Getting Healthy for Good: One Meal at a Time

By Laurie Marshall

Okay people, it’s nearly May. Remember the promises we made to ourselves, the folks at our Weight Watcher’s meetings and our office-mates to count our calories, or our points, or cut back on sweets…?  Yeah, we’re starting to wonder what exactly the point was, aren’t we? Life has rudely intruded and made a wreck of all those good intentions, right?

But don’t give up!!! When you are getting to the point where you’ve let a few days go by without counting or you’ve gained a couple of pounds back, don’t look ahead at the next week of unpredictability and get discouraged – take it one meal at a time. I’ll give you an example:

I recently spent four days in Baltimore for a professional conference. I could have anticipated that week being a huge step back in my attempts to get healthy, but instead, I approached every meal as another opportunity to make good choices. I also made an effort to take the stairs, walk to and from the conference instead of taking a cab, and stuck to my ongoing commitment to drink water and tea instead of soda. I didn’t take the stairs at my hotel, since I was staying on the 11th floor… but you get the idea.

Every meal I ate was prepared in a restaurant kitchen, and one had a lovely cream sauce, but I paid attention to my portions, didn’t try to “clean my plate”, filled up on salad before the main course when that was an option, and ordered everything broiled rather than fried. I also skipped the dipping sauces and only had dessert once when I was sharing it with some of my colleagues. These were all common-sense ideas – nothing earth-shattering. When I came home and weighed myself… I hadn’t lost any weight, but I also hadn’t gained. Success!!

As I said early on, the key to living a healthy life (as opposed to being on a diet) is taking small steps and making small goals. Eventually, the small successes add up to a big one. And the more small ones you get behind you, the stronger your resolve becomes and the easier it gets to believe you can do what you’ve set out to do. It’s a balancing act – staying healthy while not denying ourselves some of the basic things that make life worth living. Like fresh crab chowder and grilled calamari.

On another note – a reader asked if I could create a list of local restaurants that feature organic selections. While I was looking around online for some information, I found out that Ozark Slow Food posted a list of local eateries that featured organic selections during Earth Day celebrations. (Click here to go to the website.)  I will try to compile a list of restaurants in NW Arkansas that offer organic items on their menus year-round as well – but do take a look at their website to get you started. They also have a great list of local places to get fresh and farm-grown produce and other food items.

laurie-marshallthumbnail1.jpgLook for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at Or click on the comment button below and share your thoughts right now! To see previous installments of Getting Healthy for Good, click HERE.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Laurie! Good info. Every small step helps. And I appreciate the follow-up on the organic question. 🙂

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