Monday, April 16, 2012

What causes change?

I've been working hard this weekend to figure out what causes change, and how can I cause REAL change in my life.  See, I try, I really do - I want to be eating only a whole foods plant based diet.  But there is cheese in the fridge and it would be really good on my salad.  Also, there is candy on sale at Walmart - I know it's there, and it sounds so good.  AND, well maybe we want to go out for dinner...

See my problem?  I'm good at wanting to change, but I'm also good at making exceptions to my own "rules".  It makes me feel frustrated with myself.  It makes me grouchy.  I feel like I just can't accomplish what I set out to do.  It's not a good feeling.

I've spent quite a bit of time this weekend hashing it out (again) with Mr. Crum.  We're trying to figure out how to cause some real and dramatic change in our lives.

Here's the thing - to my best figuring, the thing that causes the most effective changes in my life is crisis.  It's hard to ignore a crisis.  I know with all my head that I am in a state of crisis.  My blood sugars are not in control and that makes it hard to function.  Not only does it make it hard to function, every day that I live like this I am making a choice to not be fully with my family as my beautiful boys grow.  Ouch.
I want to be around when these guys are 31, 33, and 34... and even older than that.
I don't want my moment of crisis to be the day that my blood sugar goes sky high and I have seizures and end up hospitalized, or something like that.  I don't want that day to EVER come.  So I have to figure out how to convince my head and heart to recognize that my crisis is happening right now and change has to happen right now.
We're working on this - we've already changed some of our habits.  We wear pedometers all the time (the boys do too) so that we can monitor how well we're doing with getting exercise.  These are literal steps toward health.  My goal every day is 10,000 steps -that is roughly 5 miles of walking a day.  The great news is that walking around my house to do laundry and dishes counts toward my steps for the day.  The bad news is that if that is all I do, I only get around 3,000 steps.  I actually have to be intentional about making that happen.

GeoPalzA GeoPalz Pedometer helped get us motivated to make a change in our walking habits.  Thanks GeoPalz.

More good news about walking for exercise - it's green.  I'm not putting nasty emissions into the air when I walk (unless I'm gassy).  It costs us a lot less money when I can walk where I'm going instead of driving.  I honestly wish we lived just a bit closer to downtown so we could walk to the church as well as walking to the businesses downtown which we frequent.

So for the first time in my adult life, I'm being seriously intentional about getting exercise.  That's a good step.  The next big step is the food thing.  Really we eat pretty well at home most of the time.  The problem that we have is that sometimes we don't eat at home - sometimes happens a lot more frequently than I care to admit right now.  It's just so easy to hop in the van and go somewhere else.  (Or even to walk somewhere).

Why do we need to make this change?  1) It's expensive.  We eat so much cheaper at home than we do when we go out someplace.  2) It's healthier.  When we eat at home, we are able to use fresh ingredients that we trust, and we choose vegetarian (mostly vegan).  3) It helps with blood sugar control because I'm in better control of my food intake.  4) I don't want my boys to fight this fight.  I want them to learn right now to take care of their bodies.
So my big dilemma right now is this: How do I force myself to understand that we are in crisis right now.  As Mr. Crum said, "when it's a slow crisis, it's harder to notice".  I guess that is kind of like the way they slowly increase the gas prices, they think we won't notice as much.  Shoot, we got excited about gas for $3.65 last week.

Wise Mr. Crum also said that we need to figure out how to change our environment to help cause change - now, we're not moving to a new house, not changing jobs or friends... so how do we change our environment?

How do you make real, dramatic changes in your life and family?  What has made a difference in your struggle toward health?  


  1. I'm very environmentally affected. When I enter a new environment, it's easy for me to adapt new patterns and new habits, but if I'm in the same old spot, the bad habits reign.

    Consequently it is sooo hard for me to make a change for better living in the home where I grew up.

    But I do what little I can, and Ryan and I have discussed when we get our newly way place we'll adopt healthy eating patterns. His mother has severe diabetes (she was hospitalized since we've met) and I'm pre-diabetic, so we're both at risk.

    I don't have much constructive advice, except if you're like me with the environment thing, maybe a revamping of your home and/or schedule will help facilitate change?

  2. newlywed* (neither of us have ever had our kitchens, so this seems likely)

  3. Thanks for your thoughts. I think you're right that it's going to take some revamping. We're working on doing this, trying to brainstorm what it looks like. The days I take the boys on a long walk, we seem to do a little better, and I feel better, even though I'm exhausted by the end of the day.