Choice, Chance, Change – Cooking with Anna

“The 3 C’s in life: Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if you want anything in life to Change.” — Zig Ziglar

I’m not sure another quote has affected me as much this year as this one from Zig Ziglar. I had lived 38 years pretty much all exactly the same. I went through the routine. I dotted all my ‘i’s, I crossed all my ‘t’s. I didn’t truly examine the direction of my life. I played by the rules. I went to work, I went to church, I ate what I had been told was healthy food, and I restricted myself by calories and fat. I tried diet after diet after diet. I had success, I lost 25 lbs. on a very popular diet plan but gained it all back, plus a lot more.

My husband and I both got married later than all of our other friends. God brought us together in our mid-thirties, and I am grateful every day for him. Since we were older, in medical terms, we decided to try to have children right away. I never dreamed we would face such difficulty. I know many of you have struggled with this same problem. We did everything right. We saw all the right doctors. We had to face the sobering reality that having children of our own naturally would not be an option. We both cried, prayed, and struggled to understand the reason why this was our reality. We would be great parents…but God has chosen for us to walk a different path. At the end of 2018, we both had to face the reality that it was not going to happen for us in the same way it had happened for so many of our friends and family.

I found myself at the start of 2019 heavier than I had ever been. I had fooled myself in to thinking I was happy. The reality was that I wasn’t happy at all. Every day was a struggle. I went to work, church, outings with my friends and family…I had gotten so good at hiding my true feelings and emotions. I was depressed and facing the harsh reality that if I didn’t do something, my health would continue to fail me. I went to a new doctor, and he did a full work-up and bloodwork. I was in really bad shape. Pre-diabetic, high blood pressure, high BMI, low iron, low vitamin D, low B-12; it was not a good place to be. After that visit, I cried and cried. I knew I had caused this; my current situation was my own fault. I had a choice to make: I could continue on the path I was on which would lead to nothing good, or I could make a decision to change.

The first thing I did was make a Choice. I had to make a conscience decision to take time for myself. I had to learn to place value in myself and make better choices for my physical health and my mental health. Making that choice seems like an easy thing to do. You need to do better, so you do better. Yall, it has not been all rainbows and roses. Making the choice to no longer put certain things in my body has taking 100% full commitment. I don’t always make the right choice, but I am trying.

Since I have made the choice, I have to take a Chance. I am taking a chance on myself. So many times in the past I had failed myself. I hadn’t held myself in high enough regard in the past and let things slide. I have learned a valuable lesson since I began to invest in myself; if you don’t value yourself and take a chance, no one will take a chance on you either. It has been amazing the blessings that have fallen in my lap since I have truly taken a chance on myself. Others seem to value me more. This may simply be the fact that I am carrying myself differently these days. When you respect yourself, others notice that and begin to respect you as well. Feeling good about yourself is contagious to others. I never thought that just by eating healthier, the respect I felt for myself and that others felt towards me would change, but it has! It has been an amazing transformation.

I have made the choice, I am taking the chance, now I am seeing the Change in my life. I feel good! That’s the best way to sum it up. I didn’t know just how bad I felt until I discovered how good I could feel. I can see a future. I can see myself continuing to improve my quality of life. This change I am embarking on has changed the entire way my husband and I are approaching life. Two years ago, my husband underwent gastric bypass surgery. He has truly put the three C’s into practice. He made the choice to take the chance to change his life and now, I am proud to say that I am taking those steps as well. I can see the change, I can feel the change, I am embracing the change. Even though my change does not include surgery, my life has done a complete turnaround. I am grateful everyday for this journey. I am learning so much about myself, both emotionally and physically.

I’ve heard it said before that you can’t enjoy the mountains if you never walk in the valley. I have walked the valley, and I know that I will again in my life, but right now, I am on the mountain and embracing the new me with every turn. My husband and I are looking to the future with a renewed hope. God is leading us on this amazing journey to better health, which I believe will lead us to building our family. I covet your prayers and kind thoughts. My hope and prayer for all my readers is that they take that chance and make the change. I promise, you will not regret it!

The recipe this week is a comfort food classic you can feel good about eating. There is almost nothing better than relaxing on the couch under a fluffy blanket, with a classic movie on the television and a big bowl of macaroni and cheese in your hand. Well, we all know that macaroni and cheese is not the wisest choice when you are trying to live a healthier life. Let me tell you, try this Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese, and you will never miss the noodles, I promise you! It’s warm and cozy and truly a crowd pleaser. I’m sure you will love it as much as this carb-loving girl does.

“Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.” Isiah 54:10