I was having a conversation with some folks today about how much changes when you change some unhealthy habits. The Biggest Loser frequently (although not in-depth enough for my tastes) addresses the emotional evolution of their successful contestants and the more significant changes one needs to make to his or her lifestyle. It got me thinking about the changes I’ve made in my life the past couple years. Some of these are changes that resulted from my weight loss and new health habits. Others are changes I had to make in order to be a successful loser.
- I eliminated having some of my unstructured time during non-work hours had to evolve to structured time to plan/prepare meals, make grocery lists, etc.
- I have sacrificed a late bedtime, complete with web surfing and some TV time in order to get enough sleep.
- I gave up setting the alarm for 6 a.m. and hitting snooze until (or re-setting the alarm for) 7 a.m. in favor of early morning workouts.
- I’ve avoided relationships/friendships that are toxic to my healthy efforts. That includes: friends who don’t support what I’m doing, food pushers and people who tend to invite more drama into my life than I can reasonably tolerate and manage.
- I quit working through lunch in an effort to get more done.
- Ironically, I also quit bringing work home and staying at the office after hours, unless absolutely necessary. Surprisingly, my career hasn’t completely self-destructed. In fact, I like it a lot.
- I left a job that mandated an unreasonable number of nighttime commitments, unsatisfactory work conditions and lack of support for my personal well-being in favor of a job that does exactly the opposite.
- I no longer consider food or zoning out in front of the TV “stress relief.” Sure, I’m as likely as any other 20th century kid to resort to the telly for some nighttime relaxation, but that and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t make me feel better anymore if I had a bad day.
Many of these changes were unintentional at first. I gradually noticed I was going to bed earlier (because I was tired!) or that I was planning my day at work more effectively so I could be done at a reasonable time. I am only now starting to be intentional about these decisions. For example, I knew I was going to have to work 12 days straight with no reprieve earlier this month, so I made sure to prepare a few extra healthy meals that I could take out of the freezer and cook quickly in a pinch. And I prepacked all of my snacks for two weeks straight.
Share some of the dead weight you’ve lost as you’ve made changes to your lifestyle. (It doesn’t have to be weight-related lifestyle changes either.)