habits

New Year, New Habits – Are they hard to stick to?

Happy New Year, Happy New Food Habits to all my lovely YOUtrition ladies.  I hope your Christmas period was filled with love, laughter and not the obligatory family fight …. or is that just my family???

So, New Year, New You, New food habits.  How’s it going this year?  Off the wagon already and feeling that change is impossible?  Read on and think about my little story.

Last October I lost my little dog, Bandit, at the age of 12.  He was a massive part of mine and my son’s life – we were the Gang of Three and I can say in all honesty, that his loss, the first bereavement I have had since being sober (another sober Christmas.  Yippee to me!), hit me so, so hard especially as my son had just left for college.  Anyway, I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer and last week, got my new, ugly little girl who we have called Gorby.  She is 14 weeks old and the ugliest and most adorable scruff ever.  Now though I have the challenge of house training her.  A monumental task for me, as I have to kindly break her old habits, and lovingly instill new ones.  Bit like changing food choices/habits maybe……..

Every morning, in the freezing cold, I get up, pick her up and sit outside in my pj’s, robe, boots, hat and gloves for half an hour so that she can, in puppy training terms, “eliminate” .  Once she has done that, I praise her, take her inside, feed and water her and then half an hour later repeat the same routine – at this stage still slightly hypothermic and in my pj’s.  I have spent more time in my frosty garden this last week then I did all of last summer – actually, more than the last three summers put together probably.   Then for the rest of the day, I take her out between every 30 minutes to 1 hour to eliminate (love that word) so that she can learn that the house is not a toilet and the garden is.  I will probably have to do this for the next 6 weeks or so.  Please God don’t let it be longer….

Now to my point.  So many of my clients are concentious, loving pet owners.  They know before they bring home their pet exactly what is required of them to instill good habits that keep them and their pets safe and in a clean environment and they persevere until their pet’s new habit is formed.  Yet, when it comes to making changes to my clients eating habits, all the excellent effort they put into a pet or child they love, goes out of the window.  Why is that?  Don’t they feel they deserve the same level of kindness and attention?  Do they think no matter what they do the habits won’t stick?  Every dog owner knows that good training works and the short term “pain” and believe me I am not enjoying my early morning freezes, will pay off for years to come.

So, lovely ladies.  Let me help you create the new food/eating habits that I know will work for you in your life, because they are tailored to you.  Stick with them for just 6 weeks and if you choose, they will become habits for life.

To give you a confidence boost I am giving you my top five tips for creating new habits.

1 Add a new healthier spin to an old unhealthy habit.  Cup of tea and a biscuit in the afternoon?  Try a wholegrain oatcake instead with a teaspoon of peanut butter – loads of protein, no sugar rush so no sugar crash and further craving.

2 Small changes.  Don’t try to change everything you are unhappy with at once. A small change that you can stick with will make you proud of yourself and motivate you to move to bigger changes.

3 Start NOW! Don’t wait or overthink the change.  Just do it.  No waiting until tomorrow, or until the food/sweets are all eaten.  Throw the rubbish out.  Think, “Rubbish food, rubbish mood/body”.

4 Commit yourself to your new habit every day.  Look at yourself in the mirror, praise yourself for how far you have come, even if it is only one day, and say to yourself out loud, your new habit and your commitment to it.  You will achieve what you tell yourself you will achieve.

5 Make your new habit fun! If you want to exercise more, join a social dance class.  If you want to eat healthier foods, scour the internet for recipes and enjoy the experiment.  Involve friends and family.  Make your new habit a blast.

I hope the above helps you or gives you some ideas for what works in your life and let me know if you need any help or support. Here’s to you and your new habits!    I must be off now, its elimination time………