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Old 06-22-2008, 05:22 AM   #1
RIP Little Debbie!
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Default Getting in to a routine.. How do you do it?

I know, in order to lose weight, I need to get in to some kind of a routine. I work Mon-Fri from 4pm to 12:30am (average), so I sleep most of the day away. I generally wake up around noon. I cannot afford a gym at this time, so I am limited to exercising (when I can remember) before work and on the weekends.

What I want to do:

1. Get in the habit of taking vitamins and drinking water.
2. Get in the habit of exercising.
3. Get in the habit of not eating like a pig when I have multiple servings of food available to me and out of the habit of eating right before I go to bed.
4. Get OUT of the habit of eating the WHOLE box of Little Debbie snacks. Or just get out of the habit of buying them at all.

I have a long way to go before I can set a weight loss goal, I think. I just don't want to set one until I lose my bad habits and gain good habits.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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This may or may not work for you, but the way I did it (and am still doing it) was to create a journal (here), keep careful daily track of my input (food and vitamins), my exercise, and how I feel for the day.

I can read back on any day and see the days I've messed up, and see how horrible I felt on those days.

But first I had to make a decision to change. Change it all right then, not tomorrow, or next week, but RIGHT THEN.

That's what worked for me.
~~Suzanne One beautiful day at a time. My before and during pics
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Katie, you're halfway there by recognizing that habits play an important role. OK, so your habits are bad ones currently, but the fact that they exist are proof of their power in our lives.

Now all you have to do is kick the bad habits and form new, positive ones. Easy eh?

Only joking.

Have you considered neuro-linguistic programming?
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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Have you considered perhaps getting up earlier? You don't mention when you get to bed, but even if it's around 2:30 AM, you could get 8 hours sleep and be up at 10:30 AM. That would give you some "extra" time to slip in an hour of exercise before you have to be at work.

When I began, I did not have any routine that included exercise. I had to schedule it in my day just like an appointment and then treat it like one. Now it's practically automatic--just something I do.

With food, you may also have to do some planning. Try to space your food throughout the day, including during work, so that you're not just eating one huge meal right before bed.

And yeah, I'd say stop buying those Little Debbies altogether!

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Old 06-22-2008, 09:55 AM   #5
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Default Getting a sleep routine

Because of being bipolar, I started a regular sleep routine. Going to bed around a regular time and getting up early at a daily consistent time. This has helped me with my bipolar and my eating habits as well. I've developed a better eating schedule.

In my humble opinion, I needed to develop habits step by step. One simple habit at a time and then build on them. I still don't have an exercise habit.
I did stop eating sugar & white flour which has helped me. That Little Debbi problem--I'm an all or nothing person kind of person when it comes to eating sugar.

I think it helps to replace a bad habit with a healthy habit so you don't leave a void.

Good luck,

"It is important to recognize that there are two levels of spirituality, one with religious faith, and one without. With the latter, we simply try to be a warm-hearted person." ~~ the Dalai Lama

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Old 06-22-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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I would do one thing at a time.

Start by writing a note to yourself and sticking it somewhere you will see it everyday (bathroom mirror, fridge, wherever).
It takes 21 days to develop a habit. So start with the vitamins and water, get into a routine. Then try the exercise, etc.
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:31 AM   #7
RIP Little Debbie!
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I can stop buying the snack cakes.. But, sometimes, I need a little something sweet and fruit does not cut it for me. And I deny myself that little pleasure of sweetness and I end up binging on it.

The past few years have been no walk in the park as far as my self esteem goes. Having been in an abusive relationship for 2 years (please don't ask), and then finding myself suddenly living alone (by my choice) for the past year 1/2 with absolutely NO closure for the relationship (if you can call it that), I guess I got used to turning to sweet things and other comfort foods to escape. I'm not trying to ride a soap box or anything, but this is one of the things that has been truly bothering me and possibly driving me to over eat.

I have a lot lost weight in the past, but it's coming back. I just can't bring myself to go back to the situation that caused the past weight loss. It was VERY unhealthy. I want to do this the right way this time around!!
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:18 AM   #8
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I have never had to work a night shift, so don't really know how the body clock works in that sort of situation, but I'll put in my 2 cents worth anyway, for what it's worth.

You mention working until 12:30am and sleeping until noon, but that seems to leave a lot of hours in between. I am sure you are not sleeping almost 12 hours, and if you are, then that is WAY too much sleep. You said that you could exercise before work, and that is often a good idea as it wakes the system up as well as getting the exercise out of the way for the day, or night in your case. If possible though, you may want to consider doing some form of exercise after work. I know you probably don't want to exercise too close to bedtime, but I have found that I can do a moderate amount of exercise straight after work and it doesn't affect my sleep patterns. At the moment I am doing a combination of the two. I do 20 mins of fairly brisk workout on the treadmill as soon as I get up, then I do another 20 to 40 mins on the treadmill after work. Both seem to have benefits.

Good luck with getting into a routine. You are right, you have to pretty much make it a part of your regular day, just like showering etc. Also, don't panic if it isn't feeling 'natural' for a long time. It took me a LOT longer than the few weeks I'd read about to establish routines. I am still not sure I have a 'routine' for exercise, as I don't particularly like it that much, but I know it is something I HAVE to do for my healthier lifestyle, so I just tell myself to get off my butt, because it "isn't an option".
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:38 AM   #9
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I agree that one of the things that needs to happen, is your going to bed as soon as you can after work, and then getting up after having around 8 hours of sleep. As Jay said, even if you go to bed at 2:30am, that is still getting up at 10:30 am!

As far as the sweets go...I DO have treats in my plan. However, I don't waste my calories on CHEAP sweets. In other words, a Little Debbie Zebra cake tastes like sugar and WAX. Seriously, it does. WAX. I won't waste my calories on it. If I need a treat, then I will have a small piece of dark chocolate, or fresh strawberries with a little bit of whipped cream/whipped topping, or even a small glass of wine. I definitely choose quality over quantity.

I have basically sworn off cheap junk-Little Debbies, Ramen noodles...if I am going to splurge and have something, it is going to be WORTH it.

It takes a few weeks, but once you stop eating the cheap junk, your body actually will lose the taste for it. Fruit can actually be a real treat if you prepare it the right way. Strawberries are wonderful a dab of whipped topping, and an apple is FABULOUS if you cook it with a dab of cinnamon and sweetener. (Core the apple, put cinnamon and a bit of sweetener in the cored area, and bake or microwave until cooked.) It gives it the taste of apple pie or fried apples. You just have to look around and find different ways to prepare things to make them taste better.

Start weight after baby #3: 233.9
Current weight: 143
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:47 AM   #10
Let's salsa!
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Hi Katie,

When I read your post, I, too, immediately thought about the numbers of hours you sleep. I see that others already addressed it as well, so I will only add that it would be best if you could get up at, say, 10:30 am, and do some exercise right away. You will get it out of the way, it will give a good feeling that you have done something good for yourself, and hopefully, it will help prevent you from snacking on unhealthy stuff.
If you need to snack, please snack on something that is good for you - right now, a lot of fruit is in season - how about a bowl of juicy cherries instead of Little Debbie (whateveer it is - I have no idea, I live in Canada).
You will have to force yourself to get up as if you had a 9 to 5 job (not at the same time, but set an alarm and get up so that you are not late). I know it is tempting to sleep in when you don't need to be at work until 4pm but you need to introduce some structure. Buy some exercise DVDs if you can't join the gym so that you can get a good workout at home.
Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:51 PM   #11
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If you have been in an abusive relationship I might suggest more "empowering" types of exercise like kickboxing, tae bo, and martial arts. I had some anger myself after leaving a relationship, I think I'd turned to food for comfort. My mind was just messed up. I like kickboxing and bootcamp workouts, they helped me release some anger issues I had, and as I lost weight I felt more empowered too. Likely your self esteem is low and maybe so is your ability to make decisions. If that's the case perhaps you want to follow a more formal dlet plan that limits your choices but where you can still enjoy some of what you like. Or count calories so you feel in control. Perhaps you could do a 1200-1400 calorie diet, track it online, and leave 100 or so calories for a "treat" but research how to exchange "better" treats - like Skinny Cow ice cream in chocolate perhaps. I don't know what your job is, but can you take some breaks? Walk the stairs? Etc? Maybe you could get 20 min of exercise at work taking breaks then another 20-30 min before you leave for work? Start a journal, write down what you eat, set goals for a week at a time maybe. Or just one day at a time. You'll be amazed at how this journey will help you feel better about yourself and will help you move on from the past.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:23 PM   #12
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it does take a little while to get into a routine and even when you finally get into a routine, after figuring out what works for you, whether it is getting up earlier or planning meals better, you will find you will need to tweak it every now and then.

I was going to the gym several times a week before my second child was born and then I found it was a lot harder to do that with two kids. So I got up about an hour or so earlier in the morning to get my workout in. It really does wonders when you get that done!

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Old 06-23-2008, 07:46 PM   #13
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Another thing I've found quite helpful is creating a binder of recipes - with breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. For breakfast I pick about 3-5 core recipes that I cook/eat a lot, same for lunch, then I'm more creative for dinner. If you are used to eating junk or not cooking this helps a lot. You can get some good cookbooks from the library. I checked out the Biggest Loser Cookbook because I saw it was a top seller at amazon.com and also the book Hungry Girl Cookbook. I like more "comfort food" so the recipes in both are good. There's many more of course. I found my little binder at Barnes and Noble, it's the perfect size. And I fined tuned it more, put the recipes I haven't tried in one binder, the ones I have in another, and the "staple" ones in yet another. Having a "system" means being organized and planning, even when you are tired. Creating a list of what you can eat that you will enjoy, plus some healthy "treats" that aren't loaded in calories and fat. As for exercise you can just start walking, simple, walk at work on a break, walk before you go to work.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:08 PM   #14
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My husband used to work the night shift. He left at 3pm and got home around 1pm. No matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn't fall asleep b/4 5a.m. or so. So going to sleep 2 hrs after you're done work doesn't seem logical to me. Kind of like getting home from work at 5p.m. then going to sleep at 7p.m., you know? My guess is you go to sleep later -- maybe in the 4a.m. timeframe? Then sleeping till noon gives you your eight hours. But even getting up at noon -- gives you a solid block of time to exercise and plan your meals.

Getting into any kind of routine takes time and I think you're smart to take one thing at a time. Work on one habit until you feel you've successfully mastered it then move on. Doing everything at once it just too overwhelming! Also, I've never, ever bought into that 'it takes 21 days to form a habit' line. At least, it never worked for me. When I first started exercising (like 18 yrs ago) it took me at least 3 months b/4 I really felt like it was more of a habit vs. just a passing thing.

Sometimes just remembering to exercise or take vitamins or whatever is the hardest part. I'm all for writing myself notes to remind myself to do stuff. And making it important enough in your life will help you maintain your commitment. Eventually it will become second nature but until then, consider it a 'must do' -- like brushing your teeth or washing your hair.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:56 PM   #15
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I was going to say the same thing as Hat Trick. I've worked both swing shift (3-11) and midnight shift (11-7) and going to bed 2 hours after you get home doesn't work for most people. As she said, it would be like tellling someone working a regular schedule and who gets home at 6, to go to bed at 8 and get up 4 a.m.

In general when I worked swing shift, I would get home around 11:30 and go to bed around 3. I'd sleep 7 or 8 hours and get up at sometime between 10:30 and 11:30 the next morning. That gave me another 2-3 hours before I had to go to work again.

I worked at a hotel and had access to the hotel gym, so it didn't matter when I exercised, but if you need a gym environment (some people do) and you don't have any 24 hour gyms available, then you might have to workout before work, instead of in your "evening" (after work).

I also agree about getting rid of the Little Debbies entirely. I am not a big fan of processed foods and I try to eat as clean as possible, but if you NEED a sweet ... I'd strongly recommend something like Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, or some low-cal pudding, or pick up a recipe for something like black bean brownies (i know they sound gross, but really quite good and only 150 cals per brownie ... if you can limit yourself to just one).

Hang in there and build your habits one day and one item at a time - if you can only change one thing right now, then pick one and concentrate on just doing that. Conventional wisdom says that it takes 6 weeks to build a habit ... so work towards your one thing at a time.

Good luck! I know you can do it.

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