250,000-299,999 SparkPoints 294,859


Saturday, August 25, 2012

I've been thinking a lot these last few weeks about the word HABIT, and about my own habits, good and bad. I actually looked up the word in the dictionary:

1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.

2. customary practice or use: Daily bathing is an American habit.

3. a particular practice, custom, or usage: the habit of shaking hands.

4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality: She has a habit of looking at the bright side of things.

5. addiction, especially to narcotics.

Some habits are good, like looking both ways before crossing the street. And some are bad, like having a habit of addiction. And some are so ingrained in our minds, we don't even think of them as we do them, and it's only when we don't do them that we wonder how they became habits in the first place.

The habit in particular that I'm talking about is feeling that I DESERVE a treat, either because I've been a 'good girl', or because I've gone through some small trauma, like getting my hair cut. Not that a trip to the salon is all that traumatic, but it's a good distance from my home, and I'm usually tired and cranky on the drive back. What better way to cheer myself up than to make a stop at the local coffee shop? Same with going to the health clinic for one of those endless waiting periods, followed by some stranger poking you and looking into areas of your body that should be kept private. If I can get through that without losing my sanity, then I deserve a large iced coffee, right?

But the last time I went to the clinic, it was pouring rain all the way home, and it took all my focus just to stay on the road and avoid the other drivers. I totally forgot about treating myself, even though I had looked forward to it like seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And when I did get home, and realized I had gone past the shop without stopping, I felt bereft! Yet, really, what was there to be sad about? I'm a big girl and can make my own iced coffee, or get back into the car and drive to the nearest DD and buy one.

But I also wondered how it had gotten this bad. I've heard that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit, but how long does it take if it's not a daily habit, just a monthly one? And I want to be careful to not swing so far the other way, as food is to be enjoyed, and not perceived as the enemy.

I guess this is my long-winded way of saying that iced coffee from the shop will still be part of my repertoire, but I will make sure I really want one and am not stopping just out of habit. And I will also make sure that the calorie count fits into my daily range, not just tell myself that I can go over on calories because I 'deserve it'. I don't want the habit to continue, to become involuntary, just because I'm not paying attention.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BECCA315
    Donna: coffee coolattas used to be my iced drink of choice, but now that much sugar and fat just upset my stomach. So it's ice coffee all the way, and then I usually end up sharing with Nick...

    3067 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Your blog has once again given us something to think about. Am i treating myself or is it a habit? I love to stop for coffee on busy days but I use to have "fancy" coffee but now it is just a regular coffee. This is much better for the calorie count and it also is a treat. Coffee always tastes better from a coffee is so much hotter than our home drip pots!
    3068 days ago
  • MEME102
    ," as food is to be enjoyed, and not perceived as the enemy" -- I think that is the most important thing right there -- food, in and of itself is NOT bad, it's what WE do with it that makes it do it's 'bad thing'.....good words Becca and good thoughts. I think if we keep learning on this journey - about ourselves, about food, and how we can make it work for us and not against us is key. .

    3075 days ago
    WOW, sorry, so much food for thought, sorry for the pun!!! You are so right, growing up I was rewarded for good grades with my favorite meal or my favorite home made cake, we got a "treat" each night before we went to bed, some home made cookies or ice cream, the biggest 'TREAT' OF ALL WAS PIZZA in the house, we didn't get that often but it was such a "treat"!! Now, all these treats that I grew up with as a kid have somehow turned into my nightly habit, a habit that has gone on for years and years. I know my treat is unnecessary, sometimes just plain old bad for me, but it's so hard to break. My only solace in this habit is that I have traded all my unhealthy eating habits to a healthier snack/treat.

    Like I said in the beginning WOW, this blog could be discussed for days, it has so many interesting components to it!! I really enjoyed this blog, and thank you so much for sharing it with us!!
    3075 days ago
  • no profile photo CD638120
    I just gained 1.5 lbs over the last 24 hours because of my "treating myself" because I had had a good week so far weightloss and exercise wise. Your blog was a real eye opener!
    3075 days ago
  • BECCA315
    I used to be friends with a woman who said that overeating is the hardest addiction to break. She also smoked and drank. On the other hand, she was well over 300#! So we can't let the fact that we HAVE to eat become an excuse for eating everything...

    3075 days ago
    it is hard to find ways to treat yourself that does not involve food. I find it is because I grew up with food being a reward when you did somehting good. We didn't have candy bars or 100 differet types of coffee, or restaurants or convenice stores on every corner.

    Eating out was a big deal. I can still remembre when the pizza parlor was a new "invention" and I hated going there because I didn't likie it!! Now I can eat many kinds and not blink.

    your comment that we have to "break" the habit is very true. Problem is you cna't QUIT eating. lol

    we can make it!
    3076 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

More Blogs by BECCA315