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Habits old and new

December 21, 2016

The biggest thing in my life recently has been the changes I have made, from being overweight, inactive, ill and unhappy to being very healthy and happy. To make this happen I have had to change many ingrained and accustomed habits and behaviours. I have been asked how I managed to turn those behaviours around and how difficult I found it to do.


I was used to sitting around, drinking and eating. It was all I did and all I knew. The problem was that living like that wasn't doing me any good. It is so much easier to keep on keeping on. Change is different. Change is going into the unknown. Change requires effort, both to cast off the old and to embrace the new.


Knocking back lots of glasses of wine had the benefit of making everything fuzzy at the edges, blurring the more unpleasant aspects of reality. Just sitting in my chair was easy; no movement, no effort. I lived with having diabetes and depression; it was something I knew. It was easier to say to myself that there was nothing I could do about it.


Changing everything was straightforward because I didn't agonise about the decision. I just put my head down and put the blinkers on. I had no idea where I would be going or what the process would be. All I needed to do was to do it. Anything more involved or complicated would have been inhibiting. I was up against those who said that it isn't possible - for anyone - and that no one else had done it. But, then, I had depression and everything seemed awful, so some more negativity didn't affect me much.


The next step was getting used to the new practices and turning them in to new habits. There are three disciplines: moving more; eating less; not drinking alcohol.


I went to the gym at the same time every day. I always go first thing in the morning so that I don't have to spend the day worrying about it. As far as not drinking is concerned it is easier not to do something than doing something different, so accomplishing that has been straightforward. I decided to control the amount I ate by listing my calorie consumption. When I knew the figures, it was easier to control them.


One of the first things I discovered was that I was getting results. When I started all I knew was that I wanted to get healthier. Being clear headed through not knocking back the booze was an important step. Not feeling bloated and heavy through eating less and healthier has discernible benefits.  While I was plodding on at the gym, I noticed that I was moving more. I could do what I was doing for longer and harder.


Before I was tied to certain habits. I am still tied to habits; now they are just different and better ones.



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