Sunday, December 22, 2013
(Sorry-this is long...)
Given that thereís only a couple of weeks left in the year, I thought Iíd take a little time to think about what has worked for me this time through after several failed attempts to take this weight off. It's worthwhile to me to acknowledge what has kept me motivated so that I don't lose this motivation. For me, breaking a promise to myself or not completing a goal is just too easy. From prior experience I know that even deeply engrained habits can be destroyed with relative ease. Here are three habits that I know have made all the difference and that I will need to maintain moving forward.
1. Being accountable to something other than myself.
Every morning since early February, I've logged into SparkCoach for a visualization, to reflect on the day that has past, and to think about the day ahead. Since my 1 year SparkCoach subscription will be ending in a few months, Iím looking around for what will replace that habit. So for the last month I've also been going through my to-do list first thing in the morning to think through other aspects of the day ahead. This has been super useful during this hectic season. It has helped me to see how I can be more efficient when I've really needed to be. It has helped me find more free time to spend with my family and it's even helping me to reduce clutter in my home. Breaking down what needs to get done into manageable bites stops me from feeling overwhelmed, and that in turn helps keep emotional eating in check.
2.Making better-for-me food the easy choice.
The not -so-good-for-me foods will always be around - in my kitchen, at work, and when dining out. If the fruit, veggies, Greek yogurt, whole grains, and eggs are easier to get to than the deli meat, chips, crackers and cookies, I'm going to nosh on them preferentially rather than the food that's harder to reach for.
3.Taking care of (even pampering) myself
This one isnít so easy for me. Iíve always been pretty low maintenance and careful with my money. Then I went from low maintenance to almost no maintenance. My skin and hair were dry. I didnít feel well. I wasnít getting enough sleep. I was perpetually cranky.
Over the last 10 months, Iíve come to learn how important taking a bit better care of my skin and hair and wearing a little makeup are to my sense of well being. If nothing else, it boosts my confidence. I feel I present myself better. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour means that Iím in a better mood the next day. Part of taking care of myself is making time to exercise. These days, Iím not great about doing that, and I know I better get back to it - its become a daily entry on the to-do list. One thing Iíve learned is that feeling like I've pampered myself doesnít necessarily mean that Iím spending a whole lot of money or a lot of time. It just means that Iím doing things that support my sense of well being. That sense of well being also seems to keep my emotional eating in check.
Looking this over, it becomes clear that this yearís journey has been about taking control over the way I feel about myself and finding ways of dealing with stress that donít involve food. Donít get me wrong - I still love food. Its fun and festive. I love the part it plays in developing community and family gatherings. Iím interested in the role it plays in culture, history, the economy, and its impact on our environment. But consuming it mindlessly sure didn't solve any of my problems.