Well it is a new year after all, we're supposed to be dieting, detoxing, joining gyms, buying work out DVD's, giving up chocolate or alcohol, quitting the snacks and cutting the calories.
We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act. It is a habit.” — Aristotle
We’ve heard that it takes approximately 66 days to form a habit. For example, if each day, for 66 days, you come home from work or school and force yourself to work out, run, bike or take an aerobics class for about an hour and then plan dinner. What would you do on the 66th day? It will be a habit—just like getting up and brushing your teeth each morning. It will require no thought. It will just be something you do.
How many days does it take to break a bad one? When you think about the life you’re leading, you most likely think you are healthy. Well, most of the time, right? We felt the same way. And when you think about the life we lead now versus the one we used to live, there’s no comparison. We slipped sometimes, mindlessly eating every flavor of ice cream imaginable. Hopping from fast food to convenience store trying to find dinner. Pouring about twice as much cereal into a 16-ounce bowl than into an 8-ounce bowl. We all do!
But what you have to remember is that one mistake doesn’t equate to an entire change of lifestyle. What we lose sight of is that it’s taken us years to develop these unhealthy habits. It’s going to take more than one day to break those habits. Heard that before right?
We all start a new habit with the best of intentions, whimsical and excited about the outcomes. But in that excited state, you must still ask yourself the following questions: Have you planned how you’re going to break this habit? Do you have a support team? Do you have a realistic expectation? Have you made the emotional and mental connection to your eating habits? If you are so used to thinking about yourself and about food in this negative way, if you feel shackled to diets and you think that this will never change, take heart. Life doesn't have to be this way.
You are about to break the vicious circle and escape from a lifetime of self-destructive behavior. You can break free from the abuse of food and yourself and those you love—and finally start living beyond the scale.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.” What matters is that we understand our relationship with food. Then we can start figuring out the consequences our environment, our thoughts, and our actions have on that relationship and make plans to manipulate these things to our best advantage. This year, spend some time educating yourself on clean and healthy eating and trying different fitness classes. Make the decision to ditch the diet resolution and make some permanent changes and a healthy lifestyle change
About the Author
Catherine Woyee-Jones is a native of Liberia, West Africa. The Wake Area Chapter Director for Blue Star Families. Catherine is also the coauthor of Beyond the Scale, Changing Obesity within a Generation.
Learn more at catherinewoyeejones.com or beyondthescalecatandjason.com