How To Get Everything You Want In Life…A Study Of Habits. (Part 2 of 4)
This is a follow up to the exercise in Part 1…you did some introspective work to clearly identify your counterproductive eating habits. Habits that sabotage your efforts to lose weight, kick sugar to the curb, cook more home cooked meals, etc. I started you off with some common ones, such as:
- Waiting until I’m absolutely famished to figure out what to eat.
- Eating from a paper bag in my car. (Drinking from one isn’t all that productive either.)
- Adding sugar to cereal.
- Choosing sugary drinks over water.
What counterproductive eating habits made your list?
Which one do you feel holds you back most?
Before I got my own eating under control, I found that I was always too busy and food was just an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong, I have always enjoyed good food. It seemed that convenience had overtaken the joy of eating for me.
I’d choke down my lunch between clients, or on my way to a meeting, or to run errands for the office. I rarely took time to enjoy a lunch…rarely…in 20 years rarely.
Breakfast was a big failure too. If I thought about it, I’d grab some kind of “protein” bar on the way out the door, and “if I had time” I’d blend up some meal replacement shake with fruit and whatever protein powder I had on hand. All the while thinking that either choice was better than skipping a meal.
Was I ever wrong.
Over time this really messed with my metabolism. Most of my life, I’d been athletic and short of some baby weight gain with my three kiddos, I’d maintained a decent body composition. I started to notice the midlife spread…that phenomenon that starts in our mid-thirties and kicks into high gear around the big 4-0. At least that’s what happened to me. So I ate less, and moved more. I joined a CrossFit gym and though I loved the people and the feeling of accomplishment, the lack of fuel and the over-exertion was taking its toll.
I was rolling right along, living my life…well, more like going through the motions of my life most days. (I was on autopilot and in survival mode most of the time, now that I look back on those years.) I was always tired, but had figured out some decent hacks that fooled my body into giving me the energy I needed from it to get through the day. Coffee anyone? Only to go to bed exhausted and wake up slightly less exhausted to start all over again. Coffee became my “pick me up” and wine became my evening “take the edge off” routine.
Something had to stop. I realized if I didn’t change something, I was headed for burnout and possibly worse.
“Physician, heal thyself.” Someone pretty famous said this, and I took his advice.
I’d done goal setting for my business, my finances, debt repayment, etc…why had I never taken inventory of my eating habits? When I took a deep look I realized I was a reckless body CEO and that I should be fired. Seriously.
How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 as your body’s CEO? A rating of 1 is along the lines of “it’s a wonder I’m still alive”. And a rating of 10 is “I’m in perfect health and totally at peace”. Where do you fall along that scale?
These days I’d say I’m an 8.5 out of 10. I still have room for improvement and I’m on the quest for it daily. An 8.5 keeps me honest and in pursuit of my best version of me.
Let’s do some more introspection…now it’s your turn.
Take your top 5 counterproductive eating habits and list their corresponding negative consequences. Write out whatever comes to you. Don’t edit your thoughts, just write. I then suggest you put the list down for a day to let it marinade, then revisit. Add whatever comes to mind. Again, no editing. Just writing.
Here are a few examples from the list above:
- Counterproductive Eating Habit #1: “Choosing sugary drinks over water.”
- Negative Consequences: added sugar, doesn’t fill the void, makes me crave more sweets, expensive, I seem to always be thirsty
- Counterproductive Eating Habit #2: “Eating from a paper bag in my car.”
- Negative Consequences: high in calories, high in carbs, made with junky oils, way too easy to eat too much, never seem to fill me up, I don’t enjoy my food…I just choke it down, I’m always rushing through it, I don’t chew completely.
Time to put in the work. The more honest you are with yourself, the bigger the breakthrough will be. Promise.
In Part 3 we will turn counterproductive habits into NEW productive habits along with creating an action plan around each one. I’ll breakdown the whole process and if you put in the work, you’ll be on your way to a transformed you.
It all starts with the way you eat.