Habits

Yes, I know, it’s weird for me to post more than one blog update in a week, and here’s a second one in as many days! But I have the day off, and I’m not going to do any “work work” today, I’m working on my own health coaching business, so here we are, talking about habits.

Why habits? Because I found something *very* intriguing this morning while I was out walking the dog and it struck my funny bone some. Y’see, since we moved to the condo in the city, I’ve been putting the dog poop bag in the litter catcher at the bus stop on the corner which is right outside my building. We usually have to walk past the front door to go to the bus stop and then loop back around. This morning I had already gone past a litter catcher at another bus stop, but I found myself more than halfway to our “regular” bus stop before I realized, I don’t have a poop bag to dump! I’m have just gotten so used to putting the poop in *that* bin, that I don’t even think about it anymore, I just head towards it, whether or not I have poop in a bag to get rid of.

So how do we break bad habits, and replace them with good habits?

We break bad habits, then replace them with good ones is how! Silly question! ;)

It’s like crowding out bad with the good. If you want flowers to grow, you have to pull up some weeds.

What do you want to change? Do you want to stop hitting the snooze button 6 times in the morning? Then go to bed earlier! If you hit the snooze 6 times, that’s an hour of time fighting with your alarm clock. Go to bed an hour earlier. So what if you miss Chicago Fire? Go the fuck to sleep! 

You want to break your addiction to sugar? Then stop eating foods and drinking beverages that have mass quantities of added sugars! Will there be withdrawal? Yes, of course there will be. Sugar is addictive, and like any addiction, there will be withdrawal. You have to fight through it. You can do it. You have survived things worse than sugar withdrawal. Here’s a quick calculator on how to figure how much sugar you are really ingesting every day. Look at the nutrition label (HA! Nutrition my foot!) on any manufactured food or beverage. For products that don’t have a label, like drive thru foods, you can check their website.

Let’s look at a Tim Horton’s iced-cap, medium size (and who sticks to just medium size?) There are 47g of sugar in a medium iced-cap.  Let me say that again. 47 GRAMS OF SUGAR! That’s 11 and 3 quarter teaspoons of sugar. (take total sugar divide by 4  the WHO recommends a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar per day for adults. And there you’ve just gone and nearly doubled that with only one thing! Now tack on the breakfast sandwich, and the doughnut, and then the Subway and cookies for lunch, and the “energy” bar for a snack at 3, and then pasta with prepared sauce for dinner, and then a chunk of chocolate cake for dessert….and well, you’re in a nightmare yo-yo of sugar rushes and crashes from hell.  

You want to get work done, and stop procrastinating? Well then just get up and do your work! It really is that simple. Yes, Netflix and Hulu beckon. They are evil. The new series of Sherlock is on! We’ve waited years and years and years! But you have clients, or you have a boss who is waiting on you to finish your project on time and on budget. Which is more important? Netflix isn’t going anywhere. If you get up out of bed on time, (see habit number one) and start your work on time, then there is plenty of time at the end of your day for Netflix.

Lately I have been sticking to this schedule; I wake up every morning before my alarm goes off at 6. I *never* hit snooze anymore, I don’t even have a snooze button, I use my phone, which I don’t even need. I get up, I do my morning things, make breakfast and lunch if it’s a “work” day, walk the dog for 20 to 30 minutes, or an hour+ if it’s a weekend, go to work, arrive early! not just “on time”. I get home from work, I walk the dog for 20 to 30 minutes again, I change out of my work clothes to comfy clothes and I sit down to work some more. Lately it’s been on “work work” because it’s so busy and we’re short staffed, but when “work work” isn’t piled up, I work on my health coaching business, either course work or business planning. I work until 8pm, then I turn off the computer and I go watch ONE episode of something on TV. I turn off the TV at 9, go walk the dog, do my before bed routine, maybe read for a few minutes, then lights out. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I get A LOT done, I feel accomplished. I also still have time to cook meals and eat well without resorting to fast food drive-thrus or microwave frankenfoods. I do it without mass quantities of caffeinated beverages as well. No caffeine after lunchtime. Whether you’re honest about it or not, it *does* affect your sleep patterns. So does alcohol. No alcohol 3 hours before bed. It interferes with REM sleep, and for men will affect testosterone levels. We don’t want that now do we guys?

How about exercise? You want Superman abs, or Michelle Obama arms? Or both? (heck yeah, women can have Superman abs!) but you “just don’t have the time”? Check out the Home Workout Revolution YouTube channel. They have fat burning exercises that you can do in as little as 4 minutes per day to get solid abs and a strong core, and some sexy arms with none of that butterfly flab! You don’t need hours and hours of arduous cardio on a freakin’ treadmill or stair stepper to get in shape. In fact, science has proven that chronic cardio does not work! Chronic cardio can actually lead to muscle LOSS, which then lowers your metabolism, and then you gain FAT! How’s that for insanity?!  

You want to “eat properly”? Well what does that mean for you? Do you know what foods your body tolerates, and what foods it doesn’t? Really? Honestly? Have you eliminated and challenged the common culprits of food sensitivities and allergies? I didn’t know I have celiac disease until I eliminated gluten from my diet. I didn’t know I have a sensitivity to soya and white potatoes until I eliminated them and challenged them. We don’t know what is ailing us until we investigate. Do you have migraines? It could be caused by food. Do you have bloating? That too is commonly caused by food. Always feeling tired and run down? Food! Do you have fibromyalgia? Food can both hurt, and help that! Do you have an autoimmune disease? Then eliminate gluten and all forms of manufactured nutrient deficient food! See where I’m going with this?

A habit is something that you do without even thinking about it. You create habits by continuing to do something repeatedly. Whether it is a “bad” habit, or a “good” habit doesn’t matter. Just keep doing whatever it is you want to be doing, and soon you’ll be doing it without even having to think about it. Without having to set reminders on your calendar. Without that feeling of “ugh…I have to go eat some healthy food now…” it’ll be more like “Yay! I’m going to make kale chips!” ;)

“It’s only effort until it becomes routine” as Sarah Ballantyne says.

“Do or do not, there is no try” says Yoda.

I say “doooooooo eeeeet!” I can help you develop your new healthier habits. Sign up today for my 5-Day Diet Detox and Contact me to make an appointment for a no charge consultation 

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