When I was in elementary school, Choose Your Own Adventure books were all the rage; they presented an opportunity for escapism and freedom at its childhood finest. The reader, as the hero, decided how to progress the story, though desired consequence didn’t always result. I often found myself at a dead end, literally and figuratively, and would back-up to start again and follow a new path.
This is not unlike our own journey to health and wellness. We live in a society where many good choices abound. There are many paths to take, and there isn’t necessarily a perfect choice, but instead, many good choices.
We may find that we’ve take a path that sounded great when we made our choice, but we’re not enjoying now. It could have been a great fit in the beginning, but isn’t working in your life any more. At this point, just as in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, it’s permissible to back-up, and start over somewhere new.
In fact, that is normal and wise.
March is National Nutrition Month, recognized widely by health and nutrition professionals as a time to help people focus on what really matters most when it comes to nutritional health.
“Putting your best fork forward,” the theme for this year’s campaign, entails:
Is the path you’ve chosen leading to a healthy life tomorrow? Ten years from now?
What one thing could you change today, about how you eat or engage in physical activity, that would make the biggest impact in your wellness destination?
If the “one thing” you think of is too monumental a task to take on, or doesn’t seem worth it to you, what one small diversion could you take toward better health? Here are some suggestions related to the goals above:
Sometimes it seems that people are tentative to try something new in fear of failure, but remember that failure is often evidence of effort, not lack of effort. If you never try, you never improve—and even worse, we often regress.
When choosing your own health adventure today and tomorrow, enjoy the journey, and don’t be afraid to back-up a few pages and adjust course until you find something that works for you.
Erica Hansen is a registered dietitian who owns the nutrition consulting company, Foods That Fit. She specializes in working with individuals and organizations to make their health and lifestyle goals fit into real life. She believes that getting back to the basics—preparing good, wholesome foods at home—is the first step to improving health.