It occurs to me that while I provided rave reviews about January and my Harper-ness Project, it wasn’t entirely accurate. Every day wasn’t roses; every day wasn’t a pound lost and a killer workout.
I’m going to try and provide a more balanced review in this post. But in keeping with my life adjustment for February’s Harperness Project goal, and as a part of my attitude adjustment for February, I’ll not only outline the problem but also describe my solution.
Old Habits Die Hard. It can be hard to change habits, and as we all know, old habits die hard. I’m no exception to this rule. One of my biggest (and ongoing) challenges is snacks. I often find myself in front of my computer either teaching or working and I want to ‘munch’. Chips, chocolates – it doesn’t matter what it is. So I’ve taken snacking by the horns and created a Trick or Treat bowl in our pantry. We only buy healthy versions of chips and the odd treat like chocolate almonds. And instead of leaving the bag open to free-for-alls in the pantry, as soon as we get home from the grocery store we portion out 100 calorie snack-bags and put them in the Trick or Treat bowl and hide away the rest of the bag. Then, when I want to snack, I grab a treat and satisfy my craving, while still working to stay on-board with my daily calorie intake.
Emotional Eating. Anyone who knows me knows that I love Doritos. And anyone who knows me knows that my answer to a bad day is a bowl of chocolate chips. This does not fit in with healthy eating and living. So I’m working to substitute that bad habit for a good one. Instead of reaching for a bag of Doritos when it’s been a rough day, I try to reach for my runners and have a workout or make myself a tea and hug my cat for a few minutes until the cravings pass.
I am inherently lazy. This one actually works for me in some instances (like not bothering to climb up to the top shelf in order to get a second helping) but against me in most instances (for example, given the choice, I’d rather watch TV or read a book than work out). Getting off the couch is a daily challenge. But that’s just it. It is a daily challenge! I am working hard to challenge myself, every day, to get up. To just do it. Don’t do nothing.
Eyes bigger than my stomach. I’ve learned that portions are very important. Like most people, we have huge dinner plates (that’s what the stores sell these days!) and we fill ’em up before chowin’ down. So, I started measuring portions. Literally. My measuring cups have become my trusted eating companions. Odd? Maybe. A tiresome additional step? Often. But effective? Always. My eyes, which are attached to my hungry (or emotional) stomach, will lie about how much a cup of noodles really is, or a portion of protein. My measuring cups will not.
Forgiveness. A lot of days, all of my ideas work very well. Some days, I get to see a bit of success on the scale or feel a bit of success in my pant size. But some days, things go the other way. The scale doesn’t move, I lose my battle to get off the couch, and I have a big bowl of ice cream. On these days, my reminder to myself is that it’s okay. Every day that I succeed I give myself a pat on the back and allow myself to celebrate. But more importantly, on the days that I fail, I forgive myself with a promise that I will try again tomorrow.
So what’s the bottom line?
The bottom line is that healthy living is a daily choice. It is a daily decision to make the right choices and do what I know is good for me. It reminds me a bit of some people I know who have quit smoking. Some people say that it’s a daily decision not to light up.
So for me, it’s a daily decision not to fall back into my old habits of eating junk food and sitting on the couch. It’s a daily decision to get up; to measure my portions; to eat healthy food; and to move my body.
Every day is a new day. The decision is renewed and the days move forward. And so do I.