Goodbye Bad Habits. Hello Change…
It’s been almost three weeks since I set my mind to change my life. They have not been the easiest three weeks of my life, but during these three weeks I have learned some important lessons on what I must do when trying to rid myself of bad habits.
Here are the steps to saying Goodbye to Bad Habits and Hello to Change.
STEP 1: I MUST REALIZE THAT A CHANGE IS NECESSARY.
For years I have looked into the mirror and accepted what I saw as good enough. I can recall letting people know when discussing weight that I was ensuring that I didn’t get stretch marks when I was pregnant. I even remember believing for some time that perhaps, I’m just big boned and this is as good as I get. But all of this was just a cover-up for the truth that I did not want to accept.
However, on January 19th this year, my father died of diabetes. He was ONLY 52 years old. When I reflect on my father’s lifestyle and compare it to mine, I realize that many of the same gluttonous choices that my father made are the very ones that I currently struggle with. And if I don’t change, I can expect the same result as my dad.
This does not mean that every time I look in the mirror, I have to hate myself, but it does mean that I must STOP accepting something that is not right.
STEP 2: I MUST WANT TO CHANGE.
Just last night I was speaking with a friend of mine that also says she wants to lose weight. Both of us agreed that many times we may say we want to lose weight, but deep down we don’t want to do what it takes to make it happen. I can claim that I want to eat right, but then when I think about french-fries and pizza, I determine not to let them go. This can no longer be the case for me. I have to get fed up with my current state so I can move towards change.
STEP 3: I MUST BE ABLE TO MAKE THE CHANGE.
When setting a goal or trying to make a change in my life, I must make sure that the goals are attainable. Today, I did the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 1 workout. Before even attempting the workout, I sat and watched the entire Level 1 section of the video. During the warm-up section, Jillian explains that one of the girls on the video are going do easy modifications of the workout, while the other will exemplify the advanced ways of completing the exercises. Immediately upon hearing this, I thought to myself, “The easy girl is for fat people who can barely walk, and I should be able to handle the advanced girl.” Then I had to remind myself that I had not really exercised since who knows when and that it is important to set attainable goals. So I decided to go with the easy girl. Good thing I did! I was sweating so hard and I barely made it, but I DID MAKE IT! Even when it comes to diet change, it is important to be realistic.
STEP 4: I MUST HAVE HOPE.
I have found that sometimes it is hard for me to believe in myself. This is where I praise God for the many friends and family that encourage me to keep believing that I can change. There’s a quote that I read in a recent email from SparkPeople that said, “Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” (Emily Kimbrough)
During these past three weeks, I have gotten so much support. I have a husband who has not uttered a word of complaint as I stress about the fact that we are using Whole Wheat Pasta instead of the regular. I have two girl friends that have said that they would be willing to get me a gift when I meet the 10 pound mark and the 20 pound mark. I have a friend that knows I love competition and has decided to challenge me on who can lose the most weight by Oct. 1st. I have a Coach that is so persistent that she just keeps me going when I feel like such a failure. And last, but not least I have God…it was my brother that reminded me of the importance of turning to God for strength when failure is knocking on my door. If you have been following my blogs then you have also realized that I have started praying to start my mornings with focus and determination.
STEP 5: I MUST PLAN FOR SUCCESS.
When I was teaching grade six, there was a quote that we would tell the students before Final Exams. It said, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” This quote is true in life, and most definitely true when it comes to making change. Part of my weight loss goals include drinking 12 cups of water a day. I cannot expect to make my goal if I do not carry water with me throughout the day. The same goes with dietary change. I have started carrying an apple with me and a couple of fruit cups. This keeps me from eating the donuts that are brought as a gift to the office or the potato chips that are offered.
So I must remember it is when I fail to plan, I plan to fail.
STEP 6: I MUST START.
I think the hardest part in making a change is actually starting. Even as I was trying to decide when to begin changing my diet or begin exercising, I found myself planning just so that I would never have to actually start. One cause of this delay is that I felt that if I started, I could end up failing. I had tried many times before and wasn’t able to keep with it. What if this was going to be the same way? But I had to keep myself from getting stuck in this mindset. Although failure is possible, not starting is also failure. I must remember that God is with me and will keep me from falling.
STEP 7: REWARD YOURSELF.
Now this is one that I haven’t totally figured out…maybe because I’m just getting started. However, I do know that the way I reward yourself is not be reintroducing the bad habits that I overcame. So this means I don’t reward myself with a honey bun. That’s like giving a kid a cigarette for saying no to drugs. Remember, if I know that a change is needed, I must not turn back.
If you have any ideas for good rewards, let me know.