Friday, September 16, 2011

Creating good habits

That's the key I've realized to becoming what you want.

I'm sure it's no shock to anyone that specifically I'm going to relate this to my lifestyle.

I think I've written a bit lately about how I have decided to commit to no longer trying to 'lose weight'.

And before anyone gets too tied in a knot this does NOT mean I now am allowing myself the freedom to embrace my addictions and just try to live with them and have to shop for new clothes every six months (bigger and bigger they get!).

Although in one way I suppose you could think of it as learning how to live with these things.

Lately I've been really trying to look at my struggles long term rather than 'I want to lose ten pounds in a month to get into those jeans' I am looking at it as 'What habits am I allowing myself to continue that keep me where I'm at in my addictions and unsatisfied with my lifestyle' (hence keeping my jeans too tight).

In doing this I am CONSTANTLY having to remind myself this is actually facing some of the real issues head on and it will take time to develop new habits that will last.

Last year when I made some serious changes and got some serious results I did so with a fairly determined and set mind. I also had my trainer around to keep after me and text when I was feeling weak. I made a lot of real changes that I kept consistently for I would guess at least four months. I believe it was a true change of heart and lifestyle.

Then changes in my environment happened and in our lives. Old habit reformed and I found myself living many of my old ways out again, though keeping many great habits I had developed.

I've heard it takes several consecutive days to form a habit and only 4 days to demolish it. I don't doubt this theory one bit.

I am so thankful that many of the convictions that grew in me last year have stayed and even developed though my emotional tendencies to rely on food have crept in.

Another thing I am so thankful for is my love for exercise. The idea of exercising to balance my bad food habits is completely gone. I NEVER ever think now 'I ate a chocolate bar I better workout tonight'. Rather I workout because I know the benefits it has for my body and I love the competition within myself to do better and feel strong.

This in itself is a true success (even if my 'skinny' jeans are snug). I am so grateful to have at least embraced the truth that your body size is predominantly determined by what you put in your mouth (yes exercise helps but it's only 10% of the equation).

As I've tried to slow down my mind and really accept that true change rarely happens overnight and is all encompassing at once (though I do believe it can happen with true decision) I've really taken time to think about what unhealthy habits I have redeveloped in the last 6-9 months.

Here's the ones I notice:

* eating at night (more often than not an emotional binge)
* Sugarfests at the bulk barn on the weekend
* having fries anytime we go out for fast food
* deciding that a batch of cookies (though 'clean') are an acceptable portion
* hot sugary drinks 2-3 times a week

It's kind of interesting as I still ONLY bake with whole foods and ingredients (YAY!!) but I have no problem eating mounds of chocolate!

I will say too that Wally and I pretty much only cook clean at home as well. The main habits we've returned to are surrounding our emotional eating and snacks outside the house.

One thing I am VERY proud of at the least, I have remained restaurant gravy free!!! I used to be a gravy on the fries addict when we went out!!! 15 months and counting!!! (Even though admittedly I have dreams to go to the Poutinerrie (sp?))

They say when pursuing to change a habit you should start with one that you feel VERY confident about. And if that's difficult to find to tweak it until you do feel confident about it.

Out of nowhere last week while on vacation I decided to make my goal NOT to eat at night after supper. Int eh 7 days I was gone I think only 2 of them did I eat a treat after dinner (while watching 'Heavy'). YAY!!!! Some may see that as complete failure but I say YAY!!! For me, on vacation, that's good stuff!!!

I've carried that as my goal currently to stop night time binging and I'm kind of surprised how challenging it's been to do while at home this week.

I got home from work Tuesday night around 8:40ish and out of habit wanted a snack. I wasn't hungry just used to the habit. I was strong.

Wednesday night we were at PRIDE where we had eaten before we went but the class was at 6pm and we didn't realize they feed you a light supper. I avoided the supper and had 2 mini chocolate bars (I cut myself some slack as I knew the 2 1/2 -3 hr rule and we'd be going to bed later). I skipped the buffet of food and cookies and stuck to my table and water. When we got home I was super emotional and wanted to ditch my plan so bad and Wally even gave me permission. I stuck to it.

Last night we ordered pizza (as the only habit that concerned me was no night time eating). I ate 1 slice too many which lead me to believe that justified just finished off another but by the time I decided that Wally had reminded me of my rule. It was 7:01pm. Grrrr. I also wanted chocolate but as we had none in the house and I was too lazy to go, no dice. I was completely full and just still wanting to eat, it made no sense at all and that's when I clearly saw how incredibly emotional my evening foodfests were.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share my recent thoughts and happenings with the issue that follows me and admit my imperfections.

I often don't feel justified taking my PT (personal trainer) course because I continue my journey with developing long term healthy habits, but then I remind myself of a couple of things: I do have a genuine passion for fitness (perhaps I'm not a competitor but I LOVE challenging myself), my main focus is to motivate others to make real life changes, little by little and it's hard to be an example of that if I can't do it myself and am willing to show that you don't have to make some drastic overnight change to be a true success.

Though our size/clothes are measuring points of our success, they are not the only ones. You could live a perfect week and not lose weight or change in visual ways, perhaps is was your heart that changed and that is JUST as, if not more, important!!

I've gone on long enough. I never know if these 'food struggle' posts resonate with anyone but they help me work things out in my head!

Thanks :)