I have a small sign on my desk at work. Actually, it’s a magnet, but none of the magnetic surfaces on my desk are in my line of sight as I’m looking at my Mac. So, I have it propped up against my monitor.

It reads “Nothing tastes as good as thin & healthy feels.”

Across from me, in my peripheral view, are a Pepsi machine and a snack machine. Thanks to half a year of drinking almost purely water, the soda machine doesn’t bother me. My temptation lies within the chocolate-coated, cream-filled, cheesy triangular goodness next door. And I won’t even go into when some well-meaning co-worker delivers a box of freshly-baked, glazed-to-perfection circles of dough.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Anyway, lately, with the holiday season, I’ve been ignoring the sign altogether. Looking at it only makes me guilty as I fish out another quarter to feed my “sugar monkey” from the vending machine. It reminds me how I SHOULD be tracking what I eat. I SHOULD be training at the gym. I SHOULD be ignoring the Christmas cookies and candy that are accumulating everywhere I look. I SHOULD be packing healthy snacks to reach for instead of letting my emotions and sweet tooth control what I eat.

And yet, my sugar monkey squeals in delight as I tear open a bag of mini Oreos. The stress of the day melts away, for only a moment. But that stupid sign is still there.

This week, I somehow managed to renew my focus back to a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been to the gym the past three nights. I track every bite I eat. I munch on fruit and lean protein for snacks.

Today, as I was peeling an orange, my eyes were drawn to the sign…and I realized that what it says is true! My body feels so much better when I fuel it with good, healthy foods, and spend more time being active. In fact, I feel wonderful!  And that sweet, fragrant orange tasted great!

So why do I regress sometimes? Why do I choose to ignore the progress I’ve made, and lose my focus on attaining a healthy weight and a higher level of fitness? I don’t know. But I do know that it starts with only one little decision. I choose to skip the gym and binge-watch My 600 Pound Life (ironic, I know) while eating whatever’s lying around. I choose to take that peek into the donut box…and then a whiff…and then a bite…and then a whole donut. Or two. Or three.

Maybe that’s why it’s so vital to have a reason why you want to make a lifestyle change. Everyone’s reason is different, and you may even have more than one. Whatever that reason is, it has to be important enough that it keeps you from going too far astray. That cookie seems insignificant compared to completing a marathon, or avoiding a potential hereditary health problem, or fitting into a smaller size of jeans.

Maybe I need to reexamine my motivation when that sign starts to become invisible.

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