So, a lot has happened since I wrote the post about "making one better decision". If you haven't read it, scurry over to www.tierneysadler.com and check out the 7/20/15 post. While other posts in the past have probably gotten more hits, no post I remember has garnered the feedback and excitement that I got on Facebook about this super-easy way to get out of a rut. I'm well into week three of following this plan and a couple of big things have happened as a result.
The first thing is that one of my goals was to move forward with diet and exercise goals. As part of that, one of the "better decisions" I made was to replace Crystal Light with infused water. I had already started that process prior to starting my one better decision plan, but had found that when I combine peach infused water WITH Crystal Light, it was pretty much the best thing I've ever tasted in my life. Which was not helping me with my goal. So, one "better decision" at a time, I managed to quit Crystal Light altogether. And something I didn't expect to happen happened.
See, I had already known that Crystal Light contained artificial sweeteners. And I knew artificial sweeteners (aspartame in particular) were a big contributor to weight issues, diabetes, fatigue, depression and an uncontrollable sweet tooth, not to mention other stuff like cancer and headaches. And I joked about my "Crystal Light addiction." But imagine my surprise and dismay when I discovered I WAS ACTUALLY ADDICTED!!!
Yes, aspartame is addictive. And I found out when, after a few days without artificial sweeteners, I started suffering withdrawals—headaches, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness. I'd been having these unusual (for me) symptoms for a few days and wondering why, when I got the idea to google "aspartame addiction", and there it was.
Which is probably why I didn't stop using it when I learned that it was making me fat and diabetic. Addiction has a way of altering your thinking to justify the continuation of your addiction. I learned this after I quit smoking and looked back on the ways I made it OK to continue smoking for 26 years. When you are addicted to something, you are literally not in your right mind.
So there was that. And the second big thing is that, while sitting in a chair at Hair Cuttery one day, I pondered the possibilities of making one different decision, rather than one better decision. With a different decision, you don't know if it will be better or worse. So I threw caution to the wind and told a stylist at a chain-store, cut-rate hair salon that she could color my hair FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE!!! It's true. I've done a henna rinse before but have never dyed my hair a different color. And so now I'm blonder and more highlight-y than before and am happy with the result.
This last experiment has been very interesting. I am literally forced to see myself differently because every time I look in the mirror, I look different! As it turns out I like the new look. But had it been a disaster, I would have benefited by appreciating my former self more...haha. So I like the way a "different decision" shakes things up and causes you to expand your view of your world. And it certainly wouldn't have to be this dramatic. Something as simple as taking a different route to work one day could render untold gifts.
Three weeks into this experiment I can easily say I'm forever changed. I'm no longer someone who has never dyed their hair. And I'm no longer someone without a good plan for turning a rut into a groove. I can honestly say I'm feeling better and more positive about the future than I have for years. So what about you? Have you tried this "one better decision" thing out? If so, share your thoughts and results with me. If not, what could it hurt? I'd love to hear how it's working for you!