By Cynthia Mosher
Steps Toward a Healthy Lifestyle
Here is a four-point plan that can get you started and lay a foundation for phasing out substances and habits that could harm your baby:
Commit Yourself 100 percent:
Pick a day to start: it may be tomorrow, or another day. Muster up all your determination. Most of all, be prepared to spend some concentrated time and energy on making this change. If it helps, try to adopt a “one day at a time” mindset.
Evaluate Yourself Honestly:
Exactly how much do you smoke or drink right now? What factors trigger the desire to use one of these substances: a time, a place, a feeling, a situation? Which cigarette or cup of coffee do you enjoy the most?
Take a look at your support system:
Can you think of three or four people who will really get behind you and encourage your change? Do you know someone who has successfully gone through this situation and can be your mentor? You may also want the support of a trusted health professional. You can do it alone, but it is much easier to have someone’s help should your resolve begin to waver.
Plan on a slow and gradual change:
This is much healthier for your body than an abrupt “cold turkey” approach. Taking it gradually will cut down on stress and minimize cravings. Start by eliminating one-quarter of your daily cigarette or caffeine consumption each week for four weeks, for example. Cut out the easiest ones first, and save that most pleasurable cigarette or cup of coffee for week four, once you have had the strength of three weeks of success behind you.
Don’t forget to nourish yourself well and get plenty of exercise while you make these changes. Drinking a lot of water is essential while you are trying to quit. Your body will be eliminating toxins that were stored in cells and tissues.