Wednesday, January 2, 2013


As stress and complications built up last fall, I found myself slipping into comfortable old  bad habits. Let me count my sins:
  1. Alcohol. One modest glass of wine became one big glass became two. A shared beer with pizza became a shared beer plus another later. 
  2. Coffee. Again the creep. My morning cup of coffee became morning 2 cups, plus maybe some more after I got to work. I think it was affecting my night time sleep, even when consumed early in the day.
  3. Junk food. Candy, cookies, fried foods---you name it, I was consuming it. I'd also gotten into the habit of snacking during the workday, and not a healthy snack like an apple. No, I was inhaling Cheez-its or leftover halloween candy, popping downstairs for "just a little bowl of soup" & inevitably choosing something with the words "creamy" or "cheesy" in the name. 
  4. Mindless time-wasting. Clicking around on the internet, game after game of i-phone scrabble, facebook stalking.
  5. Laziness. Inertia regarding exercise definitely set in. "An object at rest..." and all that. 
So I have planned a detox of sorts this January. I used to consider myself a moderator (in Gretchen Rubin's terms) but a couple of failed attempts to "cut back" on things showed me the truth. I am better at abstaining altogether (for a set amount of time...the thought of never makes me panic, but not for now feels right). For the past few years I've done "no baked goods January" to get out of the holiday habit of eating whatever homemade confection made its way to the shared food table at work. This time I'm going to take it a bit further...and I have company---G is joining me (for part of it) so that we can motivate each other.

No booze, no sweets, no playing games on my phone instead of sleeping.  Only one cup of coffee a day (G is refusing to play along with this one). At the very least, the INTENTION to exercise on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings (G will take Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday).

Why? Well, besides the obvious health benefits and hope of losing some of the 10 lbs I've put on in recent months, I'm hoping to return these behaviors to their rightful place as luxuries and indulgences. When you're swigging a couple of glasses of wine every night, continuously raiding the "fancy" chocolate, and every day is an "off day", those things are no longer treats to be savored, looked forward to, and enjoyed. I miss being delighted by a small piece of dark chocolate with a little glass of a bold red or an hour of brain candy web-surfing.

By keeping my list of "donts" focused and the time frame discrete, I am pretty sure I will succeed. If it backfires and I find myself making up for lost time in February, though, I'll have to rethink.


  1. The food creep is so insidious, I agree. I feel like I've gotten to a good place with my diet for once (health AND calorie-wise). Hopefully it won't all go to hell when I quit breastfeeding! I need to at least make it to my OB appt in Feb before I start putting weight back on so I can rub it in their faces.

    Good luck. The first few days are the hardest. If you can resist temptation for long enough, eventually you will stop wanting as much.

  2. I could've written this post. All the habits you describe are ones that have crept into my life over the past few years. Good luck with it!

  3. It's funny--my brother stopped drinking during the week, and he mentioned that if you stop, the people around you feel totally judged and uncomfortable. I think the same thing applies to self-improvement. Reading about you trying to do better in these areas makes me feel like I should too. What happened to this is hard, no pressure?

    For reals, these are excellent things to focus on, and some at least should be pretty easy to stick to. (Like if your phone ain't there, you won't pull it out!) I wish you well on your self improvement journey.

    1. I guess I considered this less "self-improvement" than avoidance of self-destruction. We really were drinking WAY more than I consider healthy. I've been having trouble sleeping and having more migraines and stomach issues recently, too, and wanted to try some simple dietary measures before seeking meds or testing. Plus, I'll be back to my old ways in 4 weeks, so don't worry, no judging!