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Friday, May 2, 2014

Changing Habits Over Time

Changing Habits Over TIme--Working Out at the YMCA (photo by LivligaHome)
Every once and a while I like stopping and reflecting on all the healthy changes I have made in my life. It makes me feel proud that I have been able to make the changes I have. It also reminds me that I can change and keep morphing to ensure I am living a healthier lifestyle. The one thing we do know in our lives is that the one true constant is change, the key is making it a positive one that enhances our lives.

Some changes are small and pretty easy to embrace. I eat off of smaller plates (Livliga ones, of course!). I exercise at the gym 6 days a week for about an hour. I don't drink wine any more during the week when I am home (this one was a little harder to stick to initially!). I eat more vegetables at each meal. I eat way less protein, although I make sure I eat protein at each meal. And I plan my snacks for each day, as one of many examples of my personal changes for a healthier lifestyle. Many of these changes took time to make into a habit. I used to work out only 3 days a week at the gym and for only 45 minutes, for instance. Definitely a good start but it wasn't enough to help me maintain my weight. Already having a habit of going to the gym certainly helped me evolve my routine into more days and more time. My point? You have to start somewhere with a new healthy habit and you have to do it regularly as part of your daily routine. Change is not a one time thing. It is about a way of life.

Maintaining a change isn't always easy. Sometimes you just aren't in the mood or you are tired or you are bored with the "same-old-same-old".  That is when I have learned to change it up a bit. It is not about not doing something that is an important healthy part of our lives. It is about making it doable, fun and so automatic you don't have to talk yourself into it each time you do it. With my work outs I do different routines each day. I also change up what I listen to. Right now I get started running on the treadmill with Pharrell Williams "Happy". It is impossible for me not to smile, put more movement in my run and feel great while I am doing it. Check it out for yourself!

Another part of adopting permanent change is being honest with ourselves. I used to buy things in multiples, talking myself into the idea that we could "save some for later". Now I have faced the truth and no longer do this unless it is something I can freeze. A good example of this is grilling steaks. Our family loves to eat steak. It is a treat for us. We were brought up in the Midwest in cattle country. To tell you the whole truth, I used to be fed steak at every meal. Ever heard of a "minute steak" for breakfast? Fortunately, over the years, my intake of meat has lessened with each meal. We still love our steaks, though. But this habit has also morphed to the better. It wasn't too long ago that I would buy a steak for each person in the family, telling everyone they could eat what they wanted and we would save the rest for later, for another meal. The problem with that is that, as we know, if it is sitting  in front of you you are just as likely to go ahead and eat the whole thing rather than save anything for later. None of us needs to eat that amount of meat at any one meal. Steaks pretty much come in 8-10 ounce servings. Since my husband and I are currently "empty-nesters", I now buy just one steak and split it between the two of us. This way we have just what we need, feel perfectly satisfied and can savor our steak guilt-free. If there is a super deal at the grocery store on steaks in bulk I do buy them but I re-package them at home so I can pull them out of the freezer one steak at a time. It has been very helpful to us to do this. I have now done it enough times that it is easy to do and not a struggle.

So today I am celebrating my ability to change, to create new healthy habits and my ability to keep changing for the better as I am committed to living a healthier life.  Please join me in the celebration of all of us embracing positive change!

Changing Habits Over Time--it is a possible! (photo by LivligaHome)

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!