Last night I made a really great dinner. I cooked a roast beef with lots of roasted vegetable (why have I never tried to roast carrots before? Seriously). The house smelled fantastic and it was a perfect warm meal for a blustery cold day. As has become my habit at dinner, I ate what I was hungry for and found that there were still a few things left on my plate and was surprised by how much food I had taken compared to what I actually ate. This is a good thing.
Last night after dinner, we set out on a couple of errands and while we were cashing out I bought a Coke for myself and a Coke Zero for Joe. Later that night as we sat watching the hockey game, I sipped my Coke and thought to myself that I didn’t even really want it. I don’t understand why I bought it and why I continued to drink it, except just because I always do.
I am still fascinated by these two ways I have of looking at things. I can sit and enjoy a good, healthy meal without overindulging and feeling over-stuffed or sick, but I can’t just say no to myself when it comes to sugary drinks or one more cookie. Whether an actual addiction or just a bad habit, it seems as though I will actually have to re-wire my brain a little bit.
I’ve tried to quit cold turkey, but they I just end up eating poorly and trying to hide it. It’s become clear that I’m not very good at monitoring my intake. What I haven’t done is 30 days.
Several people have reminded me recently that it takes 30 days to change a habit. Right now I’m facing 30 days of Christmas celebrations, transitioning to daycare and returning to work – But 30 days from today also happens to be my daughter’s first birthday. That same daughter I’m trying to be an example for. That same daughter that I don’t want reaching for pop and cookies as her after dinner snack.
So maybe I can just count the next 30 days as a great chance to add to the challenge. Maybe all the travel and celebration and change will be a distraction from my cravings, which will gradually go away as the 30th day approaches.
So here’s the deal, Coca-Cola Classic, for the next 30 days I will not make any exceptions for you. I will not order a pop just because someone else at the table has. I will not buy a bottle just because it’s next to the checkout. I will not treat myself because I’m at the movies. And I think it’s a pretty safe bet, Coca-Cola Classic, that as a result I may drop a pound or two and feel much better because of all the water I’ve been drinking.
Here’s what else I’m going to do in the next 30 days:
- I’m going to use our new treadmill (woo!) as often as I can – I’ve been wanting a treadmill for years, probably more than a decade, it’s always been my favourite piece of equipment at the gym, and I look forward to being able to walk, walk/run and then run
- I’m going to forgive myself a few sugary treats over the holidays, so long as I stop myself after one or two cookies and not four or five
- I’m going to pile on the vegetables, try new things, and generally go with the flow
- I am going to relish every minute of my daughter’s first Christmas, her first time meeting her great-grandparents, her aunts, her cousins, great aunts and uncles
- I am going to try to get at least some exercise every day while we’re away, because I can feel it when I haven’t been moving enough (which is a good sign)
- I am going to use my Christmas money to buy new work clothes that make me feel fabulous
- Once I get back to work, I’m going to take the stairs as far as I can every day on my way to the 10th floor
And I am going to remind myself I frustrated I get when I give up or make an exception, I am going to remind myself how unfit I feel and how good I could feel, and I am going to make 2011 my breakthrough year.