Since the start of the year I have been attempting to ‘diet’ and all it does is make me want to rebel! I can’t be the only person that feels this way? The moment I start a ‘diet’ I start to focus on what I can’t have, and then rebelling, overindulging and eating far more rubbish that I would have, had I stuck with my original eating habits. This is why dieting sucks and changing habits might be the way forward. For me.
For me, dieting just requires far too much thought, effort and planning. Every time I have tried to follow a diet plan I’ve been unsuccessful, because I just feel sort of, well… indignant! As far as I’m concerned diets are a whole lot of effort with very little or no results…
Which for me is why dieting sucks…
This got me thinking, I’ve lost weight before, quite a bit, more than once, and it NEVER involved a diet. So, what was it that made me successful?
Successfully Losing Weight
More than once, I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. Without really thinking about it. I lost all of my baby weight without a second thought, and there was a lot of that! (5 stone!) I just moved more and ate less crap. It wasn’t hard, I didn’t feel like I was deprived, or missing out on anything, it just happened. I like that!
Except the reality is that it didn’t just happen, subconsciously I made better, healthier choices, regularly. Those choices became habits and the weight loss just followed. It was just a happy by product.
So, if I’m to be successful this time, then the changing habits might be the way forward… Because I am literally getting no-where fast with this diet malarkey!
Habit 1 – The desire to be healthy.
The first hurdle is the desire to change. But I genuinely want to be healthier. I am hurtling towards 40 at an alarming speed now and it scares me. I know that if I want to live a long and problem free life then I need to make some changes and get healthier.
I also want to be able to really ‘live’ and I’m getting to the point where my weight and low levels of fitness are preventing me from doing things that I really want to do. To be honest that actually sucks more than dieting. Missing out on new experiences because I am so unfit is just awful.
This summer I was in California, and there was more than one activity that was difficult or almost impossible because of my poor level of physical fitness. It makes me really sad that there was more than one opportunity that I missed because of that.
I want to develop healthy habits.
Habit 2 – Socialising without food and drink
Another hurdle for me, is that my social life gets in the way. Our social life and leisure time revolves around going for meals as a couple or with friends, popping out for a few drinks…
I really enjoy it. I enjoy the social aspect of eating and drinking. It’s not something that I want to give up, but I know that I need to make some changes in how I approach it, if I’m going to actually get healthier. I really need to start making smarter choices, reduce my portion sizes and alcohol consumption.
One thing I used to do, was to have a starter and a dessert, or just a main. It’s a habit I need to get back into, because it definitely makes a difference in cutting calories!
When my children were small, I only ever drank when it was a pre-planned ‘event’ and I rarely drank indoors. I work from home now, and my children are grown up so that shift in responsibility and stress levels makes it much easier to slip into some ad-hoc mid-week drinking habits. Something that I just didn’t do before.
Habit 3 –Eat regular meals, cut snacking
I’m also not helped by the fact that I hate cooking. To me, it’s just another job that needs to be done. I think this stems from the fact that I never got into that whole cooking for enjoyment malarkey. As a young adult I was knee deep in nappies and children, children needed to be fed, so I cooked to feed them. I don’t eat meat, but my children do. I could never be bothered to cook two meals, so I cooked for them and just had toast or cereal! I know it’s really bad!
Then when I met Mr Challenge, his sons, my step-sons are vegetarian, so I would cook two meals, and sometimes eat the vegetarian version, but often not. My habit of grazing was so engrained that it was really difficult to stop. I found eating a proper meal really difficult. I still do.
As a result, I eat a lot of rubbish, and processed foods.
When I lost weight before, I was eating proper meals, and literally did not snack. I just didn’t have the snacks in the house so that I couldn’t graze on them.
I need to start getting back into the habit of eating regular meals and aiming to get my 5 a day.
Habit 4 – Move more
When I last lost weight, my lifestyle was a lot more active. I was on my feet constantly in my job as a teacher. My children were small and I was constantly busy, out and about with them. I also pretty much walked everywhere. I also went to the gym regularly, and was quite keen on strength training, as I had to be able to lift my son who had physical mobility issues.
Now my life is polar opposite. I work from home teaching online, which means I spend most of my time sat at a desk. I live in the countryside now, so I rely on my car on get me everywhere and now my kids are grown up I’m not busy looking after them. I’ve literally almost come to a standstill! It’s so easy to just mooch about and not do so much! The gym always used to feel like a treat, and now it feels
My fitbit stats are embarrassing!
Habit 5 – Just F**king do it!
I am such a procrastinator… The motto ‘why do today, what you can put off until tomorrow.’ Could have been written with me in mind! The irony of it is, that I am so much happier when I’m active and busy doing something!
My problem with anything, is just getting started. It seems like it will just be too much effort and so I put it off. Until I absolutely have no choice, but to do it! What makes it worse is that I have absolutely no idea why I do it to myself!
Take walking the dog for example. I really enjoy it once I’m out but I put it off… Why?!!!! Or going to the gym. It’s literally behind my house… No excuse! Or exercising at home, I have all the equipment, videos etc… Again, no excuse!!!
When I lost weight before, it was because the nature of my life meant that there was no space or time for procrastination. I had a young family, a sick child, I was working, studying, I literally just had to crack on..
Basically I just need to f**king do it!!
So, to help me change my habits, I am going to be following an online nutritional therapy programme called Reinvent. I’m hoping that it is going to make the process of change much easier, watch this space!
How do you maintain healthy habits?