Thursday, January 20, 2011

things that work for me

a sense of order
Please give me the same breakfast and same lunch every day. Give me the same time to go to bed and the same time to wake up. I like to catch the same bus. Hit the gym at the same time. Do mostly the same gym routine. Same soap and shampoo. Same makeup. If I could wear the exact same outfit everyday (the *cutest* one, of course), I'd do it ... but there are rules.

I'll fill in the spaces between with excitement, big new ideas, daydreamy dreams. But that sense of routine is my *bones* ... it gives me structure, something to build on.

My routine, though, has to be made by me. And I've come off a long stretch (year? more?) of giving in to a series of disconnected moments that mostly consist of sitting (because it's cozy) and eating tasty things (because they're tasty) in the quantity that suited me (because I wanna, that's why).

mission! So a sense of order works for me. Time for me to start working for *it*.

cutting sugar
So simple. And yet ...

When I eat sugar, I want it in this weird, overpowering way. Addiction? Is that too strong a word? But there's definitely a little voice that bubbles up in me. "cookie cookie cookie cookie!" I am not even exaggerating that it's on repeat.

Once I've successfully kept sugar at bay for, say, two or three weeks, I find it pretty easy to turn down in general. But we just came off holidays. And then there's that year or two of me not putting order (and healthfulness) on my list of priorities (what list of priorities? I think I might have also done away with *that*).

So, like, yestreday: big step. I did not *immediately* eat the delicious oatmeal raisin cookie that someone had brought in to work. I didn't even eat it directly after my (healthy!) lunch. I *even* made a deal with myself ... drink two bottles of water, you get the cookie. So I brought that cookie into my office. And it sat there for two hours as I worked away at my two bottles of water. But this is what was going in my brain (along with all my work-related brainstuff): "eat the cookie eat the cookie eat the cookie eat the cookie eat the cookie eat the cookie eatthecookieeatthecookieeatthecookie..." Not kidding. Even as I had these words resonating, I was thinking "people must know this is what's going on in my head when I face food temptations. That I am constantly battling a voice that's telling me to do something I know I would feel better *not* doing."

So there you go.

And that little voice quiets down, even goes away, when I've exchanged my sugary treats for fruity-spicy-whole-grainy treats.

mission! start using simple ingredients to create sweet treats for myself, instead of reaching for the highly-sugared treats that are so (so!) easy to grab.

lists. making lists. reading lists. scratching items off lists.
I have forever been and will always be at heart, a list-maker.

The earliest meaningful lists I remember making involved, at age 15, me looking forward to being an adult: what my apartment would look like, what clothes I would have, what furniture I would buy, what colors I would put on the walls, etc. Lists have covered everything from big daydreams to what I needed to get done in the next three hours.

It's only in my recent adulthood that I actually *did* the things on my list. lists + action = productivity and accomplishment! It's a good feeling.

But in the last year or so (what is it with this last year??), I've stopped taking the time to list-make in the first place. And I've come to understand that even in those earlier list-making years, when I wasn't *doing* the things on the lists, the mere act of compiling the list was productive: it engaged my brain, focused it on a goal, and forced me to be creative in thinking on that goal.

My list-maker brain has atrophied. Horror!

mission! Make lists! This one is fairly simple, because despite having *not* made meaningful lists in the past year or so, I know I still deeply enjoy them. All I need to do is dedicate the smallest corner of my day to it. (I totally count this entire blog entry as my first list, by the way. Totally.)

Bottom line? I'm ready to examine the things in my life that help me stay engaged in a healthful lifestyle, and I'm ready to make those things a priority.

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