item onto my fork and put it up under my nose to put it into my mouth. Contrast this wolfing down without really tasting a bland dry fast food hamburger and bun, the same mass produced bun, pickle, catsup, onion, and mustard, and the salty cardboard fries that we have had every other time that we drove up to the drive-through window. Imagine then drinking the overly sweet drink so that we can wash the colorless, flavorless food-replacing substance that would have absolutely no flavor if it were not for the salt and sugar content.

I do not want to miss out on the simple pleasures in life. I want to enjoy the journey every step of the way and I certainly can’t do that if I am in too much of a hurry. Life is meant to enjoy, not hurry through.

Changing Habits Rather Than Dieting

Saturday, I had my hair cut and colored and my daughter had her hair cut as well. It was our day out, so we went to the mall and went to The Body Shoppe and got a makeup makeover. It was so much fun. Shannon, my hairdresser and I talked about how if she was not a hairdresser she would love to have been a psychologist because a psychologist does a lot of the same things a hairdresser does, except, the hairdresser can help a girl feel better about herself. As I told Shannon and Keven, (the guy doing my makeover), I love it when I can get the instant gratification that getting my hair done and getting new makeup can make a woman feel more like a lady. I said that it certainly beat eating properly or doing exercise in making a person look better.me_on_the_laptop

Yesterday, I was working on the current college course I am taking physiological psychology and was reading the chapter on obesity and I learned some scientific information concerning why we gain weight and how to use that information to help us lose weight. Of course, the science looks at the idea that taking a pill of some sort or having some sort of surgery could be the answer, but realistically, we can learn to change our thinking, change our habits, and thereby improve our health. I’m working on an article that I will be posting tomorrow that will tell in better detail the research and how to make the necessary changes.

Essentially, I intend to begin making gradual changes rather than going on a diet. It’s too easy to sabotage a diet. For one thing, the thinking is wrong. If I told you “don’t think about a soft creamy bowl of ice cream dripping with hot fudge topping, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, what are you going to think about? I’ll bet your mouth is even watering. (Yeah, mine too.) I can tell you that any time I have ever been on a diet, I have thought about food most of the day, every day I was on the diet. From the moment I started my diet, I agonized about how I was denying myself food. So, rather than diet, I intend to develop small habits and maintain them for a long time. Once those habits are established, I will add to those habits.

Four changes that I want to make right away would be to take a vitamin 3 times per day (recommended daily dose, 3 tablets per day), drink water (one when I awaken in the morning, one before each meal and four other times during the day), be mindful of what I am eating, and then intend to decrease my food intake by just 100 calories a day for the rest of the month. The idea is not to obsess about restricting my diet. Instead, I want to do more to add healthy changes. That’s where the vitamin and the water come in. I am simply adding small positive changes. A few little changes over a period of time can make a big difference in the long run.