Why is it so hard to make choices that we know will only benefit us in the long run? I am guilty as charged when it comes to this but all around me people are facing the same obstacle. Whether it be finding the time to exercise, deciding you really don’t need that first (or fifth, lol) cookie, that you really don’t need a drink everyday, or deciding that the relationship you’re forming isn’t good for you (or them) after all. There are excuses for everything and it’s amazing the way our brains are able to help us justify those excuses.

For me my biggest obstacles are diet and exercise (both mentally and physically). I know that these things are key to maintaining a long and healthy life. The diet part has gotten easier as I found the cleaner you eat the more you regret that decision to gorge yourself on an all you can eat Chinese buffet. Trust me when I say I recently allowed myself a cheat day doing just that and my long standing love affair with Chinese buffets that has blossomed since childhood met a quick end this past week. When you make the decision to eat well I have found most of those “comfort foods” end up being quite unsettling in your tummy and weren’t worth the few minutes of deliciousness in my mouth. Does that mean I’ll never stray from my diet again? No. It’s just going to happen. But I’m much happier and feel much better when I stick to it.

Now if I could just get on top of the exercise part. I’m disappointed to report that other than a nearly back breaking day of gardening over the weekend I have spent close to zero hours exercising in the past months; nor have I meditated (something I find vital to keeping up overall health). I keep telling myself, ok my lab work is coming up, I’m going to start getting on the bike everyday. But, something always comes up or I simply just don’t want to do it! Let’s be perfectly honest, I loath exercise, and I really wish that wasn’t the case. Running for me is a method of pure torture and while biking is somewhat more enjoyable I really don’t even enjoy that. But I NEED to be doing something. Exercise really and truly seems to boost my white blood cell count, something I desperately need. For me, everything I am trying to do is an attempt to prolong my life without treatments like chemo and a stem cell transplant. Why isn’t that motivation enough to ensure it happens? For once I am out of excuses…

Sometimes we just fall so deep into our habits that it’s just easier and more comfortable to stay where you are. But if we have the chance to improve our lives, why not take it? The brain is such an amazing and obviously vital part of our bodies. If only we could have our own personal angel on our shoulders motivating us to make positive choices and squash all the excuses. Too bad life doesn’t work that way! It’s hard and it’s a lot of work. I’ve written in past blog posts about the importance of being your own advocate in the medical world, but really it goes far beyond that. You need to be your own advocate for the best life you can give yourself. So often we blame the people or things around us for the bad in our lives, and while there are things we cannot change, we are ultimately in charge of finding a way to improve our lives when we’re down or nothing seems to be going right.

We are all human and by nature are going to make mistakes and choices that aren’t beneficial to our overall well being. It’s a struggle to stay on the positive end for many of us, I’m the first to admit that whenever I am commended for my upbeat attitude with my own health battle. And I’m still learning and working towards an improved self. In the meantime if anyone has the secret to boosting motivation, I’m all ears!