They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. The box of nicotine patches I bought in college said it would take 10 weeks to break the smoking habit. I did it in two. This diet and exercise habit of mine is not at the 21 day mark yet, but it has felt like a habit nonetheless. I’ve lost count mentally of what day I’m on, which makes my daily calendar notes meaningful (today is day 16 by the way). Every day I write down what I did in terms of exercise for that day, along with any other helpful information, including the tip I just discovered this week. If I wear uncomfortable shoes at work all day and my feet hurt when I get home, I shouldn’t jump right on the elliptical. Even with my fancy new running shoes on, the comfort of the shoes couldn’t mask the pain in my feet from wearing shoes that really became painful by the end of the day.
I decided that Monday would be my day to step on the scale. I realize that being an obsessive weight checker might become discouraging. So, every Monday, I wake up, spend a few minutes in the bathroom to clear out my system and then step on the Weight Watchers scale my mother-in-law gave us for Christmas last year. This past Monday, I stepped on and prayed that the number would at least go down and not up. To my incredulous surprise, I had lost 6.3 pounds in a week! Granted, I do take a water pill to help lower my blood pressure, so some of that weight loss could be the result of that, but I’ll take it!
People at work have been commenting on my weight loss. They have insisted that they can tell I’ve been losing weight. The next thing that always gets asked after, “Have you lost weight?” is, “How?” or “What have you been doing?” There’s actually a whole variety of things I have been doing. I have exercised on the elliptical for 30 minutes nearly every day. I drink water over tea or soda. I eat smaller portions and a lot less carbs. Though this week I haven’t stayed away from as many carbs as I did the week before, so I suspect that if I have gone done any weight this week, it won’t be as significant as the 6 pounds from the first week.
This is really not as hard to do anymore. It’s feeling a lot more natural. The program that I use on the elliptical is getting easier to do. I don’t have to stop and rest as often. I’ve downloaded the Couch to 5K app and I plan on beginning it this week. The program requires 3 days a week. I think I’ll still get on the elliptical on the days that I don’t run. In fact, when my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I immediately asked for athletic gear.
While I am still in the infant stages of my lifestyle change, it is all beginning to feel very possible. I realize that it’s going to take a while to get to my goal weight, but that’s o.k., because I have started, I have gone 16 days and I don’t feel like stopping now. I have no hesitations, no excuses, and best of all no anxiety and guilt about knowing I need to do it and not being able to motivate myself to begin.