Whenever I’m off a schedule, I find that it becomes harder to stick to my food routine. The pockets of empty time (in other words, the times when I’m procrastinating) leave open the chance to want to eat out of boredom.
The best habit I think I’ve cultivated is to not buy junk food at all. There are no snacks in the house – no biscuits, no crisps, no chocolates. Even if I really, really wanted to have something, there is nothing that I can easily reach for. Ironically, when I get intense cravings, I somehow still go to the cupboard and desperately look for some chocolate … I know there’s nothing there, but I still look.
My weekends used to be really unstructured, thus leaving open the temptation to just sit on the couch and watch TV … which inevitably leads to wanting to munch on something.
The good thing is that my weekends have also become routine. For the most part that suits me fine. I know what I’m going to eat, when I’m going to eat, and what I’m going to do. That structure really helps me. It may seem boring to some, but the great things about setting a schedule for yourself is that you can change it up if you want to.
This all relates to points 2 and 3 in the Lifestyle challenge.
– Eat thoughtfully
– Choose your celebrations
Things come up. There are birthdays. There are parties. We have whims.
The thing that I want to work on most is to not let those instances throw me off track.
It all boils down to making decisions that I know will make me happy, both in the moment and in the future.
I went for a long period of time when I was saying ‘no’ to a lot of things. That actually suited me just fine. Even if others had a problem with it (and many, many people did), I put myself, my health, my happiness first.
I will still do that to this day, but now I’m a bit more relaxed. This doesn’t mean I’ll eat whatever I want without thinking about it. Instead, I make a thoughtful/conscious decision about my actions. Whatever I decide to do (workout, rest, eat, fast), it will be my choice, for my happiness – whether that means taking my own salad to a dinner party or sitting down and enjoying a piece of carrot cake with a cup of coffee. It’s my choice.
Taking responsibility for this choice (and the consequences) is important. It’s not about guilting yourself into feeling one way or another. It’s about understanding that whatever we choose to do has a consequence.
Making these decisions requires practice and patience. It involves implementing some discipline into your decision making process. Maybe at this very moment, your desire to have a piece of chocolate cake is very strong … but you’ve got to take a moment and ask yourself – do I really want it? Is eating this cake really going to make me happy? Does this action help me reach my overall goal? Will doing this action lead to regret in the future (whether it’s 1 hour/1 week/1 month later)?
After answering those questions – you make a choice.
The ultimate goal is to work towards optimal health and overall happiness (at least those are my goals). This doesn’t stop just because the weekend is here.
As you gear up for the weekend, don’t forget your overall goals. Find ways to create new routines and new habits that you enjoy and that also correspond to you achieving your goals.
When you start off, making such decisions takes time and requires quite a bit of thought and organization. However, if you stick with it, you’ll see that it will soon become a habit, and making healthy choices will become second nature.