Monday, 13 September 2010

Day 19 Old Habits

Old habits are hard to break. Last night after a perfectly respectable high protein dinner I found myself sneaking back to the kitchen to create one of my favourite scoff snacks. (croissants filled with cream cheese & ham) I realised later that the reason I did that was because I had settled also into a previous behaviour routine for that evening (reading novels) which included that kind of behaviour as part of it - an old habit. Now I see it I will know to resist it more successfully in future.

To create an analogy - when I was a smoker, it was habit to have cigarettes whevener I was out for the evening with friends at a pub. Alcohol & fags went together in my mind. Today, when I go out for a social drink with friends or have a glass of wine or beer at home, that old habit/desire for a smoke is no longer there. I have successfully removed it from my behaviours. :) So, I can successfully remove this scoff snacking behaviour attached to my reading! I remember it took me a while to eradicate the alcohol/cigarette interdependency, so I am just going to be aware of it now.

I think not having tempting foods like that in the house as well helps! In future when I have guests I will only buy enough baked goods for only one meal at a time. Bread, cake, croissants, wraps, pitas, crisps exert a powerful siren call to my brain! For now, to help my little baby steps and to avoid very large course corrections I will do myself a favour and keep temptation out of the house.

When H was here she found a little NLP ( neuro-linguistic programming) pocketbook on my shelf that I had forgotten about. It is by Gillian Burn and is full of bite sized and easily digestible tips on how to change thinking, beliefs and behaviours for myself to create a positive difference in my life.

Here's one I like:
The mind needs repetition of information and regular review to enhance memory and generate a habit. E.g. repeating key information at the end of a presentation or lecture, repeating a new task you are learning for the first time until it feels more familiar, reviewing new material the next day and at regular intervals afterwards."

My blogging is a helpful behaviour in this respect. Instead of my just eating, berating myself, and feeling guilty about the scoff snacking, I am writing about it, analysing it, seeing the triggers around it, and making myself aware of the behaviour, so I can head it off earlier in future! And putting it into my blog, which I do keep reviewing now and then means I can see my progress in habit change too, which is enormously heartening. :)

It takes around 30 days to change or create a habit successfully, so I am going to keep on plugging away at this transformation I am attempting. It isn't just about tackling the overeating, it is about learning to be aware, to make choices for myself that benefit me and improve my life, my mood, my environment, my body. Treat myself like I treat someone I love and care for. Treat myself with kindness and praise and encouragement, just as I treat any person starting out on doing something new. I am going to make mistakes, goof up, backtrack and have bad days. The trick is to see it, acknowledge it, and know to be aware of the triggers and how to change them.

It is so good to take the blinkers off.

Extra calories yesterday: 645 for dinner and 1002 for the scoff snack
bringing total to - 3532
From ham and chicken with bulghur wheat salad, and 2 croissants filled with cream cheese and ham.

Goodness! A thousand calories from only one scoff snack! And to think in the past I might easily have eaten up to three of those in an evening. Tesco do croissants in packs of six and eight...urgh! I am really seeing now, how even though my general preferences for food are on the healthy side, how easy it is to overeat, and how even a seemingly small extra like one extra croissant makes so much difference especially when that behaviour is repeated often...

I am also beginning to see that regular effortful exercise is going to have be a large part of my new life, especially if I want to be able to partake of the odd baked goodie!

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