Thursday, February 5, 2009


As I make my slow, slogging progress through WW, I sometimes feel like I am doing this at a total snail's pace. It seems almost impossible that I am going to get to my goal weight anytime in my lifetime. I'm so impatient! I've only been on WW for a little over a month, and already I'm frustrated with my progress - which while slow, has still been steady.

I think it comes down to routine, and to habit. Most of us are creatures of habit. We probably wake up at roughly the same time every day, with or without an alarm. Our breakfasts are probably usually the same. We like our coffee a certain way. We like a certain kind of tea. When you shower, you probably go through the same motions in the same order. I always wash my left arm first, and if you're a righty, I bet you do too.

Breaking a habit requires conscious effort. Next time you shower, try consciously changing your routine. Wash your right leg first. I dare you. The general myth is that if you do that for 21 days it will become your new habit. I guess if you wash your right leg first for 21 days, you'll do it forever, or something. My point is, I've been doing this for over 21 days, and while it hasn't become an effortless habit, I am picking up new things while becoming consciously aware that I need to drop some others.

Some habits I have picked up that I am proud of:

- Pushups. I can do 10 military style, back to back, but after that I get weak. I keep my mat on the ground, so sometimes when I get up from work and walk to the kitchen, I will drop and give myself 10. I'm working on 20, just because I want to be able to "drop and give 20" when hollered at.

- Squats. I have made the habit of doing at least 50 a day, intervals of 10 at each time. Its not hard to do actually and they're kind of fun, in the privacy of my own home. Again, every time I get up to get water, or coffee, or use the lav, I do 10.

- Diligently logging my breakfast and lunch points. I am so GOOD about this! My breakfasts are so healthy and yummy, and my lunches are always fab. By the end of lunch I've usually used up around 1/2 of my daily points, which isn't bad considering by then I've had 2 meals and a likely snack.

- The dog. Its not a real "habit" yet, but I am walking more and spending more time on training my dog. Its not really for me though; she needs the training. It does have a nice effect of getting me out of my chair and into the sun for at least a half hour, though.

- 3:00 soup hour. OK, I totally made this one up, but I love it more and more. At 3:00, when I'd normally be craving some chips or a sandwich, I make myself some instant miso soup that I found at the Asian supermarket. Its 0 points, but it has a definite richness that somehow fills me up and makes me feel warm and happy. Like a hug from within. I add a chopped scallion and sometimes some hot sauce, and sip it in a mug. Mmm.

Habits I need to make:

- Crunches. I can drop and give 10, but somehow its SO much harder to roll over onto my back and do 25 crunches. I don't know why. Its easier for me to physically do crunches than pushups, so why am I so lazy about them?

- Evening points. What is it about the hours after I log off work that make it suddenly so hard to stay on the plan? The lure of a glass of wine haunts me; friends invite me over at the last minute for a delicious meal of chicken and potatoes. Tiramisu was on SALE, DAMMIT. I have to start being honest with myself that this is my "big eats" time, and make the hard choice: 1) recognize that I have little control over evening eating, and restrict myself during the mornings and afternoons to mitigate points, or 2) push myself to have the discipline to keep myself under my points in the evening, even if it means abstaining from certain things - like, my friends, or a glass of wine, or OMG TIRAMISU. I just don't know. Cut back in the morning to balance the night, or vice versa?

- The dog. She needs excercise. Cesar Milan says so. I believe the man, for he is amazing. Yes, I totally bought into that dog whisperer stuff. It works, ok?

- Meditation. No, not that whole yogic "ommmm" stuff. But sometimes I need to stop, sit still, close my eyes, and consciously remind myself about who I am. And, what I'm not. I'm not a number on a scale, or a size pant, or a sandwich, or a bowl of soup, or an ideal of something I'll never be. I'm a good person, and a good friend, a hard worker, a dog lover, a great cook. I'm doing this for myself, for my health, for my knees and my heart, and for a life I want to live in full.

Its easy to get down on yourself and give up. I'm going to try to make it a habit to perservere.

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