There’s no going back.
Developing new habits is stressful. I consider it the good kind of stress – positive stress – that is required to develop new good habits.
Positive stress is still stress. And for that reason, as long as it remains stressful, it will be a challenge to continue to practice. How do you know that you’ve developed a habit? Well, I’m sure it differs for people, but for me, it looks like the following:
I wanted to lose a few pounds before my beach vacation. I had already been working out and counting calories, when Daniel gave me a tip. He told me how to figure out a diet based on ratios. 50% protein, 30% fat, and 20% carb. Anyway, it works REALLY well, I know this because he uses it and he always looks exactly the way he wants to look. (Daniel has won a few bodybuilding trophies in his day.) He said, “I bet if you did that you’d see some real results in a couple of weeks.” Magic Words. Results on Beach in Two Weeks. I’m sold.
So figuring up my diet took me ALL DAY, practically an entire day. That was the hardest part. Then there was the grocery shopping, the food prep, and knowing there was a finite amount of food for me to eat the next day. I wasn’t eating spontaneously anymore. I was fitting all my calories and nutrients into pre-planned options. I would get enough, but no more. I had two cheat days a week. I was slimming down quite nicely and then it was VACAtion!!!
Well, one cheat day turned into another, turned into another. I had lost my motivation to be so incredibly restrictive, so I thought, ya know what I can’t worry about this right now. I need a break. So I declared I was off the diet, that I was stressed out and wanted to eat and didn’t want the extra stress of dieting at the time. It was “more than I could handle”. (Or so I thought…)
The next day I ate whatever I wanted. It was such a relief in the morning, I ate a big greasy McDonalds breakfast and it was so yummy! I had a pastry at 10am. I was totally unconcerned! Well, toward the end of the day when I wasn’t splurging and I was starting to think about nutrition, I was overwhelmed. I want to eat well and watch my weight so what should I have? I already knew what the BEST thing I could do was, and I’d decided against it when I declared I was off the diet.
I decided I would go back on slowly. I’d start off the day planning to eat all the usual, but if I wanted a random snack that would be allowed.
Well, the guidelines were great, but I just ended up overeating. I snacked and snacked and overate and overate. I knew I had to get back on the regimented diet. It was actually WAY more stressful NOT BEING on the diet. Nutrition was anyone’s guess and I had no idea what it would do to my weight. Not to mention the fact that most everything I ate had way more sugar than I was used to and made me sick to my stomach and inflamed!
Anyway, that’s the long way of me telling you, that’s when I knew I’d developed a habit, in those two weeks where I had followed it perfectly. What was initially the most stressful practice to develop, then became the less stressful option for feeding myself. The less stressful option to my mind and body. It has become more desirable to moderate and know exactly what goes in, when faced with the option of eating whatever my heart/tummy fancies at the moment. (Which, I already get two cheat days a week so there’s that too.)
The BEST part of all of this is I’ve officially developed a very good eating habit! True health is one of my personal pivotal needs and I believe I should know what goes in to my body. It is my temple, I take care of it and it takes care of me. I have developed a positive habit, and it is a pleasure to perform. *Thank you Og*
And why do I care about developing positive habits?
“In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.” – Og Mandino
I get so excited when I think about all the other positive habits I want to develop. I am celebrating this one! I am grateful and really FEEL the feelings associated with this win! I celebrate how much better I feel when I practice this habit, and feeling truly healthy is my gift.
I love you all!