Have you seen the movie “What about Bob?” Whenever I consider New Year resolutions or face difficult challenges – I cannot help but to think about good ‘ole Bob. For those who have not seen the movie, Bob is a tortured, sadly afflicted fellow. His character is so full of anxiety and fear of . . . everything – that he is rendered completely useless. He has OCD to the point that it is extremely comical. Were Bob a real character, of course, it would not be funny at all. He is afraid to leave the house, afraid of his own shadow, afraid to be alone, and most definitely – afraid of elevators. He is certainly in need of some improved health! One of my favorite scenes is where Bob’s doctor gives him a copy of his new book, Baby Steps, and assures Bob that it will be the key to his success. Scene flash – to a terrified Bob, white-knuckle-clutching the book to his chest as he attempts to get on the elevator. He chants “Baby steps out the door,” shuffling his feet as he repeats “Baby steps down the hall,” and one step at a time, “Baby steps onto the elevator.” Bob is smiling as he steps in the elevator, still clutching the book. The elevator doors close – and we hear Bob let out a blood – curdling – scream – all – the – way – down. The poor folks trapped on the elevator with him get the shock of their lives! Can you even imagine? Many humorous scenes take place as his character attempts to make his way through life – one baby step at a time. I never get tired of this old movie. Although it is not intended to hold any life-altering lessons, I find that the use of such humor can help ease the pain that comes with many real-life challenges. After all, if Bob can do it…surely I can too. I have a major challenge ahead. My health has suffered due to ten years of fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis. Daily pain has led to bad choices which, in turn, have led to more of the same until I am now left with a much more difficult road to recovery. It is time to fight back! Do you need to make changes for improved health? It is easy to become completely overwhelmed by these challenges but employing a sense of humor, like Bob and his Baby Steps, can help you stay positive. Taking baby steps toward improved health is the most successful course of action to make changes that will last. Baby Steps towards improved health:
- Begin daily with prayer – it’s the only way.
- Don’t fall into the trap of comparison. Stay focused on the improvements that are right for you.
- Set a flexible schedule using chunks of time to complete various steps every day – with deadlines.
- Be specific in planning- example: walk 2x around the block, 4x each week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
- Write down exercise goals – see above. Set 3-4 specific, yet realistic goals each week such as 15 minutes of free weights 3 times per week. These are the basic baby steps toward improved health that will make all the difference.
- Prepare ahead of time to eat right – Consider using a program like Build A Menu and prepare ahead – for example:
- Saturday – meal planning day
- Sunday – chop fresh veggies for the week ahead
- Monday – prep as many lunches ahead as possible – set aside special food in a lunch bin just for Mom
- Tuesday – make ahead healthy breakfasts for freezer
7. Incorporate things you like to do to into an exercise program to keep a positive attitude and make it fun– try kayaking, walk on the beach, listen to music while using hand weights, ride a bike, or swim. 8. Include family members in healthy activities and recruit friends to help encourage you. Include physical exercise in your family homeschool. Find an online group of moms to encourage you if there is not a local option. 9. Place a reminder checklist on the refrigerator for food and water intake. 10. Use a sense of humor and keep your thought life positive. Think about Bob and remember that if he can conquer his challenges, surely we can too! For those of you facing major challenges this year, I pray this will help you fight your battles as I begin to fight mine. If you have pain, physical or otherwise, if you have a mountain that feels like an Everest, it really can be conquered. Make a move toward improved health – one baby step at a time.