Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Day 32: Making It a Habit

Update: 235.4 lbs, 22.8 lbs so far, 15.2 left to reach goal.

I've always heard that it takes doing something every day for 30 days to make it a habit. When I first started on this lower calorie effort, I wondered how long it would be before I'd be used to the change, and if it would ever come a habit, or as they commonly say in the diet and health industry, like a "lifestyle change." Well here's what I know so far about some of the changes I've made....

After 30+ days of black coffee, I can honestly say I'm into it. I probably have a latte of some sort twice a week still (sugar free, nonfat, Cinammon Dolce latte being my poison) but good old black coffee has been getting me through the mornings, afternoons and evenings when I need some. I even did a mini Tour of Keizer to find the best plain old black coffee, hitting some of the main spots on the road including Starbucks, Paradigm, Dutch Bros, and McDonalds, and I was surprised to find that for plain old black stuff, Dutch Brothers had the best tasting cup to me. Now that could have been the day itself, my level of hunger at the time, or any number of factors, but it was surprising to me because the only other two times I've had DB lattes, they were nasty to me. And out of all of them, I probably prefer home brewed the best still.

After 30+ days of exercising (give or take a day or two each week) I'm no longer winded when I walk 2.0+ mph, at a slight incline, on my manual treadmill for 20 minutes. And although I can't honestly say crave exercise, I do kind of miss it on the days I can't get to it. I'm not going nutso though, pretty much just walking and watching some sort of tv show or movie while I do so, or riding my bike, or lately getting in a longer DDR session. I kind of have crazy visions of doing some sort of run someday, but I don't think I have the time (or desire, yet) to really train for something big.

After 30+ days of drinking water...I'm still not in love with it. I do best on work days, especially when I take my 24 oz cup with me and put it in front of the computer and just drink without thinking about it. Days at home are harder, or days I'm going to be in meetings or somewhere where it's tougher to get to a rest room every 15 minutes for all the water I'm drinking.

And after 30+ days of eating differently, I'm starting to adjust. There are days I still think I could teach a Paddingtons Pizza the meaning of the word respect, and still crave a handful of Darrell Trussell's homemade chocolate chip cookies and a big glass of milk, or a monster slice of C-Dub's peppermint cheesecake - but most of the time I'm really motivated to stay the course. I've stayed under my calorie goal every day since starting - one day needing the 200 workout calories to get me back under, but still hitting the goal every in that sense, I suppose that part has become a habit. As far as the eating itself, I think each meal is a little different:
  • Breakfast - as I mentioned in a previous post, this one is still tricky for me. Battling between not wanting to feel satisfied after eating this one, but not wanting to blow too many calories early never know what caloric surprise may be waiting around the corner!
  • Lunch - probably the easiest one for me now. Got a handful of go-to meals that hit my range that I'm pretty happy with, and easy to flex on because I'm halfway through the day and know what I've used up in breakfast and mid morning snack.
  • Dinner - easier now that Sandi is also thinking the same way. We usually make one meal with some options that the kids may have that we don' rolls, or toppings, etc, that would be more calories for our particular plans, but that they would love.
  • Snacks - instead of just snacking mindlessly at different times of the days, these are now and important element in getting through each day without feeling hungry. Again, I've got a handful of 100 calorie (or less) snacks that I enjoy -- both on the fruit/vegetable side, as well as on the cookie/bready side.
So is it all a habit to me yet? Some things are, some are getting there, and some may never fully be, but I can say that 30+ days into it, and I'm still motivated and still seeing progress that I'm happy with, so I'm going to keep pushing on. Now...time to decide what to have for breakfast again..... :)



Michael said...

8 days 5 lbs.

I carry one of those ArrowHead 16oz bottles with me. It's small, and it has a cap, and it has an indented mark on the half part of the bottle, so when I feel responsible, I can just tip it and slam it half way, and know I just did on 8 oz serving.

If you want, I'd love to go for a run with you. I've been running from my house to down shoreline, and then south to the end of rivercrest. There is a log there that measures .9+ miles from my driveway. I think from the stopsign to your driveway is probably the same as the stopsign to my driveway, so if you wanted, I'd run with you. There and back is 2 miles. And I usually stop two or three times and walk a little too just so you know. I usually go late at night around 8:00 or 9:00 or so, so if you want... or we could go and play some one on one at cummings. Lowered hoops makes you feel manly.

Jennyth said...

I am so annoyed at myself, why can't I just do it...count the calories and be motivated by my Lopi family. What the heck? I'm doing it Paul and Sandi...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....Jen

Paul said...

Yeah, let me drop a few more and get my sea legs back...I tried a short one the other day and it just feels like 253 is still a lot to be slamming down on these knees, but I'd love to do it after a few more pounds. Plus, hopefully my stamina from walking will help me when I pick up the pace. And BBall will be cool.

Jen - I thought a million times I should do it over the past few years. Just gotta decide when the time is right, and go for it.