Sunday, October 21, 2007

Little Habits, Big Results

The other day, I had some major stress. My husband has been away for months (and will be home in a few weeks), and it is tough being a "single mom" again for awhile. Then, I backed our nearly new car into someone driving past me in a parking lot. OH the pain! No, I wasn't hurt, no one was. But the pain of ruining my good driving record and perfect car, along with the stress and embarrassment of the whole event, threw me for a loop. I came home and ate 3 slices of buttered toast. And then I stopped. I didn't binge, I didn't make a pan of brownies. I went to bed, and got up this morning in a terrible mood. I am tired and lonely. I am frustrated. Do you see a recipe for disastrous eating?

It used to be that I would take a rough day and turn it into a couple of new pounds on my body. See this hefty thigh? That came from losing two babies. The other thigh? That came from a painful divorce. How about this huge belly? I stacked on those pounds from financial stress, worrying about my kids, painful comments made by strangers, and hurt over displays of religious intolerance. That extra chin there came from the time my mother died. And the ripple of fat around my waist came from two uncles dying, marital stress, and anxiety over my sick child. Yeah, every pound on me is some kind of badge of pain... a reminder of something I went through that stressed me out or made me sad. And so I needed to learn to cope in a better way. And I have.

This morning I did not have the urge to binge or make cookies because I felt bad and stressed. Instead, I just wanted to feel better and I knew that if I drank water and ate lots of produce, I would feel better. So I did, and I do. I am no longer going to scar up my body to reflect my emotional pain.

I have developed some great new habits that help me get through days like this. They are ingrained. I don't even think about them anymore. When I get up in the morning, I weigh. I like to know where I stand, and whether I need to work harder to knock off a little gain or not. Then, I go in the kitchen and drink a full glass of water. I do this every morning, without fail, and it really helps me feel well when I am hydrated. I fill up the water pitcher, and go about my day. Lots of little habits: healthy meals and snacks, having green tea with my lunch, eating a fruit or veggie with every meal. A meal just seems incomplete now without a veggie or two. I always take my vitamins and glucosamine for my knees at lunchtime, too. I don't forget anymore, because it is a habit. I grab glasses of water to drink all day long. I taste my food and don't inhale it. I skip the sugar. Matter of fact, the other day I made myself a cup of hot cocoa, and it was so sickeningly sweet that I took one sip and dumped it down the drain. Another habit: if it is not satisfying, don't ingest it. And my newest habit, getting on that exercise bike every day, is starting to really stick.

They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit. Make a list. Write down the things you want to change. Commit to do them every day for just 3 weeks, and just see how much easier it is to do them. All these little habits add up, and I am down 25 pounds with relatively little hunger and few real cravings. And I am so happy to finally be in control of my life! Come, share the joy. Take control, lose the pounds, and gain your own freedom.

10 comments:

lizzytish said...

Don't you just wish you were one of those people who cant eat when they are stressed. Sorry to hear about your car glad everyone is ok. Well done for not making a tin of brownies they are soo good though. I know what you mean I have gained 75 pounds from the stress of the last two years and all has to do with comfort eating. How are you loosing the weight i think its great do you have a diet excercise regime? I have created my own blog www.lizzytish-thewomanwithin I am new to it so there isn't much on there but would like if you would read it. If you wouldn't mind adding me to your page that would be great i feel silly if I'm talking to myself. I will keep reading your blogs and i have added you to my page. Keep up the good work and try not to feel too alone he will be back soon!

JT said...

I love your blog! What a wonderful post and oh how I can relate. I think you are an amazing writer, you really have a way with words, evoking emotion. I find great inspiration and motivation in your blog.....and for what it's worth, I'm in your corner all the way!

Goaledgirl said...

(((applauding)))

Great job.

I love your descriptions. My tummy is from lossing my dad when he was 52, these thick ankles are from that really bad breakup in 1999, these thighs are from that friends betrayal in 2000.

Leigh said...

It's great to see that the habits you've developed are sticking even in the tough times.

I need to take your suggestion, and start making some things a habit...

Anonymous said...

hi! thank you for not giving up and staying positive. :D

CurvyJones said...

You're my hero. Awesome! :smile:y

honib1 said...

what a rockin good post.. I love it.. see how wise you have become .. see what you really have learned.. U will get to your destination .. with thoughts like these how could you not...do u really think the glucosamine works? I am thinking about taking it for my neck ..

Lyn said...

Hi there guys! Thank you so much for ALL your wonderful comments and encouragement. It is very motivating!

Lizzy, my "regime" is pretty low key. Buy lots of produce and eat it before it goes bad. Don't buy junk food (even though I have 5 kids. I do buy for them for special treats sometimes though). Drink water and green tea, no sodas or sugary stuff. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I stopped binging. I generally have 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. No counting calories or measuring or any of that. I have been unable to exercise but recently started riding a recumbant bike at a slow pace for about 10 minutes a day.

honib, I think the glucosamine does work. My ortho recommended it, and I used to be unable to even walk out to my mailbox. Now I can walk a few blocks! I am doing some other things too, but maybe I will blog about them separately :)

Heather said...

I think that is very true. Im glad that you have habits and routines you can fall into and that saved your from a binge. You should be really proud.

The only bad thing about routines and habits is when you have to break them (because of visitors)! its so hard then and you feel really scared. Its not always a bad thing, but sometimes in weight loss, once you have these habits, its hard to move away from them because they are all you got!

Teale said...

Did you by chance back into a blue Honda? LOL

I'm glad that you have taught yourself these life-changing habits! I'm working on mine too, and you're right, a lot of my healthy things HAVE become habits! It's fantastic!