Have any of you ever noticed that in order to break a bad habit, the easiest way to do it is to eliminate the trigger all together?
For example, for many people battling the bad habit of mindless snacking, eliminating the trigger foods makes it much easier to say no – basically forcing it on themselves to say no.
I used to think this was the best way to do it, too. It’s how I avoided eating all of my favorite mindless snacks; however, the moment I came face-to-face with them again, it was all over.
In the past month, I’ve been working on my habits, because I’m a terrible mindless eater.
I snack at night, after the kids are in bed, on things that I shouldn’t. Why? Oh, it could be because my husband’s eating and I think I’m hungry, too, or it could be that I’ve got an appetite for brownies or chocolate and just give in. I struggled with changing that habit for the first three weeks of February. I would avoid all the usual go-to snacks like cake or ice cream or chocolate. They wouldn’t come home in the cart.
Yet, it never failed that I’d end up eating whenever my husband wanted to eat. See food, eat food. I hate to admit that, but hey, how am I going to achieve the rest of my weight loss if I can’t own up to the problem?
So 9 days ago, I made the choice to screw it. To not only stop bringing home my personal favorites, but to face the real problem: my weakened ability (not complete inability, haha) to just say no. (Aww, totally brings me back to my D.A.R.E. days. Tee hee.) Giving in would completely ruin all my efforts – and not to mention kill my energy necessary for my training runs.
I stopped taking in all that added extra sugar. That included the sweet tea, coffee creamer, and sugar in my oatmeal. I started drinking water far more often than I was before – eliminating drinks I really didn’t need. (Like coffee. I was starting to drink it far too often, just to have energy.) I stopped eating after 7:30/8:00pm.
That last one? The most difficult of all. It was so tempting to have a slice of buffalo chicken pizza or have some late-night waffles with H. So tempting!! But I reminded myself that I can’t change unless I create change. So, I told myself no…and I faced it head-on. I kept myself in the room, feeling more successful as the minutes that I said “nope” would go by.
What’s happened in the last week?
I lost 4 pounds and 9.5 inches from my body…from working out and making the changes I mentioned above. In one week. I busted some serious ass, and I have turned down pizza, dip, and brownies!!!
FYI, I did have dessert one night, because hell, we all deserve to enjoy a treat, right? Blood orange sorbet!?! Yes. Please.
I didn’t eliminate every one of my triggers, but I did eliminate the ones I had control over. For the ones I couldn’t control, I politely declined and not-so-silently patted myself on the back. (I love that my husband will high five me a million times a day as I make these habit changes.)
So, despite my struggle through the first few weeks of the month, I lost 8 pounds and 15″ total for February (as I announced last minute yesterday). I’m more than thrilled with those results, and I’m excited that it wasn’t an initial quick 6 pounds like I usually see. It was very gradual, with that jump at the end thanks to some serious willpower.
I’m glad I stuck to my plan, filled my cart with produce and other healthy staples, and took it a step further by facing my problem head on. I came face-to-face with what makes me weak and told myself that I knew the difference between hunger and appetite. I haven’t felt those sugar cravings creep up, and instead, I’m craving the crunch of vegetables. And all that water? You should see my skin!!!!!! Why was that a habit I never truly got into?
One week later, I feel so much stronger, lighter, and more energetic. No caffeine necessary.