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Old 12-07-2008, 07:18 PM   #1
Xan
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Default Changing habits

I hope this is an appropriate place to put this. It's a question that could apply to all weights, ages and diet plans.

I've read several posts on blogs today about changing habits, taking small steps, not trying to do everything at once. This has certainly been one of my main stumbling blocks. I'm one of those awful Imperfect Perfectionists.

I'm in year-end refleciton mode these days, and was pleased to see that I actually have changed 5 very bad habits this year, and I'm sure others have done the same. What habits have you changed?

Mine are:

1. Eating breakfast every day. (I never left enough time, or I wasn't hungry, or a dozen other excuses. I have quick breakfasts, like smoothies or protein shakes, on hand so at least there's something I can grab.)

2. Making healthier choices. (I realized that, when shopping, I am avoiding high fat items, reading labels, tossing back things if they're too high in fat or calories. This happened almost subconsciously. I'll look at the shopping cart and think, "Everything in here is good for me.")

3. Eliminating the 2 - 4 Coke a day habit. (I just cut them out.)

4. Drinking 6 glasses of liquid a day (some of this is iced tea or apple juice; all water would be better, and 12 glasses is better than 6, but this is better than 2-4 cokes a day)

5. Walk up the stairs between each class to get a book, or talk to someone. Do this AT LEAST three times a day. (A year ago I'd take all I needed with me so I wouldn't have to walk up the stairs. It's 20 stairs a flight, so this adds up.)

I haven't lost very much weight this year, but I think, looking to the future, I'm in a much better position to do better. I've drawn up my Next 5 Habits to Change.

What about others? What have you changed, need to change, any tricks? Do you try to do three things at once, or one at a time? (And thanks, Delita, for the suggestion.)

Last edited by Xan : 12-07-2008 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:29 PM   #2
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I've actually lost some of the positive changes I had previously made, so I am trying to get them back, such as:

- eating breakfast every day
- packing lunch to take w/ me to class or work
- making time every day to work out a little bit (it really does reduce stress, too, so it's good all around!)
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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I think that's excellent progress and it does set you up nicely for whatever your next steps are. (If I might - I'd suggest ditching the fruit juices as one of your next habits. A glass of apple juice has just as many calories as a Coke - so you're not really saving anything there! ).

Changes I've made in the last year:

Adding more whole grains to my diet.
Added more protein to my diet - aiming for 120g per day
Added weight lifting to my working out

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Old 12-07-2008, 07:55 PM   #4
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Oh, you're absolurely right about the fruit juice. It has fewer chemicals than sodas, but that's it. It is on my Next Five List. (Alas, I'm far from weight lifting, but that will come.)
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:03 PM   #5
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My big one was making myself eat breakfast as well...and giving up a glass of wine three or four nights a week with dinner. Now I still have wine occasionally, but never more than a glass or so a week and usually more like once a month.

I have also been careful with my portions...actually checking bags, etc. and eating the actual "portion" suggested.

Oh, and making myself eat protein with every meal and snack. It keeps me full...too full sometimes. I have to make sure on a lot of days that I am getting enough calories. I am actually having trouble finding my balance in maintenance so that I have continued to lose passed my goal...not intentionally.

Cardio 6 days a week and strength training 3 days a week -- no excuses.

My next "goal" is to do a better job of figuring out how much I need to eat to STAY where I am...without going overboard the other way.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:16 PM   #6
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Really, really great thread! Xan, I have many of the same changes - breakfast (oatmeal almost every day), eliminating my diet coke habit (2+ liters a day!!!), and changing over to green tea (make my own, calorie-free). I also spent the summer walking 5k, 3-4 times a week (school started again - now I'm looking forward to Christmas for the WiiFit!), and have been keeping track of my calories for the whole time (thanks to FitDay).

Although it seems I have stalled, weight-loss-wise (went from 221 in April down to 196 in September, then only lost an additional 4 pounds since then), I am delighted with the fact I am NOT gaining!!! And I am quite happy with where I am now. The rest will come off - I am maintaining for the moment, and will get through the holidays w/o a gain - then a revamp of the calories and exercise, to get the downward trend started again.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:27 PM   #7
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Some of the habits I've created so far and am happy with:

Trying to eat at least 40 grams of fiber a day, and drinking at least 8 oz of water after I eat anything with more then 4 grams of fiber

Cooking or eating home-cooked food (leftovers!) for almost every single meal (especially bringing food to work for lunch!)

Actually measuring my portions with a measuring cup or scale, and logging every single calorie I eat

Planning all my dinners at the beginning of the week, and planning everything I eat in the morning before I eat it

Only eating meat once a week. Eating tons and tons of fresh (preferably local & organic) seasonal veggies where once I would have eaten meat.

Choosing to walk a mile each way to the store if I'm only picking up a few items.

Drinking at least 100 oz of water a day, and completely cutting out diet soda (I used to have a 12 can a day habit)


I'm happy with the changes I've made so far, but I desperately need to do something about exercise and my fatal love for Indian food, now...
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Wow! Lots of good changes -- and firm resolve.

My next five should be easy (well, relatively speaking
1. Journal (I do this easily when I'm committed)
2. Staying within points. (I'm on Weight Watchers -- so that's a "duh" change.)
3. Walking 30 minutes 3 times a week (although the new WW guideline is 30 minutes of exercise every day, I've heard).
4. Substitute water for any remaining sugary drinks -- the apple or orange juice at lunch first.
And when these are down, then The Big One for me:
5. Add vegetables. Lots of vegetables. The South Beach 2 cups at lunch and another 2 at dinner would be a good goal. (I love vegetables when someone else cooks them. I've gotten very lazy and very seldom cook.)

I hope we'll get more of these!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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great job everyone

I still need improvements, but thus far;

-keeping track of what I eat (journal)
-keeping our deep fryer in the closet to collect dust
-taking a multivitamin
-stopped making excuses why I couldn't make it to the gym. Now I aim for 4-6days a week.
-cut out all soda

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Old 12-08-2008, 04:09 PM   #10
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Great thread!

1. Exercising 4-5 times a week, EVERY week!
2. Being aware of what I put in my mouth and the impact it has on my body. Even when I make a bad choice, I know it intimately and it drives me to get back on board with healthier eating.
3. Cut back big time on the diet soda. I used to have 2-3 a day. Now I have 1 a day if that. There are many days I have none.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #11
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What an awesome thread! Often you see threads about things to change in the coming year, but one to celebrate the victories, that is something special!!

Changes I have made.
1. Eating Breakfast every day
2. Exercising at least 6 days a week
3. Getting plenty of fiber
4. Not drinking calories
5. Drinking plenty of water
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:21 AM   #12
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What fabulous changes!! And I marvel at how the tickers reflect these changes. These changes WORK, they really do.

Mine look like a lot of yours.

Breakfast every day.
Following portion sizes---measuring, avoiding second helpings, out of bag/box munching, eating off the kids' plates
Veggies!
Water!!
Regular weight lifting and cardio.

sonofagun....it works!
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:43 AM   #13
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i walk at least 30 minutes a day..some days more..but i hate sweating!
i pay attention to portions.
i count calories
i cut out sugar
i eat protein and fiber
i cut out meats..i am vegetarian til further notice
i take a mutli vitamin
no pasta

i have more energy and really notice a differance
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #14
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1. Quit smoking. I allowed myself to eat pretty much whatever for awhile because 'hey, at least i'm not smoking'. I craved sugar and comfort foods constantly. I can't believe how much I wanted to eat, all the time. Even when I wasn't hungry. Before too long I wanted to start smoking again because at least then I wouldn't wanna eat all the damn time :P Eventually the cravings subsided and I gained some willpower. Heck, if I can quit smoking, I can practice a little restraint in the food department, too.

2. Started exercising. I work 60+ hours a week, so sometimes it's hard to find time. But I find the more I do it, the more I want to do it. It's been a great stress reliever lately. Which I need!

3. Stopped drinking regular soda. I still drink diet. I hope to eventually break myself of soda all together. All in good time.

4. I Cut way way down on the amount of sugar I eat. Sugar is evvvvvvil!!! I'm also trying to cut out white flour and the 'bad carbs' which has been really hard.

5. Stopped eating fast food and started packing my lunch. I used to eat out every day at lunch, whatever I wanted, regardless of how bad it was for me. If I absolutely have to grab something out now, I'll go to Subway or get a salad somewhere.

6. I started reading labels. Ignorance was bliss!


Wow, I did a lot this year I didn't really think about it like this before but I've probably done more for myself in the past couple months in terms of improving my health, than I've done in the past 5 years combined. A lot of the changes I've made weren't so hard either.
I still have a lot more to do though. I still have a long way to go improving the way that I eat and I find coming here helps me a lot. This is such a good resource and I learn something every time I come here

Last edited by sct : 12-09-2008 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:40 PM   #15
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Great thread! I love swapping tips! The biggest thing that helped me was realizing I didn't need to overthink this and make a huge lifestyle change like everyone on TV claims. I just swapped out habits.

-walking instead of taking the bus
-lifting hand weights, doing crunches, or lunges while watching tv
-replacing things like chips with 100 calorie bag microwaveable popcorn
-getting rid of drinks with calories
-giving myself smaller portions - if I'm still hungry after, I can have seconds. But I never am, I always think I need to eat more than I do.
-carrying a healthy snack with me at all times in case I get the munchies while surrounded by fast food
-having gum with me at ALL times to give me something to chew on if I feel like eating but I'm not hungry

In about 3 months I've lost 30 pounds. I could have lost more if I had been really hardcore into exercising and tracking my calories, but I think I would have crashed and burned long ago. I'm very comfortable and seeing results.

Remember- slow and steady wins the race!
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