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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Since I've been losing weight these past months, I've been thinking about how much of life is unconscious, how so many things that I do are just habits developed over the years, both positive and negative.

But how do I tell the difference between a good habit and bad habit? How do I break a bad habit if I don't know it's a habit at all? Raising my daughter by myself, I've always been a quick-and-easy cook in the kitchen. I've been busy, I don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen! Between DD's swimming, band, drama and other school activities and my sports, quick-and-easy has meant a lot of fast food, a lot of deli stops, and a lot of evenings eating take home pizza! Was that lifestyle habitual, poor planning on my part, or was it something in between? Could I have made better choices along the way? Sure. But the ~habit~ to even think ahead was lost along the way, in between running around to soccer, band, swimming, etc, so how was I supposed to remember whether we had sliced cheese for sandwiches in the fridge?! Coulda, shoulda, woulda! Why didn't I? I don't know.......... I think a lot of it had to do with being in the mindset of being so busy that meals had to be quick, quick, quick. And what is quicker than drive through or pizza delivery? So the pounds crept on, and on.

Today, I am not nearly as busy so I cook a lot more at home and it helps a whole lot! But not only that, I have parted company with some of the habits that took me through the drive through on my way home from work. I believe that a lot of habit breaking is mental and takes a tremendous amount of effort to ~think~ yourself into changing your ways. But it's also one thing to tell yourself to do something different, and it's another to create the situation that results in that change. Instead of waiting until I get home to figure out what to have for dinner, I'm using my planners to work ahead so I never wonder where my next meal is coming from and if I have all the ingredients to make it-and that takes time! That takes more than telling myself to cook at home, it takes planning ahead, it takes having the right food I need at home ready for cooking, and it takes challenging my mind to distract me from thinking about food in the sense of eating quick so I can get back to my activities! I also need to incorporate food prep and eating into my overall day plan as an activity in itself, rather than a nuisance I need to squeeze in in between activities!

I think what I am most interested in knowing about myself is whether I have broken the old, bad habits, or have I developed new, healthier, positive ones in their place? I don't know yet, I guess that's part of the journey of self discovery, along with weight loss! If the old habits aren't broken, I'll gain all the weight back, old habits aren't just hard to break, they're hard to break because they're easier to follow! How will I ever know if they're gone? I don't know yet........So the journey continues!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    For me the way to know if an old habit was truly broken is getting into a situation in which I'm not consciously acting, whether it's an emergency or just something where I have to focus most of my attention on something very important. Big deadlines, for example, suck all my conscious attention, so other areas fall back on habits, good or bad.

    The longer and more we do the positive things consciously (and, my guess, willingly from the heart), the more likely they become real habits. My added guess there? I've seen people MAKE themselves do something for months, but never really want to. The moment that "must make myself" went away, so did the habit. It was never willingly done.
    2018 days ago
    One day at a time
    2018 days ago
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