Directors-Message

Director's Message

Last week it was cold outside, and, while I was walking through the shopping mall shivering in my jacket, I was shocked and amazed to see spring and summer clothes on display in the store windows. Child mannequins were wearing bathing suits, shorts and sleeveless tops. I thought, “Oh my gosh, warm weather will be here before you know it. I have to diet! I have to exercise! I have to fit into last year’s bathing suit and I don’t want anybody to see the bulges.”

And, then I stopped cold. This “stop and start method” has never worked for me before. Why should it work now? Sure, I don’t want to have the bulges I now have, and I would like to have a pretty new bathing suit. But this isn’t the way to do it. And then I started to remember. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Small changes – a small change every day – small changes that accumulate over time.

Having goals is a good thing, but being realistic about those goals is even better. Maybe I won’t make it in time to have a new bathing suit with no bulges showing for this warm weather season. Small changes accumulating over time – parking as far away from the grocery store as I can, walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, cutting down on the amount of hours I sit in front of the TV, turning on the music while I do household chores, gardening – moving, moving, keep moving. Hungry between meals? Have a 100 calorie snack or a piece of fruit handy – next time maybe a small piece of cake without icing.

I don’t have to give up everything I like all at once. Small changes accumulating over time. So, maybe by this fall, maybe 10 lbs down, I can buy a nice new pair of slacks. And, who knows, by next spring I plan on going to that same shopping mall and buying that new bathing suit. Something to look forward to.

Carolyn C. Johnson, PhD, FAAHB
Director, Tulane Prevention Research Center

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