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You Have to Keep Climbing (Thoughts on Living Healthy)

Healthy living isn't about knowledge. Can we agree on that point?

Eat the rainbow every week.

Sweat every day, preferably for 30 minutes or longer.

Avoid artificial foods.

All foods in moderation.

Raise your hand if you already knew all that.

Of course you did.

The problem isn't that we're unaware of how to eat live. The problem is that we're numb and scared.

When your brain is numb, you walk the well-worn path that brought you to where ever you are. You think about the pleasure of the food. You do what you've always done. You eat what you've always eaten.

If you pause to think about changing your direction, about ending up somewhere else, about digging yourself a way out of the rut, you realize that it's going to take a lot of reaching and climbing and clawing, and you quit before you begin.

You think about the dollars and cents of cheap food, and you decide you can't afford to eat better, fresher.

You think about being tired and out of breath and know that exercise would solve both problems, but it will hurt for a while and you would rather just roll along on the path that you know.

The more you think about getting out, forging a new path that ends somewhere besides obesity-related disease, the deeper your rut feels. By the time you're done, you're standing at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, looking up at a mile's worth of solid rock.

You know how to climb up, and you have the tools, but you've defeated yourself before you began, and you think:

It's just too hard.

I can't.

I won't ever make it to the top, so I might as well have another bag of chocolate.

But you can make it; you know how.

Put on your gear and take the first step. Then choose to take another. And another. And another after that.

The climb will be hard, and you will lose your grip and fall backwards. You might even fall the whole way to the bottom, but you have to get up and start climbing again.

You have to keep climbing. You have to choose to choose the next right thing. Engage your brain. You have to evaluate, pick the next healthy food, the next sweaty activity.

If you don't quit, at some point, you will reach the top, and you won't have to work so hard.

You'll be able to walk along, making a new path. You'll always have to watch out; you'll always have to balance and make the right choices.

If you don't, you will tumble back down and have to start all over.

You have to keep going.

This rut you're in ends in a giant waterfall, and it will kill you.

Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. You can't escape it unless you start climbing.

Start today.

I am down almost 35 pounds from my starting weight on January 1. Over the last month or two, I've tumbled partway down the cliff, but I've got a good footing again, and I'm on my way.

I'm climbing next to you. We can do this together.

© 2012 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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1 thought on “You Have to Keep Climbing (Thoughts on Living Healthy)”

  1. You’re so right! Thank goodness THIS step is the only one you have to think about right now. So take it. You can worry about the next one after you get through the first. I need to take your advice about some things, too. It’s not just weight that affects people this way.

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