Negative Lifestyle Habits [+ Learning To Enjoy Today]

Man, this post has been brewing for some time. I’ve been meaning to write it for weeks now. I even eluded to it in a previous post or two, because I thought that it would have been up a few days later. But no- this one required more thought. It’s one of those “diary” posts for me, because I’m going to be honest. And it’s therapeutic for me to get it out.

You see… I just haven’t felt like “me” for quite some time. Like I got so lost in the stresses of my old job and constantly wished for a way out- and then I finally found it. I guess I thought that life would magically get better if I got out of teaching- but that didn’t happen. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done- and I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately.

I’ve been thinking about just what it is that is standing in the way of my happiness right now. And the truth is, it’s me.

I’m in transition- which is a hard place to be stuck. I’ve got a pretty awesome future and new career just around the corner, but I’m not quite there yet. My days are spent sitting at a computer, studying for my PFT exam (I’m taking an online prep course for it). I’m not used to sitting in front of a computer all day- I’ve never had to do that before, and it’s hard for me to focus (and sit still for a long time). Sure, I teach classes almost every day- but that’s usually in the super early morning or late afternoon- so I have the majority of the day to focus on my number one priority, which is studying for my exam.

I don’t mean to sound like a big, fat complainer. I’m extremely fortunate and grateful that I was able to quit a job that I was miserable in to pursue one that I have an undeniable passion for. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that everything is perfect, that all the sudden I’m happy and that life is perfect.

I take the PFT exam next month, and then I can finally move forward with my personal training business. And I’m so excited about that. I know that this is truly the right career for me- I have no doubts about that.

I’m constantly wishing that life would fast-forward to a month of two from now, and having a lot of trouble living in the present- and enjoying life right now. And it’s ironic- because I constantly tell others to “be in the present” and not think about “what you have to do tomorrow” when I’m teaching classes- yet I can’t seem to do that myself.

I also constantly dream of moving to Colorado. It’s something that Greg and I want so badly- and may actually happen sooner than we thought. But I won’t disclose any details about that until it’s more definite. There’s a lot of hoops to jump through first.

I also think about being happy with my body in the (near) future. I think about losing a bit of weight (that I genuinely need to lose- at least to get back to a healthy BMI and being able to fit into my clothes) and what my body might look like six months from now, and just assume that I’ll get there.

As I’ve mentioned oh, a million times now- I’m not happy with my body or the weight that I’ve gained. Yet, I haven’t been able to commit to actually losing it. I know exactly what to do- but no matter what I do, I just can’t find the motivation to get there. And my clothes continue to get tighter and less comfortable. But- I have decided to actually take the steps to deal with the issues that hold me back- which all need to be worked through by talking to someone and figuring it all out. I’m ready to for this.

My issues/struggles with weight loss have absolutely nothing to do with not knowing what to do, what to eat, etc. For me, It’s all about the behaviors that keep me from doing what I know is right, and what stands in the way of my success.

All of this not enjoying the present business needs to just stop. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, after all.



The other thing that I’ve taken a hard look at recently is simple habits that stand in the way of my happiness and success- and pretty much all of these contribute to mindless eating. Greg and I had a long talk about this a few weeks ago, and agreed that there are definitely a few things that need to change.

1. One really bad habit that we had fallen into was eating dinner in front of the tv every night. We would sit at our kitchen table, but it faces the tv- so it’s really easy to turn it on during dinner. We stopped doing this- and in fact, we sit at a different table entirely to eat now, and the television can’t be seen from there. :) It’s nice- we actually talk at dinner, rather than just zoning out to Wheel of Fortune, or whatever we DVR’d from the night before.

2. Another bad “eating” habit that I had acquired was eating in my office in front of my computer. I make sure that meals are eaten in the kitchen, sitting down, and not while studying or doing any other kind of multi-tasking. I’ve encouraged Greg to do the same, since he works from home- which is only possible some of the time due to meetings and such. But it’s a good start.

3. I often graze after dinner. I thought about what else is going on- and it’s usually because I’m bored. Another bad habit that Greg and I both got into was retiring to the couch for the remainder of the evening after eating dinner. We’d usually have the tv on- but both of us would be on our iPads, not paying attention to what else is going on- or each other. Sometimes we’d sit there for 2-3 hours. Granted, both of us are generally exhausted by the end of the day, and sitting on your butt feels pretty good sometimes. We both also get up pretty early and hit the gym hard in the morning. But, we both agreed that there’s no reason to be sitting around with televisions and iPads and iPhones and all of that stuff. It’s okay to watch some tv each night- but we’re trying to limit it to around an hour- not three.

We thought about other things that we can do after dinner- such as playing board games (or Baggo!), take a walk with the dogs, finally put together our wedding scrapbook (Greg’s REAL thrilled about that one)- or just spend time alone! He likes to work on his bikes in the garage, and I can always spend the extra time studying OR reading (like, for fun).

I’m happy to say that we have changed this bad habit over the last few weeks- and it has definitely stopped the mindless (couch) grazing that I had been doing.

4. My friend Maddie posted a video on Facebook the other day, and I had not heard of this gal before, or watched any of her videos. I went through and watched a few of them, and she had some good tips. Here’s one that I got a very simple tip from, that I put into place immediately.

The tip about putting stuff that you have a tendency to munch on (in your pantry) on a higher shelf so it’s not at eye level is so darn simple. I had already kind of done this with the many bags of granola I have- they are actually in a box at the bottom of the pantry, so I kind of forget that they are are- and it takes effort and thought to get them out.

My weakness? Grabbing a handful of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, or a spoonful of nut butter, which had previously been on the middle shelf. I took matters into my own hands and put them way up high.

I know something like this might seem incredibly silly to some of you, but hey, if it works…

Whew. I needed to get that all out. I’m sure there will be a few more posts like this in future, as I’m working to sort out something things going on in my head. It feels better just to be able to share.

I’m leaving for Fitbloggin’ today (through late Saturday night), so I’m sure that I will have no problem enjoying the present.

**

Do you ever have a problem ‘living’ in the present? What bad habits do you have that you would like to change? Thanks for sharing!!

Comments

  1. ahh yes, so similar. Transitions are hard. But i think we will always be in some kind of transition, wishing for more, looking into the future. We must stop and see what we have around. Slow our moments and savor the present. Easier said than done, but true!

  2. I struggle with it a lot too. I am pretty guilty of thinking that once X happens, I’ll be happy. And then when it does, it’s never quite the same blissful life that I’ve thought it would be.

  3. Gosh, I struggle with this, too. My whole life seems to be one big long string of, “Well once _____ happens (or doesn’t) then I’ll be happy.” And I have to constantly remind myself that it isn’t a switch that you flip on or off (even if the actions seem like they are), it’s a gradual change. And that’s okay. And you shouldn’t feel guilty for that.

    I think it’s especially true with job changes. I had a particularly horrible job situation when I first got out of college (sexist, racist boss) and while I felt immediate satisfaction the day I quit, it took MONTHS for me to recover from the emotional damage of being in a situation that was so toxic. You put up so many barriers and so many defense mechanisms to protect yourself to just stick it out that it takes a while to bring all those down once you are out. And it can be especially confusing once the initial joy wears off of quitting and you realize, “Oh shit. I’m still not happy.” But the difference is, now you have the ability and power to do something about it. Before, you were stuck. Now you can fix that unhappiness.

    Oh, and P.S., I know a lot of personal trainers (and soon-to-be) but you are the first person who I really, really, really want to train me. Like really bad. Like, please move to Indiana for a few months and whip my ass into shape, kinda bad. I know you’ll take care of me. And be nice and kind and still push me and be awesome and please? We have really, really good beer here. And a well-appointed guest room. And 10 acres of doggy heaven.

    • Aww, Cassie- that comment made my day!! I would LOVE to come out there- don’t tempt me!
      And everything you said is SO TRUE- Preach on my friend.

  4. Great post, with some great thoughts and ideas. I’ve been a little unhappy with a few food choices I’ve made lately . . . I need to be more mindful!

    Also . . . I with you on the dreaming of moving to Colorado. I am seriously working towards making that a reality. Someday. But in order to get there, I need to plan starting now!

  5. My boyfriend and I have fallen in to the tv-watching funk after dinner as well. We really need to get out of this and I like the ideas that you’ve posted!

  6. Thank you for this! I always think it’s so refreshing when people admit that something’s not working or are really honest with how they feel. You KNOW that I totally understand the feeling stuck and being in your own way, I’m right there with you and fighting the same thing every day. I’ve found that yoga really helps me stay present and calmer about where I am in my life.

    One of my bad habits is doing the “comparison” of my life (blog, friendships, etc) to others. It’s so unhealthy and doesn’t get me anywhere, but I’m working each day to fix this awful habit.

    • I know that you definitely know where I’m coming from- just remember that these HUGE life changes you’ve made will pay off and that you will be much happier and more fulfilled. It just takes time…
      I have definitely compared myself to others like that- but remember that everyone can paint a really pretty picture on Facebook or in public- but everyone still has their issues!

  7. Thank you for such an honest post. I think most of us can relate to this on some level. For me, I totally thought moving to SF was going to be some magic switch, where everything would suddenly fall into place. I was so, so wrong! When I think back, I can’t even get to that same mindset – I have no idea what I was thinking. I was probably just desperate to leave a crappy job that had kind of taken over my identity.

    Happiness (with my body, food choices, work – everything) and living in the present is a constant work in progress for me, so I totally relate to you on that stuff. Some weeks are better than others, but I just try to keep incorporating the things I enjoy and that make me feel good, and phasing out the not-so-great stuff. We’ll get there. :)

    • Your story is so amazing, and to be honest- I try not to let it scare me from moving to Colorado (though I think the background is quite different). And we WILL get there!

  8. Heather @ Better With Veggies says:

    I definately struggle with this as well. It’s weird trying to settle in after a transition too, I feel like I should be planning for the next thing – I’ve always been bad about living in the moment. Lots of things to think about it in this post, just know that you’re not alone. :)

    • I’m definitely always planning for the next thing- like I always have to have multiple things to look forward to. It’s okay to a degree, but yeah- when it gets in the way of enjoying TODAY, that gets tricky. LIVE IT UP- you’re living my dream right now!

  9. Love this post! Have fun at Fitblogin’ take lots of pictures! One way I Live in the moment is I learned the word “NO”. I always felt like I was pulled in 10 different directions by friends and family and always felt stressed and pressured to be every where for everyone around me. Now I say “NO”. I spend my time the way I want to, I don’t feel obligated to attend every event or party. Over committing to everyone made me miserable. I started this last year and I have to say that I had the best summer and felt like I enjoyed life so much more:-)

    • Oh heck yeah- learning to say NO is SO important. I only learned that a few years ago, and it’s made such a difference. I used to spread myself too thin ALL the time, and it made me miserable (and kept me from sleeping!).
      Good for you for learning to say no!!

  10. Way to go on getting it out there & coming clean to yourself. That is a HUGE first step. Any life coach would tell ya that admitting to those things is a step in the right direction :) I loved working with a life coach –she helped me see the beauty in life & help me focus on the positive. It totally changed my world for the better when I was in such a negative spot.

    We too have tried to reduce time in front of our ipads/computers in the evening. I love going on walks in the evening–even if I’m bone tired. Haha. xoxo

    Have fun at FitBloggin!

    • It’s funny- I want to BE a life coach (well, a lifestyle, wellness etc. coach) but never thought of getting one for ME. That might help, right?
      Yeah, I could always go for an evening walk. Once I’m out the door, I’m golden! It’s getting out the door that’s tough!

  11. holyshitifyoumovetocoloradomarkisgettingajobthere. i’m not even kidding. or I will. i can keep my mouth shut if you feel the need to divulge details. ;)

    Also — I am so seriously with you on this. The transition thing! That’s where I’ve been. I’ve been in a funk because I know where I want to go, but I can’t get there. Actually, I’m not sure where I want to go, but I have a few options. And you throwing in this little thing about moving to CO is making me want to go in that direction … haha.

    Anyway — in 6 months you and I will both be happier and thinner. :) I told myself I want to lose 10 lbs. That puts me back at 115, which is more than a healthy weight for me.

  12. also, nuts and nut butters are my weakness. we have a special shelf in the kitchen for all that stuff that I tend to grab or have mini binges. I have to get a step stool to reach now.

  13. I hate that you are going through a tough time! We are going through a transition period right now too. It is so hard for me not to wish for the future! I have such a hard time living in the present. I am learning though that each day brings a new struggle, and I’m learning to be content and happy with where I am right now. You will never get another today!

  14. I feel like I am always searching for that something extra whether it’s losing weight or finding my dream career or meeting the right man. But something I’ve been working on is just staying focused on right now, where I am right in this moment and recognizing what is good in my life. I know it’s insanely difficult but if I can just spend few moments focusing on the good things, I feel much better about everything in my life.

    I hope you have a blast at Fitbloggin’ and you get to move to Colorado soon!

    • You’re very ambitious- which is great, but it can backfire when you are looking for too much at once.
      Step by step, right?

  15. It really is hard to be in that “transition” phase of life. I’ve gone through many over the last few years and there was always the fear/worry of the uncertain future lingering in the back of my mind. I remember when I was studying to take my certification exam for CAT scan (something I didn’t necessarily HAVE to do for my job at the time, but knew that it might someday become a requirement). I took the initiative and found a great company to go through for study materials, but then it took me nearly a YEAR to actually commit to dedicated studying…and then I felt like I’d NEVER be done with it. All I did for months was come home from work and read…and write…and draw diagrams…ugh, I don’t think you could PAY me to do it all over again! But after it was all said and done? After I took my test…and passed with flying colors (yipee!)…things were SO much easier! Well, until a month later when I decided to start a blog and now I have a whole new mess of “obligations” that I busy myself with! Lol

    But the point is…you’re dedicated…you want this…and although it’s hard to be patient, the day will come and you WILL ace that test! :)

    I love that you and Greg sat down and talked about the habits you’ve fallen into. I swear the tv/computer can be such a sneaky trap! I’ve been trying to focus more on the food during my meals lately…I think it actually does a LOT for the satiety/pleasure factor. I used to graze a lot after meals, but once I started pacing myself while eating and focusing on the flavors of each bite, the meal became more of an “experience” instead of just something I shoveled down in 5 minutes flat and still felt hungry afterwards. Actually, just the other day, I made a yogurt bowl last TWENTY minutes! And I swear it kept me full for longer than the same combo has before when I’ve just shoved it down.

    I’ve also started getting better about portioning out my snacks so I don’t end up grazing on handfuls of things from the pantry. I get a serving of granola, chips, whatever, put it in a bowl, put the package back on the shelf and walk out of the kitchen. That way I’m less likely to end up going back for “just a few more nibbles” ;)

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  2. [...] I really needed to start creating some better habits for myself- and then I elaborated on it more the following day. And I’m happy to report that I’ve been feeling pretty darn good the last few days- and [...]

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