I’m writing from my favorite local coffee shop; sitting on a cozy, chic little grey couch, and sipping on a hot peach ginger tea coupled with a gluten-free blueberry muffin. Right before arriving, I visited the corner market in the same parking lot to grab a gluten- free turkey and avocado wrap before settling down to write.
Both times – at the corner market as well as at the coffee shop – I was surrounded by options. Delicious options. Convenient options. Familiar options. Truthfully, most of the other options were a lot more appealing than those in the gluten- free aisle. In prior times, I would have been tempted to go into compromise mode.
Embracing my new way of eating hasn’t been easy (at times it seemed impossible), but isn’t that always the case when you decide to change old habits and mindsets? It’s true – our lives change when our habits change.
A couple of months ago, I would have most likely chosen one of the other options because there are always more non gluten- free options than there are gluten- free ones. I would have convinced myself that I didn’t have any other choice unless I wanted to only eat salads for the rest of my life (which of course couldn’t be further from the truth). Are you guilty of this too? Somehow convincing yourself that you don’t have any other choice?
As I look back on my many failed attempts at eating better, I realize:
We ALWAYS have a choice.
Every day life provides us with many options, and each day we make lots of choices. We choose what time we are going to set our clocks to get up in the morning. We choose which brand of toothpaste to use. We choose what we will eat for breakfast. We choose which school our children will attend. We choose who we hang out with, where we work, what we do with our spare time…I think you get the point here. We always have a choice. But sometimes we forget this important fact.
I made a commitment to make healthy eating a lifestyle at the beginning of this year. I decided to stop occasionally flirting with the idea of eating better and just make it official. The Lord had shown me several times that the foods I was eating were the reason for my lack of energy and brain fog. But I kept going back to what was causing my body to be inflamed, sick, and out of balance. Isn’t that crazy? The very thing that was making me feel horrible was the very thing I kept choosing. Every. Single. Time.
Now, I know I’m not the only one guilty of occasionally losing my sanity (ha ha). Can you think of any habits of your own that you know are keeping you from being your best self? Perhaps even making you sick, keeping you unhealthy, or preventing you from progressing in your life? Perhaps you keep choosing to stay with that boyfriend whose character is questionable. Or keeping that friend in your life who you know isn’t happy for your wins. What about choosing to run to social media first thing in the morning instead of your bible, so the enemy can continue to plant seeds of competition and discontent in your heart? What about waking up at the very last minute and starting your day off in a rush and stressed?
No matter what your “thing” is, understand that you are one choice away from a different outcome. One choice. Then, once you make your choice, you must keep making that same choice each and every day until it becomes your new habit – the choice you make without even thinking about it, because it’s your new normal.
I’m proud to say that my choice to eat healthier has allowed me to feel better than I have in a long time. This has been the longest I’ve stayed on course without giving up. I haven’t been 100% perfect, but I’ve made huge strides towards progress and I’m not looking to turn back now.
Here’s what I want you to take away from this…Life will always present you with options, but you get to choose which one you want. If you always choose the familiar, convenient, and easiest option, you will always get the same results. Things will only change when you change your mindset, habits, and appetites.
No matter what goals you have set for yourself this year, there will come a time when you will have to choose between who you used to be and who you are trying to become. In those moments when you’re tempted to choose something based on your old appetites, remind yourself that you are no longer that person who makes choices based on familiarity. Remind yourself of the person you are becoming.
Ask yourself, would the person I’m becoming eat this Twinkie ? If not, what would she choose to eat instead? Would the person I’m becoming skip the gym today, or would she push through? Would the person I’m becoming waste another day being discouraged and hopeless, or would she stir herself up in the Lord and choose joy instead?
Friend, your life is the sum total of the choices you make every day. The choices you make today will frame your tomorrow. Make the choices that will get you closer to the picture you would like to see.
One choice today. Another choice tomorrow. Sooner than later you will no longer be practicing; you will have become.