Tag Archives: habits

“Shift your focus”

Shift your focus.

Sage words from my friend Steph as I was sharing with her and my sis my thoughts on this very blog post, as I start to slide into a bit of ‘dread mode’ heading into traveling (again) next week to California. As I’ve said many times before, these trips always take a lot out of me, from the cross-country travel, to the adjustment (or lack thereof!) to the 3-hour time difference, which not only messes with my sleep pattern but most importantly (lol) my eating patterns (since I feel hungry allthedamntime, hungry when I wake up, hungry when I get to work, hungry all afternoon, given my meals are at such different times there vs. here. The time difference just sucks, plain and simple, for eating!). And don’t even get me started on how much it messes with my beloved routine. 😉

But I am going to try something new this time. I am going to shift my focus. Focus on where I am, not where I am not.

Rather than look at the 7-day forecast (which we all know will change, anyway!) and seeing 82 degrees on the day I fly out and already wishing I wasn’t going to miss such beautiful weather, I’ll look at the 7-day forecast for Costa Mesa and realize that hey, it’s warm there *too*. Score.

Rather than be missing the rundates and the barre dates and the barre n9ne classes I won’t be teaching (or taking), I’ll focus on the classes I am taking in California, adjusting to the style of classes I may take, and experimenting with my very first outdoor run near my hotel (it’s always been uber dark in the morning when I’ve traveled there the last handful of times, but no more!), and a long-awaited dinner date with this awesome chick.

Rather than stressing about each and every meal and disliking that I am eating out more than I’d like, I’ll embrace the new places I plan to try, and request a mini-fridge in my hotel room and stock up on a few things at Trader Joe’s. And I’ll make every effort to make the best damn mock oatmeal bowl of goodness that I possibly can. Perhaps the best ‘mock’ bowl ever (next to homemade!).  Shifting my focus on adjusting to my environment, rather than wishing I was elsewhere.

Rather than missing M like whoa…well, I guess this one just won’t change, because let’s face it, I know I will miss him like whoa, but the goodbyes are the worst part and the welcome back hug and kiss are by far the best part, right up there with getting into bed, snuggling close, placing my face into the crook of his neck, where it fits just ever so perfectly, and falling to sleep smiling, happy to be home, but also happy to have focused on the here and now, not the there and future. 

 

On habits and ‘weaning.’

I’ve been debating on writing this post for awhile, but after reading a couple of others that relate, in some capacity, I’m going to give it a go.

It’s no secret that healthy eating and eating for fuel are two of my mantras, but sometimes, I, like everyone else, struggles with balancing that with the idea of moderation and giving an inch once in awhile. But that idea of ‘giving an inch’ once in awhile is actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. As some of you know, I track my calories in a food log and have, ever since starting the barre n9ne challenge last May. I never thought I would still be tracking my eats to this day, but then again, never thought I’d have seen such progress and completely changed my habits, my body, and my view on eating, either.

Why is it hard? Because anytime I have gone ‘log-less’ for whatever reason it may be, New Year’s Eve, for example, or a special evening out, where I know that while I will choose healthy options, and it won’t add stress to my evening (that can ruin it for me sometimes, to be honest. Getting all up in my head too much), I end up sometimes sliding into the idea that I have ‘freedom’ to go a little farther than I should, a couple extra glasses of wine, or a couple of extra snacks or bites of food that I would normally stay away from because they are my ‘trigger’ foods. Because, in my head, I’m thinking, oh, I am not counting calories today, I ‘can’ have that extra snack, or I ‘can’ have an extra drink. When what I should be doing is using these ‘log-less’ days to retrain my mind and use these days as ‘weaning’ days. A test. Can I go ‘log-less’ and still stay on track. Or is my log my crutch?

It boils down to mindless eating, in a big way, too. (Melissa wrote an awesome post on this today, worth checking out!) Something I thought I’d kicked pretty well to the curb. But on the occasions where I have gone without logging my food, looking back on it the next day, I definitely had an extra treat or snack, simply because I was not ‘counting it.’ Gah! Why is this so hard sometimes?

And as Tina (again, Tina, your posts have totally spoken to me lately!) points out in the last of her ‘stuffed with emptiness’ series (which are truly incredible to read), there are times when I just WANT to stray and I WANT to go back to old habits of eating half a bag (or the whole bag) of baked cheetos (another trigger food that I refuse to buy) or Starburst jelly beans (a handful here, a handful there…adds up. Hello trigger food!). And sometimes, I guess, there is something to be said for allowing that, even just a little bit. But when it becomes a habit, or returns as a habit, that’s when it becomes a red flag for me.

So where do I go from here? I am honestly not sure. I know that I have a good handle on what I need to eat in a day to calorically fuel my body. I generally know what to eat on weekends that balances being fueled with allowing for a couple glasses of wine, if I’d like them. But the idea of stopping logging my eats scares me…because I know my habits aren’t ‘fixed’ and there’s still some work to be done.  I guess the only thing I can do is to keep trying to ‘test’ my log-less days (purposely giving myself them and at the end of the day, plugging it all in and seeing if I still come close to where I should be) and reversing the notion on my brain that these are ‘free’ days to do as I please.

Because ultimately, I always feel better when I eat healthfully, while also allowing myself to have that glass of wine, or that piece of chocolate. What works for me here, with logging, doesn’t work for everyone, and I know my perspective on this might even seem stringent to some. But I go with ‘ to each his own’  on this because everyone has an opinion. Everyone has an approach. But what works for me – this – may not work for everyone. And that’s okay. I just feel as though I need to put that out there because I can almost see the eyebrow raises virtually 😉

I write this here more for accountability, and for thinking through my next step and where I want to go. How I want to possibly wean myself away from feeling the ‘need’ to log my food and just trust that what I have learned and what I have taught myself will ‘stick’ and keep me continuing on my forward path. Towards my why and living with intention. I think baby steps will get me there.

Learning to live together: I’m far too particular.

Particular.

Rigid.

My way or the highway.

Yeah, it’s rearing it’s ugly head.

Last night, I opted not to go to barre n9ne because Wednesdays are M’s early days where he gets out around 4 or 5 (vs 6-7) so I wanted to be home for dinner at a normal time (vs. getting home at 8 or 9 from class), in an effort at balancing out the ‘me time’ (barre n9ne!) and the ‘us time’ during the week. I was excited to be able to make dinner and have a glass of wine on our deck and enjoy the night.

That’s how it started out, but then I started getting annoyed at things like his shoes and workout clothes being strewn across the bedroom floor, and the fact that he brought a bunch of more boxes of stuff over from his old apartment to unpack (kitchen/fridge items mostly) and I was trying to hurriedly put them away so it would still be neat. Must.Stay.Clean. That’s all I was thinking about rather than, let it go, get to it after dinner or – gasp – tomorrow instead.

But I couldn’t let it go.

I was seeing stuff like toothpaste on the counter instead of in the cabinet, the toilet seat up instead of down, etc etc. and was finding myself at a point where I was getting snippy with M. I can tell he has been really trying to keep things neat, not put his shoes by the door (a peeve) etc., but here I was, getting snippy and grumpy at him anyway. These things weren’t big things. Hell, I’ve done these things too, so why is it different if he does it?

Because I am used to it being MY place and it being HIS place. At MY place, things are done MY way and at his place things are done HIS way.

But now, we are learning to adjust our habits to live together, happily, and (hopefully) relatively neatly.

It’s a bigger learning curve for ME more than anything. Because I am far too particular. Too uptight. Too effing type A for my own good. So I felt like I ruined the night with my snippy grumpiness when all I really wanted was to spend a beautiful evening with M.

And what made me feel worse when I apologized for being a jerk?

M wasn’t even fazed by it in the slightest. He barely noticed (I’m sure he was also being nice in saying he didn’t notice, but this is a habit I do NOT want to fall into. I do NOT want to put my tendencies on him in such a way that it feels forced or required for me to be happy).

I need to adjust to a happy medium. I need to learn that it’s okay if there are a few things lying about. They’ll get taken care of. Doesn’t mean it has to be done rightnowthissecond, either.

So…I guess we’re learning. Or rather, I’m learning. That I’m still shitty at compromise and ‘my way or the highway’ has gotta go, in some capacity at least. I’m sure I’m beating myself up a bit more than I should. But I’m just mad at myself for letting my need for neatness affect my mood and therefore our evening together last night.

But this morning? Waking up next to that beautiful man next to me? Hugging him close and apologizing again only to have him laugh at me for still thinking about it? Wiped away any angst and worry I had that this adjustment will be harder than it will be…because together, I know we can do anything. Even if it means leaving a pair of shoes by the door once in awhile and *not* getting annoyed.