Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stop Signs and Red Lights

This morning I woke up when the alarm went off at 6:25, but I drifted back to sleep again. I had a very vivid dream, where I was driving down an empty street and saw a police car coming up behind me with his lights on. I knew I was staying within the speed limit, so I figured he wasn’t after me… but when another police car pulled out from a side street in front of me and blocked my path, I knew I was in trouble. The police officer said that I had been “blasting through stop signs and red lights for miles.” I woke up just as I was about to tell the police officers that they must have the wrong person.

I got out of bed shaking my head. “What a weird dream. I would never do something like that. I always stop for stop signs and red lights.” I made my way to the kitchen to start getting Ron’s lunch ready. As I started down the basement stairs to get a can of tuna, I noticed that I was doing the “granny stair routine”: right foot down, left foot down, leaning rather heavily on the railing. Going down the stairs was making my feet and ankles hurt. I said to myself, “I need to stop snacking so much and get back to healthy eating… I didn’t have this problem when I was lighter!”

That was one of those “light bulb” moments. There was something that reminded me that I needed to stop… would I obey? That made me think of some other “stop signs” that I’ve ignored in the past few months:

  • When I tried putting on a favorite pair of jeans and they wouldn’t zip up: “I need to stop acting like I’m still on vacation, eating dessert every night!”
  • When I found myself short of breath after hurrying up the stairs: “I need to stop pushing exercise to the bottom of my to-do list.”
  • When I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I had slipped into a “decade” of numbers I said I’d never see again: “I need to stop procrastinating and get back to diet and exercise.”

So, I had a decision to make this morning… whether to continue ignoring the “stop signs” and “red lights,” or to get back to doing what is right, what is good for me.

The excuses started right in:
  • “You just made a loaf of gluten-free bread last night. You can start up again as soon as that is finished.” (Even though it’s gluten-free, my husband and daughter will still eat it. Excuse overruled)
  • “There are still all those gluten-free granola bars you made… they’re so yummy. Why not wait until they’re gone?” (I’ve had enough of them… they’re a little too yummy. Bethany loves them too, so she can have them! Excuse overruled.)
  • “There aren’t enough fresh veggies in the fridge to make a salad for lunch today. Ewww… this cucumber is melting!” (It’s summertime, and the garden is doing quite well. Time for a trip out to the back yard to pick some fresh lettuce and snow peas. Excuse overruled!)
  • “There aren’t any strawberries left for my smoothie.” (I’ll buy more when I’m out shopping tomorrow… in the meantime, I made a rather interesting smoothie with raspberries, pineapple and blueberries. Excuse overruled!)

So, today was a success… or at least it will be when I get off the computer and take a book down to the exercise bike to get in a workout.

Hopefully today was a turning point for me. Maybe I should put a picture of a stop sign on my mirror to remind me of this morning’s light bulb moment!

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