Breaking the Habit

I have a confession. I have terrible eating habits. Worse part: I know it.

Now, usually when people talk about breaking a bad habit, they are referring to smoking or nail biting. Something others are commonly dealing with. Now, I have to realize that how I eat is a BIG part of a habit I have made over the years. And to help fix it may mean doing something and treating it like all other habits. There are a lot of “Habit Breaking” advice out there, and a lot of them have the same things/recommendations. The main one that I will be referring to will be the list given here: 7 Steps to Breaking a Habit

What is cool about this article that it does mention over eating as well, so I know I am not the only one who has started to realize that it is part of this “Habit” label, (Let’s be honest, a lot of people probably call it that) but hey, confirmation is always nice, right?

Now, let’s address the list they have provided, what it may mean, and how I’ll probably use it. And apply it. Use and apply. (Like a product. Ha. Sorry, I have been watching a lot of 2 Broke Girls and some of my humor/jokes may sound like something that may be said there, but makes not as much sense or doesn’t sound as funny when written here.)

First Step: Identifying the Habit.

Oh, I know what my habit is. Unhealthy eating. Unhealthy eating habits. Overeating. How/what I am eating in general.
I think you get the idea. *laughs*

Step Two: Identify Your Trigger

Now this one is a bit harder. Maybe it is emotional. Habit. Ummmmm… Well there could be many things really. Laziness being one as well. A lot of why I eat is because of availability and what I want to do. If I am just being lazy and don’t want to make a decent dinner or put any effort, bad food is easy to access and makes my life easier. Not going to lie. Don’t want to cook – Helllllllllllo fast food. Or if I am bored, I may grab something just to be doing something. Or if I am sad… sweets are yummy. If I am rewarding myself – You guessed it – food. My life has become centered around food… OH MY GOODNESS! Seriously? My life is centered around food?? I need to make this stop. now.

See? See what I did there? I had to think and start with one thing. Then other things came to mind, and buh-BAM. Realization. Now, try this for yourself. It may not be as extreme for you like it was me. That’s okay. Maybe it is just one thing: when you are sad. Or lonely. Or you just don’t realize what you are doing until you take that first bite. We’ve all been there. Just figure out what triggers these unhealthy habits and you are starting on a beautiful journey.

Step Three: Identify the Reinforcement

Basically, what are you getting out of the habit. Calms you down? Gives you something to do? You know, the reason WHY you started it I guess.

it is here that you may realize what all the not-so-great things that you are getting from it (or at least I did). Okay, it may be temporary emotional relief, but that is temporary. What I am really getting is more weight added to my body. I also get tired more often, and achy because that weight isn’t supposed to be there so my body has to work harder to move it around. I get drowsy and just overall even lazier because of the unhealthy affects my habits is having on my body because of the not-so-healthy ingredients. It may even lead to some of the more negative thoughts I may have and it has taken a toll on my self esteem. Reminding myself that that is what my choices are doing motivates me more to make a difference. This doesn’t just affect me. It affects my family. Being so tired and grumpy means I don’t do as much with them as I should, and can sometimes be a downer on their positive moods. I can’t play with my daughter and chase her around the park like I want to because honestly, right now, my body can’t handle it.  These are motivators to change. And I have to remind myself of that.

Step Four: Replace the habit with an action that will give you the same feeling.

Okay, so I think we got it, but let’s break it down anyway. Find a new action that will help give you the same satisfaction that the negative habit would have.

If I am bored, don’t just grab a snack. Maybe I will find something else to do because apparently what I am doing is not enough to occupy my mind. Or maybe I can reach for something that has the same motion without actually eating (like gum. Gum is good.). If I am upset, maybe reading or writing or being productive like doing laundry would help. Gets my mind of it and lets me think about it while keeping in mind the task at hand or allows me a break to then come at the problem from another angle. If I HAVE to eat – like I am having a headache from not eating as much as my body needs – then find a healthier and positive snack. If I just need anything, like a carrot or a blueberry bar. If I need something with actual more to it, an egg or a salad. Something that is more of a positive effect and helps me rather than some sugar thing that will drain me in a few moments.

Step Five: Keep Records.

Okay, you can do it the old fashion way like writing, but there a lot of ways to keep record. For me, doing stuff like this (blogging) can be helpful. (Don’t worry, I won’t start writing about what I am eating here. This is for gym stuffs, health progress, and helpful health tips? Yeah, let’s go with that.)

But recording what you’re doing and progress can help. When you struggle, sometimes seeing your accomplishments in regards to what you’re doing can help. Or seeing progress is encouraging.\

Plus, like the blog said “Studies show if you keep a record and measure behavior, you tend to change that behavior because it forces you to be aware that what you were doing up to now has been automatic. When it gets your attention, you are more likely to think, “Do I really want to be doing this?””

Step Six: Ride It Out

As you go along, urges will get strong. It may be hard, but ride them out and find better replacements to sooth the urges. It will happen.

This one, how it applies to me, is kind of obvious, or so it is at least to me. I am going to have to not allow myself to give in every time I want a snack or anything. I will work through it, find better habits and go through this!

Like I do with the whole Gym thing!

Step Seven: If You Slip, Don’t Give Up!

Mistakes will happen. And if you mess up here and there, don’t let it bring you down! You mess up once doesn’t mean you can do it. it means you’re human. And if you mess up once, look at the progress you have already made! We cannot keep ourselves in the mind set that if we mess up once it’s over and that we are failures. Because guess what? WE’RE NOT. It used to be a habit, and habits are hard to break. We do our best, find our support and keep pushing forward.

If you want the real article, the link is above. Hope you liked my spin and input. ;D See you all later!

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