Hi there! I’m so excited to be here today doing a blog swap with the lovely Ashley. My name is Emily from www.thatswhatieat.com, where I share my story of going from obese to skinny fitness girl by using Real Food. Developing a healthy lifestyle is like falling in love. At first, the excitement of something new is irresistible. The cute new workout clothes and the novelty of a new exercise routine and new way of eating spur you on, like stolen first kisses have you coming back for a second date. But pretty soon something happens. As the newness of the relationship wears off you realize that your new love is a real person who picks his nose when he thinks you’re not looking and has that weird way of clicking his teeth when he’s bored. With your new relationship with health, you realize that your exercise routine is actually really hard, that sweating is gross, and that 5:00 a.m. is very early to wake up just to exercise. You remember that it's super convenient to fall back on the donuts and greasy pizza you are used to eating. For me, this is always where I failed, thankfully not in love, but always in my attempts at healthy living. For over a decade I was clinically obese. I tried many different diets and exercise programs, and every time the new crush feeling would wear off in my pursuit of health I would give up, give in and eat an entire package of Oreos in one sitting. Me and healthy living would break up once again.
Here I am at my heaviest:
Now I am 70 pounds lighter, finally at my goal weight, fully committed in my relationship with all things health and fitness. So what changed?
I finally mastered some of my unhealthy habits.Human habit is a powerful thing, one of the biggest driving forces in the world. Did you brush your teeth this morning? Did you drive the same route to work? What bad habits do you have? What good habits do you have? Here are a few bad habits that were keeping me unhealthy and obese and the ways that I conquered them. Bad habit #1: Skipping workouts. I used to consider myself a fairly regular exerciser, but looking back I realize that I was actually rather sporadic. I’d do great for a month or two, then that new love feeling would wear off and sleep would become too tempting. I’d miss one workout here, one there and pretty soon I would realize it had been a month since I had exercised. How I conquered: Planning ahead helps so much! Exercising early in the morning works best for me, especially if I actually schedule it on the calendar. I also already know that when that alarm goes off in the morning I will have a hard time getting out of bed, so I have it go off 15 minutes earlier than I actually need to get out of bed. I will also lay out my exercise clothes the night before and have my water bottle filled and ready to go. Pretty soon getting up to exercise is just as automatic as brushing my teeth. Bad habit #2: Snacking on junk between meals. It was pretty easy to eat healthy at mealtimes, especially when I would plan my meals in advance, but between meals I couldn’t stop snacking, and all on junk food. How I conquered: Every habit has a trigger. I realized that my trigger for snacking was visual. If there were chips or cookies on the counter, I would eat them. Now, even though my husband will still sometimes bring home junk food, he knows to hide it high in the pantry where it’s not visible. I also started prepping lots of healthy snacks on Sundays. Now as I walk through the kitchen I see the gigantic fruit platter in the middle of the counter, full of delicious, healthy produce for me to snack on. When I open the fridge I see clear containers full of lettuce, chopped veggies and hummus. Because it’s visible, I now snack on food that is good for me. Bad habit #3: Giving in to my sweet tooth. Every day after lunch I crave sweets, specifically chocolate. Back when I worked in a big office building I would hit the candy machine right after lunch each day, using cheap, low-quality, high calorie candy bars to satisfy that habit. During the times I was “on a diet,” I would try to simply ignore the craving. Without fail, that craving would intensify until I would soon find myself at the candy machine buying two candy bars instead of one. How I conquered: Sometimes you have to give in and accept the habit, but on your own terms. Fighting against my daily craving was backfiring big time. Instead, I decided to replace the habit with something better. Now every day after lunch I treat myself to two squares of high quality organic dark chocolate. I make sure to slowly savor those two squares, and even though it’s less chocolate than I was eating before, it is much more satisfying! Now, three years after deciding to change my life and get healthy, I am in the best shape of my life. I will never go back to the old me, all because I have conquered my bad habits and built some great new ones. I’m now happily married to my new healthy lifestyle and in it for the long haul. Here I am now, after defeating my unhealthy habits, and finding some blindingly red skinny jeans:
Do you have habits that are holding you back from your goals? What changes can you make to conquer your own bad habits?
Thank you Ashley for letting me visit today! Read more about my story, my recipes, and tips and tricks right here on my blog, www.thatswhatieat.com.
Thank you again Emily! What a great post!! :)