I have a selective memory. It’s very self destructive. It remembers to do list items when its the wrong time to be doing them. It ignores anything related to addressing issues and conflicts. It likes to remind me that I need to call the doctor after business hours, to go to the bank in the middle of the night, or to call a family member in another time zone when they are asleep.
My memory is the most selective when it comes to correcting my bad habits and over-indulgence. As I was suffering through an unusually sweaty yoga practice, dehydrated from my four large drinks the night before, I remembered that I should really only have two drinks when I go out at night. When I go to do the deep forward bend where you fold your body in half and my stomach is in the way, I remember that I really shouldn’t have ordered an appetizer at the bar, when I had eaten dinner before I went out. I also should not have eaten a giant bowl of popcorn when I got home.
As I was looking at my body in the mirror that hasn’t really changed since my last reality check, I realized that until I conquer some of these bad habits my life really isn’t going to change the way I want it to. I even skipped my weigh-in on Saturday because I knew the news wouldn’t be good. I haven’t been tracking and I know what that leads to. Curbing self-indulgence is a hurdle I have yet to clear and I feel like I need to shake things up even further in order to break through.
I suppose it isn’t fair to say that my body hasn’t changed. I am stronger. I can run a couple miles and my standing bow pose is pretty impressive. My days aren’t spent sitting anymore but cleaning, cooking, playing with Melody. With all of this activity, you would think the pounds would have just melted away. But no. So, I must be eating more to compensate for the extra calories burned.
I know exactly when this extra eating is happening. One thing about my desk at my former job was that it was not next to my refrigerator. I also had plenty to do to distract me from late afternoon hunger/fatigue/boredom/frustration. Hanging out with a kid all afternoon can be pretty boring and snacks are a welcome distraction – and they do need them after all. But I don’t.
So what do I do? With the new year approaching all the magazines are focusing on self improvement, and I have been on the hunt. I picked up Real Simple’s issue about breaking bad habits. O magazine at a friends house had an article about changing your patterns. A magazine I picked up while in line at the grocery store had advice on how to survive the holiday season without gaining a pound. None of these had any advice on how to stay present enough to curb mindless consumption. So I guess I am on my own.
My top three danger zones are:
- 3pm until dinner
- Any time I have one drink, it often leads to many
- Parties with free booze and passed appetizers
Possible cures for each are:
- Prep cook early in the morning so that I don’t snack while putting dinner together. Then from 3pm till dinner the kitchen is off limits. Only the fruit bowl is an option.
- Don’t buy wine, as I can easily kill half a bottle in a sitting. Bring cash to networking events and leave my debit card at home. When I run out of money, I drink water or go home.
- Chew gum. My breath will be minty fresh and my mouth will be full.
These are not easy answers or quick fixes. More importantly they don’t actually cure a brain that likes to trick me into not doing what’s good for me. I still have to put reminders and alarms in my calendar for forgotten tasks. I might also try Cross Fit at least once. Laura will be happy to know that all of Real Simple’s ways to lose more weight all were Cross Fit principles (even though they never mentioned it): short bursts, varied routines, strength training. I know one thing for sure, what I am doing now isn’t working, and I need to try something new, or I will never feel like these 100 days really made a difference.