Habit Forming

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Three weeks to change your behavior (hopefully) for the better. A bit daunting at first, but easy enough to conquer if you put your mind to it. These past two months I’ve been doing my best to add and alter some of my personal habits. I can’t say it was easy at first, but at this point these choices are becoming more natural.

Starting in October I decided to give up five things from my diet – bread, rice, cereal, pasta, and chocolate. Without realizing it I began the Paleo diet. A friend of mine was in the midst of her personal 30 day challenge and was seeing fantastic results. Since I’ve been known to do some crazy experiments for health, it was only right to jump on the bandwagon.

Within two weeks I had dropped those pesky four pounds that I’d gained over the summer. It was seriously a relief to get them off my body. No, it wasn’t easy to just take everything out, but with some serious mental determination it was doable. Pretty soon my snacks were solely fruit and my dessert was a full mango (I’m addicted). On nights before my half marathons  I consumed some carbs, yet I didn’t overdose. And thankfully I never felt the carb flu. In fact, it became painless to go without carbs and make healthier choices.

Although I was only strict about the diet for 5 weeks, it made great lasting changes. I’m still avoiding most carbs, eating them only a few times a week. Choosing whole grains and eating less than a full portion. Overall being smarter about what I consume. As for chocolate and candy? Don’t miss it all that much. In the past three weeks I’ve nibbled on chocolate two or three times. Seriously, when you have ripe mangoes you don’t need any candy (I have a problem and I can’t wait to overdose in Thailand).

Another habit I’ve included in my diet is to eat at least 20 grams of protein in the morning. Doing this reduces carb cravings and keeps you full for longer. My protein of choice is cottage cheese with banana, but there are many out there that will also satisfy (eggs, lentils, greek yogurt).  Now I don’t find it as tough to go between breakfast and lunch without snacking.

Changing just one small thing is a great start. Remove something unhealthy from your diet and see how you feel after 21 days. Stick with it and I guarantee you’ll feel great about it!

What habits are you adding to your life? What suggestions do you have for making healthier choices?

Congratulations to Jeffrey (FireRunner2379) for winning the YogaEarth giveaway. If you could drop me a line with your address, we’ll have the deliciousness sent your way!

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on November 28, 2012, in Running. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You are awesome!

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