Saturday, February 9, 2008

Staying honest

This Blog is keeping me honest. Last week, my workout routine languished, but I promised in these pages, to do better. Once I shared that with all of you, I knew I had to make good on my promise.
Psychologists say that a critical component to making a change stick, is social support. And it’s also essential for those of us dealing with arthritis. There are days, when I feel exhausted even before I climb out of bed and I question whether pouring a bowl of Cheerios is worth the ache and effort. Pain can leave you feeling alone and isolated. But friends and family keep you connected to other things in life that are just as compelling but a whole lot more fun.
When it comes to making lifestyle changes, social support also makes you accountable. It’s harder to make excuses or get away with lazy behavior when I know I’m going sit down and share my experience with all of you. It’s harder to skip a workout, when I’ve told my husband 12 hours earlier, “I’m walking no matter what.” And after the exercise, when I’m feeling stiff and sore, it often helps just to have someone to vent to for only a minute.
I’ve made a commitment to myself to live a healthier life. And by sharing it, by saying it out loud and writing it down, I’ve also made a commitment to all of you that I will give it my best shot.
Seek out your own support group. Maybe there are a few close friends or a family member you can go to when the aches are awful or you just need someone to keep you on track. Maybe a neighbor is trying to start her own exercise routine and you can support each other. A support group is great when you need to commiserate, but you know what? Those people will also be there to celebrate with when we reach our goals.

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