American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


Today is the Day

picture of a beautiful saladA few weeks ago a new client came into my office for her first appointment, all Type A and ready to roll. It was January, so this is pretty normal. Except she wanted to actually start next week. This week was far too busy and crazy, but next week would be perfect.

Now this is not a woman who hesitates for one minute doing things for others. She is a dynamo, making the world a much better place every day as part of her job and part of her community. She is a cancer survivor, glass ceiling breaker, mother, wife, and friend.

The medicine she needs to keep her cancer in remission causes severe joint pain, which is why she came to see me. Her physician told her if she lost weight she would feel better.

I told her she could feel better before she even lost a pound.

That very day, a the start of her crazy week, was the perfect day to start. It wasn’t about doing everything right, it was just about taking steps forward.

So much of the stress we feel about making healthful changes is because we haven’t started yet. Taking those first few steps puts the whole plan in motion and before we know it we are doing it. And its not nearly as hard as we thought it would be.

Like riding a bike.

So I talked her into starting right away, at least keeping her food journal and making some food choices that would reduce her inflammation. Easy shifts, like ordering something different at the restaurant by her office.

She found a beautiful blank journal that was a gift from a friend, and started writing down what she ate. Her plan was simple, and actually make her crazy week easier. The calm that came from taking those first few steps was better than the stress of waiting.

Taking any action, even something as small as ordering a salad, moves you forward.

When she sent me her first food journal, I could not have been more thrilled. She was in shock. After just one week, she had significantly reduced pain in her joints. So much so that she had no desire to go back to her old way of eating – it would be too painful.

In just one week she no longer had to shuffle to the shower in the morning. She could walk without pain.

After three weeks, she has lost over 5 pounds without trying, and wakes up without pain each morning. Her cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar are in the perfectly normal, healthy range. Her physician is so happy he is thinking about taking her off some of her medications. In fact, he is even becoming a believer in the power of whole foods.

There is no time more perfect than today to get started.

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