Habits, easy to make and tough to break. Changing around your entire lifestyle becomes the hardest when you have to change your habits. You have to get rid of the old and make new habits. For me it takes constant repetition and reminder and eventually I fall into the flow of needing to do it. Help make yourself rely on the new healthier habits. When changing the way I lived I found that maintaining new habits of exercise and journaling were the most important habits to create for me both physically and mentally. When going through such a big change there is a lot of emotional and stressful baggage that comes along with it. My best outlet for dropping that baggage was creating a journal. I made a folder on google drive and a new entry for every month. I would write often daily and sometimes just a couple of times a week. It is where I dump my thoughts, worries, and frustrations of my daily life that I didn’t always feel like sharing with others. My journal is a place where I set goals and check back on them to see whether I accomplished them in the way that I said I would. I always feel better after a journal entry, I often do them in the morning as a way to clear my head for the rest of the day.
Writing in a journal may be a much easier ritual to work into than frequent exercise and I think that it really is just as important for you emotionally, but exercise is sort of a two birds with one stone activity. I say a minimum of 1 hour 3 days a week and a maximum of 6 days a week. Exercising is a great way to clear your head and cleanse your body. It makes me feel better about myself and takes my mind off everything other than the task I have at hand. I get so focused and in tune with what I am doing that I really don’t think about anything other than pushing myself just a little bit further, bypassing challenges that I could not do before. You learn how things affect your body and that really helps in the long run. Last year I did not do either of these activities and this year I have come to rely on them. I need to let my thoughts out otherwise my head get clouded and I get anxious, I need to exercise and run and make my muscles work and burn so that I can feel stronger and better about myself. If there were two habits to be reliant on these two are good to have. My last little vice that I have come to acquire is my need to weigh myself everyday. I don’t necessarily think that it is a very healthy habit but I need it to help keep me on track. I weigh myself every morning to make sure that I stay on track with my weight loss and that I don’t let myself gain. I have found that by doing this I learn what different exercises and foods do to my body. When I am not eating a lot of green vegetables I notice that the weight doesn’t come off as consistently when I do. It is just a reassurance for me that hopefully one day I will not need so constantly.
Serving size…something that I never paid attention to until this past year. I think the biggest eye opener for me was when I decided to make a dish of pasta for myself. I checked out the nutrition label and one serving is 2 oz. I measured it out and made the 2 oz of pasta, I stared at the tiny pile of noodles in the center of my bowl and could not get over the amount of negative space I was seeing before me. That is the moment I realized how much I had been over eating for years and years. If I had to guess I would say that before I changed the way that I ate I was probably eating about 8 or 10 oz of pasta at a time. That is 4 or 5 times the recommended amount of pasta that a person should be eating and before that moment I had no idea nor did I really care, but that one meal really put some things into perspective for me. I now always watch my serving size and keep it to one serving or less, depending on the food that I am eating.
The easiest things to go overboard with on the serving size are snacks and treats, my way of preventing this is pre-measuring and packaging them in bag so I know exactly how much I am eating and when it is gone I am done. NEVER EAT OUT OF AN OPEN BOX OR BAG! It is way too easy to over do it and leave yourself full of regret.
When it comes to things that are even too fattening or unhealthy to have a whole serving just take a little bit or piece of it just to have a taste in hoping that it will suffice to devouring the whole thing. For me my weakness is fresh donuts, when your best friend owns a coffee shop and gets fresh donuts every day it is such a hard temptation so I settle for a bite. I have become that annoying friend that always wants a bite, however I am very lucky that my friends are okay with that and are always more than willing to share. Well at least they appear to be. If the item is not too terrible split it with someone. When you do this always take the smaller half. We are no longer greedy with food, it is better on someone else’s hips than on your own I always say.
You will always come to a time when you just really want something, and you want all of it. You don’t just want one serving, and you don’t want to share, and that is OKAY! Just last night I went to the movies with my friends and I got a diet coke…I know what a joke. I sat there behind the line waiting for them all to get their candy and popcorn and the big box of hot tamales was sitting there staring me in the face, I wanted them so bad so I thought you know what I am getting some god damn hot tamales. My plan initially was to only have a few, then it was I’ll only have half the box, the next thing I knew the box was empty and I has happier about it than I was guilty. After the movie I had a brief moment of panic while I wondered how much weight this little stunt was going to make me gain, but you know what, I woke up this morning alive and completely fine. I also woke up weighing 1 lb less than I did the day before. My lesson that I take away from that situation is that when you are good all of the time it is ok to break the rules and splurge a little. Just as long as it is a little and not all of the time.