Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Year, A New You! - Part 1

Joe McCoppin - Partner, Better Than A Bistro

Joe writes about his personal revelation of the changes he needs to make, and has made, to make this year his very own New Year, New You!

Part 1 of 2.....

There are two things we all have in common in this life:
  • We all need food and water to live
  • Time marches on and now we are all a year older
I find that I procrastinate more often than not with almost every project I undertake. Especially the big ones. Part of the reason is I look at the finish line first. Too often I think once I start "this" project it will take so much time, is it worth it and do I even have the time to invest in it? Then I ask if "this" project is really a priority. It seems like a long road to hoe and clearly I'm very busy....being busy.

At 52 years old it's finally time to face facts. This is no longer a project like losing holiday weight or preparing for a week of backpacking. Either I'm going to adopt a healthier lifestyle in general or not. In my 30's my perception was I'm fit and healthy. I hike, cycle and lead an active lifestyle. If I gained some weight I'd lose it in a few weeks if I wanted. Did I mention I'm 52? It's not easy anymore. The holiday weight I usually gain and lose seems to be askew! I gain 10 and lose 8. After a few years of that I find myself in that 'I look okay in clothes' mentality. Then I compare myself to other men my age and say, "Hey, I look better than him....and him....oh, not him.....drats, foiled again! Maybe I'll do a cleanse or something."

Being in the food business I am acutely aware of the choices I make, both good and bad. It's finally sinking in that no diet, cleanse or magic bullet will have any long-term affect. Frankly, long-term affects is the first paradigm shift. It boils down to a lifestyle change. A shift of how I view food and my eating habits is in order.

I didn't wait til the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, splash cold water on my face and throw out all the food in my house to start over. I didn't donate that food to a shelter because, hey....if it's not good enough for my health it's fine for those less fortunate, right? Not! I didn't magically transform into Jack LaLanne either.

No, I need baby steps and simplicity. Thankfully I have wonderful people in my life today who are very healthy and fit and have been "walking the walk" every day for years, making it look easy. What did hit me like cold water in the face is a lifestyle change will have to be genuine. I can't fake it and it won't happen overnight (it's not a project with an end), but there are choices I can make every day that won't feel like I'm a dog with a shock collar trapped in a tiny backyard.

I have been viewing the whole food thing all wrong. It was a revelation when I asked myself one question that had many many answers; what can I stop/start doing right now that will be relatively painless, sustainable and manageable? Oh, and doesn't cost ANYTHING!

Next week, Part 2.....

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