"Gosh I wish my resolve was that strong. What time do you do your run? I’m trying to make myself into a morning person, LOL"
I love when I get comments like Lizzies because at one time I thought "my resolve wasn’t that strong" either…
While in my yo-yo dieting cycle of hell era I would routinely make declarations about tomorrow being "the day". You know, THE DAY….
The day I would stop eating ALL junk.
The day I wouldn’t snack after dinner.
The day I wouldn’t eat any more carbs, ever.
The day I would start my 5AM workouts.
The day I would start eating perfectly and exercising perfectly for the REST OF MY LIFE.
After I enjoyed my last meal (5 slices of meat lovers extra cheese stuffed crust pizza) I would work myself up into such a level of excitement that I really thought "tomorrow" would solve all my problems. I’ll give you 3 guesses as to what happened the very next day.
No, no, I didn’t live perfectly and then start a career as a Victoria Secret model.
No, I didn’t drop 50lbs over night and feel confident in a bathing suit, not even CLOSE!
Ah, sorry, No I didn’t even wake up ready to start the rest of my perfect life.
Nope, ladies and gentleman, my alarm would go off at 5AM for my very first workout of my very first perfect day and I’d hit the snooze button a few times before laying in bed debating if today really was the first day of the rest of my life. Then I’d fall back asleep, end up late for work and since my perfect new life didn’t get such a good start I might as well order the bacon double cheese burger and extra fries for lunch again. Cause you never know it may just be the last time I can.
Why? Well didn’t you hear?
My NEW perfect life is now scheduled to start on Monday.
Seriously, I kept restarting that perfect day for 15 YEARS! With varying degrees of success, of course. Sometimes I’d actually make it a whole day, or even a week being "perfect" before something would disrupt the perfectness (i.e. a party, a cookie, the weekend, a beer, a bad scale reading, a fat joke, a dressing room, a tight pair of jeans, etc., etc., etc.)
So as I was running at 5AM this morning I starting thinking about how I adopted this healthy habit.
I’ve gone in depth about my workout and running progression in this post from last year but and you can see old posts showing my progression to this point. I got here slowly over the course of 2 and half years. 3 years ago I wouldn’t have been caught dead at a gym, 2 years ago I SWORE I couldn’t run, a year ago I only ran in the evenings. Now I’m waking up at 5AM to squish a 2-3 mile run in before my 8 hour workday like it’s a piece of cake.
I’m not telling you this to rub it in or gloat or make you feel bad about yourself if you don’t workout or have no desire to. That is not my intention. What I do want to show is that healthy habits (ones that you have the desire to adopt) will not happen over night. They take time. You NEED time to grow into them.
I found this to not only be true about my workout habits but my eating habits too. When I started Weight Watchers in June 2005 I was a processed food girl. I bought 100 cal packs, Smart Ones, Lean Cuisines, etc. I don’t think there is nothing wrong with those types of products per se but I wanted to adopt healthier habits. So I started to phase them out. I experimented in the kitchen more. Started trying new produce (inspired my whole produce picks section on GLB) and slowly found a balance of cooking dinners, saving leftovers and eating more fresh fruits and veggies. The change can be seen mostly in my work lunches. I used to go out almost every day for lunch, then I started bringing prepackaged TV dinners and processed snacks, now I pack leftovers, a few fresh fruits and some yogurt. Again, these changes didn’t happen over night, they happened slowly over the course of years.
Even my dependence on artificial sweeteners has weened over time. A few years ago I went through a big bag of Splenda a month. Now I rarely use the stuff and I think the same bag has been in my pantry for at least a year.
I could rattle of a few more things now that are second nature. Each one took time for me to adopt and stick with as habits. Things that I thought I didn’t have the "resolve" for but now do naturally.
What healthy habits have you have adopted and how long did it take for them to stick? Are there some you are still working on? Like me and my darn nighttime snacking problem (I joke as tonight I just went a wee bit overboard on some leftover Easter chocolate. ;)