Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting ready to dance

Friday, December 21, 2001

I ate three mini-chocolate bars, the kind that are about as long as your thumb and come wrapped in festive foil, yesterday, and couldn’t help but think about the way my life will change in January.

I will be among the 100 million Americans who will make at least one resolution this year – and the first one is to eat healthier. No more baby chocolate bars. I will eat more fruits and vegetables. I plan to add exercise to my daily routine and manage my stress more positively, a la meditation.

Yet, according to research, more than 60 percent of us never keep our resolutions. I know the statistics, because I interviewed the experts, read the studies and wrote an article about the challenges of change for Arthritis Today.

But, I also learned that it’s possible to make lasting change with a plan in place. So I’m working on the plan now and identifying the things I need to do to reach my goal of living a healthier life.

I need to do this, not only to manage the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis I’ve lived with for nearly four decades but to manage my life. I’m 39. A writer who spends much of her time planted in a chair. I’m also a wife and mother of a 18-month-old girl and I want to keep up. I want to crawl on the floor, dance with her in my arms. Right now, I’m tired before the end of “Dancing Queen.”

I know that improving my fitness level will also improve my physical strength and agility – it has before. Yes, I’ve tried this before. But I always took on too much, vowing to lose 30 pounds, and exercising every day for a year, instead of making a commitment to smaller, achievable benchmarks. So, I’ll focus on eating a fruit and vegetable at every meal and exercising 20-minutes a day for the first month. I’ll build from there. I can do this.

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