Health

Acknowledge Bad Habits and Eliminate Them

I’ve come to think of this “weight loss journey” (I must admit I find that term so corny) as less about losing weight and more about improving habits.  I am really focused on permanent good habits.

Everyone does many things by habit.  Maybe when you were a kid, you learned to clean your plate.  Maybe you always have some chips while you’re watching a movie.  Maybe you stop at Starbucks every day for iced coffee before work.  Some habits are harmless, some are beneficial and some are harmful.

Some bad habits cause or exacerbate obesity.  I have found it helpful to clearly acknowledge my bad habits and then eliminate them and replace them with better habits.  This is an ongoing process, of course.  It takes some time to discover these habits.  Often they seem so natural, you just don’t even think about it.

These are some of the big bad habits I eliminated in 2009:

  • eating when not hungry
  • soda
  • fast food
  • empty calories
  • drinking alcohol every night
  • ice cream before bed
  • eating larger than necessary portions
  • skipping breakfast
  • looking in the mirror and criticizing
  • smoking cigarettes (hooray!)

Some people tell me I must feel deprived by not having these “luxuries.”  Actually, I feel much better.  Are those really luxuries or are they just bad habits?  Did drinking every night make me happier?  It actually made me more depressed and exhausted.  Did soda improve my life in any way?  Not in a way unsweetened iced tea can’t replace.

These are some bad habits I am still working on:

  • adding salt to everything
  • eating out for lunch most work days
  • forgetting to take my vitamin
  • snacking in the evening

And I’m sure there are more, but I’ve taken care of the biggest ones.  Line them up and knock them down.

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