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  • Writer's pictureTammy Arlene

Mindless vs. Mindful Choices

We are constantly making choices, sometimes without thinking about it. We choose how to spend our time, what to wear, eat, and where we will go. What if I suggested that the choices we make actually change the trajectory of our lives? The unconscious choices we make create ripples in our future that we may not be aware of.

One example is food. We can choose to eat unhealthily and dine on candy, fast food, snacks and soda - or even worse, chemical-laden diet soda and artificially sweetened treats. When we are young and healthy, the resulting change in our bodies is barely noticeable. Eating this way feels "good." However, these toxins will build up over time, we will eventually feel sluggish, gain weight, and develop a host of health issues. We may choose to down a handful of vitamins every day on top of our fast food diet in an attempt to feel better. Some may feel so ill they go to the doctor and get prescriptions to ease symptoms. Or worse, develop a chronic condition such as diabetes, IBS, GERD, etc.

The opposite choice would be to eat healthy, natural foods, and fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth. Once we have persisted on a path of bad choices for a long time, it is hard to make a change. I personally know this as I consider myself a fast food and sweet treat addict. I never met a McDonald's ice cream cone that I didn't like and devour within seconds. My health is not the best after my abdominal aneurysm and Whipple procedure, and I am determined to become deliberate and THINK about my food choices daily. When I eat a healthy meal, I feel more energetic positive and overall lighter with no GI pain.

Another choice we make is how to spend our time. Exercise takes time - but so does habitually (and mindlessly) checking in on Facebook 100 times a day. Raising my hand here, as I am guilty of this. I started exercising a little this week, now that I am medically able. I am always shocked that I don't see results after doing thirty-second planks for a week! Yet I have not exercised in over three years!

What I've found is that when I am making bad choices they are mindless. The long-term negative effects of these decisions can usually be blamed on something else. When I make mindful good choices - I expect immediate results (even though the bad choices resulted in my current situation.) ​

I am learning to make good choices with food and exercise -- and at the same time, I am being patient with myself as I know positive results will soon follow. It is in God's hands, His timing and not mine.

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