I can’t tell you how much I enjoy Elliot Hulse. He doesn’t censor his language and each video is just one guy talking to another. This one is especially pertinent to me lately. I’m still in “look back” mode. What did I do before and how can I do those things differently so I will actually get results?
The one answer that encompasses everything may shock you. I do not get up every morning with a smile on my face and jumping for joy because today is weight training day or cardio day. I’m not beaming with anticipation about tracking every bit of food that passes my lips. It’s become just what I do. It’s a habit. It’s Monday? Weights today. It’s not an option, it’s a fact.
But it’s too hard!
I’ve re-connected to a group I met on the Atkin’s website back in 2010. The Lord knows I have overcome much in this leg of my journey but one of the biggest is the negative self-talk. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ve read plenty of it in my weekly rants … I mean updates. One of the issues that I have overcome (and what I hear a lot of people complain about) is tracking my food. When I first ventured into the low carb arena, I only tracked carbohydrates. Heck, that is what was encouraged (“Carbs are all you need to worry about”). When I began this journey again in August of 2013, I began low carb eating the same as before … only tracking carbs. When I continued to see the spikes in my blood sugar, I decided to track everything. Now, it’s just not an option. My browser’s home page is My Fitness Pal and the first thing I do is track my coffee/supplements and work on what I plan to eat for the day. It’s a habit and feels strange now if I don’t track throughout the day (it feels like I’m forgetting something). For those who aren’t seeing the results they want with any way of eating, the only way for you to discover WHY it isn’t working is to track your food/liquid intake, then dissect and analyze your food choices. If it’s “too much work”, then I really do not see how you can truly be committed to improving your health.
So, what do I track? The only no-calorie beverage I track is water (to make sure I’m drinking enough). Otherwise, if it has calories, I track it. You would be amazed (or at least I was) with the massive database on My Fitness Pal (I haven’t used any others, so I’m not sure how they are). If I made something from scratch and REALLY don’t feel like inputting my recipe, I will find one that’s close.
If it’s Monday, it’s weight day.
Now for exercise. I just do it. If it takes me 4 hours to get my energy levels up to exercise, then that’s how long it takes. If (like this week) I just don’t feel like doing it (Monday became my “rest day” this week, which I spent tearing up some of the linoleum in the kitchen), then I begin the next day. I do my best to NOT do this, since that means I will end up exercising on Saturday (which I haven’t incorporated into my routine because the weekends are reserved for 48 straight hours of wonderful time with my husband).
My mornings are all based on routines. I get up, let the dog out, relieve myself, get the coffee going, feed my dog and let him back in, boot up my computer, brush my teeth, get hubby’s lunch ready, make hubby’s coffee and wake him up, get him off for work, make my coffee then start MY day. I track my coffee, decide what I’ll have pre-workout (for breakfast), then an hour after I eat, I exercise. As long as I’m healthy, this happens Monday through Friday. Period. It’s now a habit and feels odd if I miss one thing.
So, what about those days when nothing seems to be going right? Here was my Tuesday: I did everything listed in the last paragraph until the exercise part. I was dressed, out in the garage, and getting ready to begin. My son comes home and we have a lengthy discussion. That discussion put me into a deep dark place. It wasn’t depression, it was a mix of anger, frustration, disappointment, irritation, etc. and I said, “F*ck working out” and came back in the house. I had decided that I wasn’t even going to bother (yeah, that’s my blanket defeatist statement that I have been working hard to eliminate from my vocabulary but it still rears its ugly head once in a while). I sat here, at the computer, brooding. It took me almost 2 hours to bring myself out of the funk but once I did, I got busy. I got dressed, went back out to the garage, did my weight training, and decided to start some work on the exterior of the house. Tuesday was the longest I’ve worked in over a year (not only did I do my weight training, I also spent 2 hours pulling concrete shingles off the exterior of our house).
So, what does this have to do with me, if I’m not dieting/exercising?
Everything. If you are not one of those that naturally has a list of things to do for the day (and does them on a consistent basis), building habits is how you will accomplish all those things you desire in life. Hate how messy your house is? Make a habit of picking something up every day. It doesn’t have to be a 10-hour cleaning marathon but you have to develop the habit of doing that one thing (putting your dishes in the sink or putting your dirty clothes in hamper) every single day. That one small act will become a habit, that can be expanded on. Start today!