Wellness Wednesday – Habits

I don’t believe in that old adage that says it takes four weeks to form a habit. It takes much, much longer than four weeks to make a permanent habit. Years. Over my long weight loss journey, especially from 2011 to 2014, I developed many really good habits. Eating fruits and vegetables every day, exercising 5-6 times a week, using movement instead of food to combat stress, etc. I remember the moment I knew something had really become a habit instead of something I made myself do. During the 2012 election, I was so nervous about the outcome, and instead of thinking about food, I kept jogging around my living room as the results came in because I simply couldn’t sit still. Just four years before in the previous election, I never would have done that.

Unfortunately, in moving to Boston in 2014, most of my habits died off. I was in a new area that was unfamiliar in environment, culture, and weather. I stopped exercising for long enough that the habit died. I ate well for awhile, but started beating myself up and actively eating unhealthy to punish myself. (Yes, I went to a therapist.) I developed new habits – binge eating, drinking too much, self-punishment. And while I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I have done away with most of that (the binge eating comes back periodically), I’ve never had the opportunity to regrow those good habits of the time. Too many moves, too many new environments, too many painful stressors and PTSD triggers. But I want to form these good habits again.

I want to eat well, including many fruits and vegetables, and I want to include them in meals without even thinking about it or forcing myself.

I want to choose not to binge when the urge comes.

I want to exercise most days of the week, including walking and running and yoga and dancing and all other sorts of things.

I want to get back to averaging 10K+ steps every day.

I want to start writing again, every day, even if it’s only a tiny number of words. Just to sit down and put ideas to page every day would be good.

I want to spend far less time on social media and the computer/phone in general.

I want to stop filling my time with meaningless things and work toward the things I want to be/have in my life.

I want to be confident in myself again and trust my body and this whole process.

None of that will come overnight. None of that will come in four weeks. I hope that I can look back on this post in a year (or two or three) and smile, because I will have accomplished all these things and they come to me second nature. One day, they’ll be true habits like those I’ve formed since childhood – buckling my seatbelt in the car or brushing my teeth or writing in my daily journal. One day. And the slow building of these habits starts now.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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6 Responses to Wellness Wednesday – Habits

  1. Ceri says:

    I love this. And I do think it’s important not to overwhelm yourself with too many goals at once so I’d say, choose one at a time and focus on doing that for a few weeks. Then keep adding another. 🙂


    • Amanda says:

      Definitely only 1-2 at a time! Right now I’m focusing on regular exercise and trying to make sure I get at least 3 freggies into my diet most days (which is tough for me). Any more would be crazy overwhelming!!


  2. Alexx's Keto Avenue says:

    I honestly think this may be the most powerful thing I have read in a long time! You are certainly right about creating a habit and working on yourself takes lots of time, however, I think that you have really done a great job of being accountable and taking inventory! Now I will say this I have been following you for more than a year now and you have always been a straight shooter and told the whole truth but you honestly don’t realize how much of an impact you have had on peoples lives especially mine! It really has helped a ton to read your journey and I have gotten lot’s of strength and courage knowing that I am not alone with all of this so there’s that, you really are a hero and that you should count as a positive habit because you have always always always been supportive and caring to me! Lastly, I believe that you have battled so long and so hard that no matter what happens you are battle tested and you have what it takes to get this done! You have done it before and you will do it again! I know it’s really tough to see all you are doing when it’s you but I for one am very thankful that you are who you are and that you keep going even when you feel like just saying F it! I’m very very proud to say that I know you and that you are a friend and that gift is a habit that you do effortlessly! Trust yourself you got this!


    • Amanda says:

      I really appreciate your belief in me and your support. Sometimes I feel like people get bored when I talk about health and fitness and body image and stuff, but it’s just so important to me that I keep going, and often I just need to sort out the thoughts in my head. I’m glad my rambling can be of use, haha!


  3. Pingback: Wellness Wednesday – Building My Happy Place | The Zen Leaf

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