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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Habits by nature occur as patterns in our day to day lives. There are good habits and bad habits, both of which can greatly impact our abilities to maintain. The good habits are easier to nurture, they are the new patterns we have deliberately developed to facilitate our lifestyle changes, such as checking the nutrition labels in the grocery stores or looking up restaurant menus in advance and more.

The bad habits though, those are a bit trickier. Sometimes they are immediately identifiable, but most times they sneak upon our lives and wait in the dark. We know something is wrong but what could it be?

First we must establish a pattern of bad behavior. That means we are consistently repeating our bad habits, uh oh. This opens potential to spiral into weight gain or other health issues we want to prevent, as it requires an extended period of time to repeat over and over what is happening before we can understand and seek a solution.

This is what maintenance deals with in part, the constant replay and search for the bad habits that are getting in the way of our goals. Thankfully this week I managed to uncover the pattern of a habit that has been plaguing me for a long time, whether I knew it or not.

On the days when I get out of the house I eat more.

Sounds so small an issue, right? Those 100 to 300 extra calories really add up, though. They don't happen so much through the day, they tend to pile up at the end. We all know that: binging! It's like unlocking a new puzzle piece to my binging habit.

I work at home, I spend the majority of my time there, I know when I am at home all day I barely manage all that much of a calorie burn above my basal metabolic rate of 1300. So the days I am stuck at home I take more care with my eating.

But when I get out of the home, I'm know I burn a bit more than normal. It can be going out shopping or running errands or visiting friends. I've especially noticed an increased calorie consumption on the days I get in a workout outside of the house. I justify the extra eating as a reward for just getting out of the house, no matter if I should allow more calories or not.

I've read in the past that the majority of successful maintainers exercise at home. I could see that; it was how I lost the weight. Now I understand that statistic even better. Even on the days I get in a workout at home, burning extra calories, I am better about restricting my eating because of that overarching concern that I am not moving much when I stay in.

As soon as I am out the door it is immediate permission to eat more.

The mind is a crazy place of twists and turns.

I have been exercising consistently outside of the house four days a week as I train for my 5K, and so I have been eating more than I should.

Hopefully now that I understand this propensity for unjustified allowance cycling through my life each week, I will be able to better counteract this bad habit.

I'm just keeping on keeping on here, trying my best. That's all we can do.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a great point about there being bad habits we don't even recognize as habits until we start looking.

    emoticon finding this one so you can address it head-on!
    2031 days ago
    I also have learned that paying close attention to our behaviors and digging out the cause can make big improvements possible. Good work!
    2031 days ago
    I think you are doing wonderfully with your new active life style. You are right when we enter social situations we do eat more - it seems to be part of the togetherness routine.

    Looked at your pictures and you look great!! Best wishes on your continued journey to good health.
    2031 days ago
    I'm starting to understand and recognize this pattern in myself. Have you heard of the book, "The Hunger Fix" by Dr. Pamela Peeke? Check out my blog from a few days ago, I have a link to a very informative youtube video on the book and author.
    2031 days ago
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