If not dieting, then what? Creating healthy habits, without moralization of those habits, has been harder than I thought.
I recently listened to "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. I was really curious how an entire book could be centered around something that seemed very mundane, habits. Surprisingly, James focuses not just on habits, how they are created, how to break them, etc, but on how our environment plays a role in shaping our life.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. ― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Recently, it has come to my attention that I've gained some weight. I'm not even going to go down the diet rabbit hole (if you're dieting... great, if you aren't dieting... great... good luck on whatever path you are on). I will admit it's hard to not jump on a super restrictive diet when my pants are feelin' tight and there is extra belly in the way when I'm forward foldin' in yoga.
When it comes to my personal wellness, things get complicated.
I am obviously annoyed with having tight pants. Does anyone like wearing tight pants? Many of us don't even like to wear pants, let alone tight pants. So I'm annoyed with my tight clothing situation, and I really don't want to go out and spend more money on an entire new wardrobe when I could be using these monies for my wood and plant projects (yes I have a wood and plant problem).
But this post isn't really about tight pants, its really about me acknowledging that I may have been giving everything, and everyone, in my life the love and attention they need as a distraction from how I am living my life and my daily habits.
After listening to "Atomic Habits" (via Audible of course), I started to realize I wasn't paying attention to MY life. I was paying attention to my spouse, kids, family and friend's lives, but I wasn't paying attention to my own. I realized that every morning I woke up feeling behind, and this feeling never seems to go away during the day. As I focus on what everyone else needs or wants throughout my day, I am doing things without thinking (my habits), making choices about my health and food habits without noticing... and it shows up for me with tight pants.
This is where things get tricky for me. Full disclosure, if someone walked in with a magic wand and was like, "I can magically erase the weight you have gained in the past four years", I'd totally take them up on that offer. However, I know that weight gain isn't bad, rather, its a message for me. I need to start paying attention to my habits and how I'm living my life. What are my daily habits? Is my environment set up for health or numbing out? Do I like my current habits or do I want to work on adding habits that are more healthy for me?
I don't know the answers, but I do know that I want to live an aware and meaningful life, and this starts by examining my daily life and changing what I do every day.
So the following is a list of habits I'd like to add to my daily life:
1. I want to add fruits and veggies to every meal.
2. Cut down my meat consumption to dinner only.
3. Keep a food, sleep and period journal to gather data on my patterns and habits.
4. Walk 3x's a week after my kids are done with school.
5. Practice yoga 2x's a week after my kids are done with school.
6. Have the house shut down, cleaned up by 9:45PM so I can go to bed in peace.
The struggle with the creation of these new habits, is NOT using weight loss as a way to measure success (as I have done in the past). My thought is that I can focus on the process rather than the results, because if I'm miserable during the process then will the results matter? I plan on posting the progress of these habits, and I'd love to hear what habits work for you in your daily life!
Workin' on Wellness,