Don’t Panic!

So I continue to chip away at the things I’m trying to reintroduce into my life: dating, working out/weight management, time to write. I am trying to automate a lot of my decisions in this area, because if I have to think about whether I’d rather have the low-cal healthy breakfast or the doughnut, I might as well surrender now. Automating regular decisions frees mental energy for the things I currently feel crunched by, while also making sure I’m choosing options that are in my long-term best interest. I’m also going to try to chain the new behaviors to well-established habits, so that they’re triggered regularly.) Here are the small changes I’m going to try for so far:

  • I rejoined the least obnoxious online dating site and did a singles meetup, where I met someone nice with whom I had some chemistry and who I’d see again. We didn’t exchange numbers or anything, but it’s an incentive to go to that group’s meetups again.
  • I haven’t been writing (outside the blog) as much this week. But I did try zentangling, and spent several hours over the weekend doing that. It’s a nice change of pace, and kind of meditative.
  • I’m going to try to resume tracking calories. This is the single most effective thing I’ve ever done to lose weight.
  • I’m making an entree salad-a-day rule.
  • I’m making a one-dessert-a-day rule. This is, by the way, when you know you’re off the rails— when you have to limit yourself to one dessert a day.
  • Exercise-wise, I can do one of two things— I can either hit 10,000 steps in a day or I can work out for at least 20 minutes. But I have to do one of them every day. And barring serious illness, one or the other is pretty doable. I’m going to calendar this, because it’s not happening, otherwise.
  • I’m going to buy a new scale. Yet again, I got a range of 40 or so pounds when I got on it and stood still. If I leaned at all, the dial swung precipitously upward. Hard to know where one stands with any accuracy, that way. Impossible to track progress, which saps motivation.
  • I think I’m going to try to go to bed a little earlier. I definitely make healthier choices and am closer to my best self when I’m not exhausted, and when I look at it, my 12:15 bedtime could easily be rounded down by about an hour. Whether I get an extra hour of sleep or use that time to get to work earlier, do morning exercises or morning cleaning, I should be better off for the change.
  • Sunday food-prep. I don’t normally cook dinner on Sunday— I make brunch. But while I’m cooking brunch, I’ve had some success chopping up raw veggies for me to use as snacks during the week, or boiling eggs for takeaway breakfasts. Last night, I went hog-wild and boiled eggs and also made a pot of steel-cut oats with dried cherries, vanilla, and hazelnuts, which I store in mason jars,  so that all I have to do is throw one in the microwave with some almond milk, and in two minutes (approximately the time I need to feed the dog in the morning, anyway) I have a hot, portable breakfast that I just crave throughout the cooler-weather months. And because it’s steel-cut oats and agave nectar and nuts instead of rolled oats and brown sugar and granola, I get more protein, whole grains, and healthy fats for the calories, and stay full longer, curbing the urge to hit the candy bowl all day long.
  • Fruit for a work snack. I’m committing to eating a piece of fruit (or as today, a container of fruit salad) with a side of low-fat cheese as my daily snack. I won’t have to think about what to bring, and it’s got a lot to recommend it in the way of healthy choices. Also in the way of lower food-waste, since fruit I buy and never eat is a high percentage of what gets thrown away.

If I can reduce the number of days I buy my breakfast/lunch, that should automatically move me in a healthier direction (not to mention save me money). And I can still let myself go there once a week or so.

Are you trying to set new habits? How’s it going?

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