Jill Koegel, a registered dietitian and certified as a personal trainer, blogs for momaha’s sister site, LiveWellNebraska.com

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Have you ever played a never ending game of Chutes and Ladders? Like many other board games, it can seem to last forever. You move your “guy” up ladders and down chutes, all by the luck of the spinner.

The childhood game is a great analogy to the “path of health” I preach about. There are winners and losers, ups and downs, chutes and ladders. But luckily, we have more control over the spinner in real life. And moving up the ladder, aka working toward a healthier lifestyle, is up to you.

Sometimes it’s a tall ladder that you quickly climb. You eat a salad for lunch every day for a week and lose a pound or two. Then, a chute — that one cookie you said yes to turned into two or three.

And ever notice that some people seem to have all the “luck,” continuously climbing ladder after ladder. They even land on that lucky one at the end, bringing them to the top of the game as the winner. They seem to eat what they want and never gain weight. Going to the gym is actually “fun” to these lucky few.

Others maybe aren’t so lucky, meeting obstacles and sliding down chutes, always remaining at the bottom. For these people, healthy cooking is a struggle, and perhaps sweets are a big weakness.

Think of your lifestyle choices as your “spinner.” One choice will move you forward and up a ladder, another can send you down a chute. Whether your choices are small or big, realize that each one matters.

And in life outside the board game, good choices are contagious. Taking a 30 minute walk one day, then another, then another, will eventually become a habit. Having a good attitude and maneuvering around obstacles will result in positive movement. Make every choice matter and keep climbing those ladders. There is health and wellness at the end of the game!


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