Hi, I'm Diana. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight by completely changing my attitude toward food and exercise. Since then I've learned a few things about keeping it off and I'm still learning. Even if I'm constantly fighting off a few pounds, I can't imagine where my weight would be now if I hadn't made such a drastic life change. I'm a health coach for the Prevent program by Omada Health, and previously I was a Weight Watchers leader. Hopefully my silliness will help make your journey to health a little more fun. More about me here.

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Take the Stairs

Being a health and fitness superhero doesn't always feel manageable. But sticking with making super decisions on a regular basis can be. The mundane stuff that takes effort everyday doesn't have to always be a struggle. One way to mak it easier, is to recognize what you're getting out of it, and to always have the benefits at the forefront of your mind. Many of the positive things we want for ourselves in the long term come from making the harder decision in the moment, but knowing the end goal makes that decision a whole lot easier.

Try this exercise: Take a piece of paper and write out four lists, things that are difficult about being unhealthy, things that are easy about being unhealthy, things that are difficult about living a healthy lifestyle, and things that are easy about living a healthy lifestyle.

Okay, go do that now, I'll wait.
No really, get a piece of paper and do it, it'll take two minutes.

Now, do you notice anything about your list? Most of the things in the "why being unhealthy is easy" column are short term pleasures (donuts!). Most of the things that are in the "why being healthy is hard" column are short term efforts (stairs). And the other two columns are the results we get if we choose either the "easy" way (chronic health issues) or the "hard" way (vitality and happiness!). What's clear is that in the long term, being unhealthy is much, much harder.

Each day, I get excited to metaphorically, "take the stairs" by making the harder choice in the moment. I don't do this because I have to, (I'm a grown up after all) I do it because it benefits me by bringing me happiness through excellent health. It's not that we "can't" indulge in unhealthy behaviors, it's that we choose not to because we want other things more. Those things could be more years with loved ones, more energy, to feel pride in ourselves, to lose weight, etc.

I love this quote for a reminder to make the harder choices each day. "There is a price to be paid just for living. We try to opt out but we can't. You either pay the price in hard work or you pay it in regret."

So make the harder choice in the moment! Or, if you're looking for a mantra, you can say, "take the stairs" and apply that as a metaphor to all things in life.

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