Monday, October 11, 2010

Habits

When I was oblivious a few years ago, I thought that things happened TO me.  I thought my eating style was the way it was and doing something different seemed like SO. MUCH. EFFORT.

It's easier to get in the habit of eating badly.  When I load up on carbs or sugar, that's pretty much all I crave.  Then I'd conk out on the sofa while watching some trashy reality TV show.  I didn't have a life (so to speak) so I might as well watch other people live theirs.

Eating until my stomach was full (a level 10 on my scale of satiety), was normal. 

It's no wonder that I gained weight like a champ.  And that I felt more drained than ever.  But getting out of my habit of eating horribly was something I didn't want to do.  It was easier to stay with what my norm was.

The thing is, when I decided to make some changes, via WW in 2008, it did take a lot of effort.  But it was worth it.

And in May, when I decided to stop WW and focus on how I FELT and how hungry I actually was before eating, that took a LOT of effort too.

But what I noticed this weekend was that now that I've been living my life between a 3 and 6 on the hunger scale, I feel so much better. 

I don't want to go down to a 2.  And being at a 7 doesn't feel good OR comforting anymore.

That's my new habit.

Take this weekend.  I went to a little mountain town in Colorado called Idaho Springs with my dad.  We walked around and shopped.  I went into a cute little shop that sold soaps where I indulged.  I bought three bars of wonderfully smelling soaps just for me.  We went into a boutique where I purchased a vase for flowers that I'm hoping to have year-round.  Afterwards, my father and I walked to a nearby pizza shop and had lunch.

I ordered a individual whole wheat pizza with veggies and ate half.  I paused (as my habit is) at halfway through and realized that I wasn't hungry any longer.  I was at a 5 on the hunger scale.

So I stopped. 

My dad is pretty self absorbed still - and the lunch took about an hour and a half because he took a long time eating his whole small pizza.  The whole meal was spent as a monologue for him.

In the past, this would've been a huge trigger for me.  I would've felt diminished.  I would've been hurt that he didn't pay attention to me and that he didn't seem interested in me.  I would've been bored (okay, I WAS bored) and would've eaten out of boredom.

Oh, I thought about it.  But eating the rest of the pizza when I had already realized I wasn't hungry all of the sudden seemed like SO. MUCH. EFFORT.  So I didn't.

Instead, I asked for a box and we went outside to watch the local Homecoming Parade.

Incidentally, I did make my voice heard several times over the weekend...whether he actually listened is another matter. 

And this morning, as I used my uber indulgent soap in the shower, I thought of how good it felt to have a small splurge on myself - something that would bring me comfort and remind me of when I conquered some bad eating habits, even in the face of some emotional triggers.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that habits work both ways. 

Realizing that I had a choice - to treat myself the way I deserved to be treated no matter who was around - was huge.

I matter.  I am worthy of the good feeling that happens when you eat well and when you eat enough.  I don't deserve to be famished.  But I also don't deserve the punishment of being stuffed.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  I felt satisfied, content, and proud.   It's a new feeling - but it's one that I definitely want to make a habit.

8 Comments:

Karen said...

Good for you! That last paragraph says it all:)

Debbie said...

Sounds like you had a good day with your dad. They are so precious.. You did good on your eating scale to. I like the scale...

Christina said...

This is an absolutely wonderful post and you are right bad habits can be replaced with good habits it just takes time and hard work. Keep up the great work.

Janell said...

Another great Dad post (annoying..hope he's too self-absorbed to read your blog).
I'm guessing he's middle aged? (late 50s to late 60s).

Patrick Mahoney said...

I really like how you look at vis a vis the 1-10 scale and find a number you are comfortable with fay in and day out...

Margie M. said...

BRAVO !!!!!

Lily Fluffbottom said...

I'm still here.

Lisa (the girls' moma) said...

So proud of you for making YOUR voice heard. You can't make him listen, but you certainly can speak.

LOVE.