Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend! I am trying to get this blog post up and then go to bed – it’s already past my time to shut my screens down and be getting ready for bed, and I have a full week coming up so I’m ready to wind down! But I wanted to check in and share not only a bit about my weekend, but some thoughts surrounding the habits we’re cultivating day in and day out. Stick around and dialogue a bit with me!
I recently stumbled upon Georgie Fear, a nutrition and habit change coach, through a random podcast. I loved her interview and searched for her, devouring what she had to say about habit change. I’ve realized that if I was to ever go back to school, it would be in the field of health psychology; I’m fascinated by what shapes our habits and how we can change those habits and what’s going on in our minds rather than just the outward changes we make (exercise and nutrition) when trying to get fit. She’s pretty great, and another Canadian (in Vancouver), so chances of connecting at health/fitness conferences and the like are more possible than many nutrition/fitness experts in the US. I’ve been reading a lot about her and love her blog and new book, “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss,” both for myself but also for coaching clients (I haven’t purchased it yet, just been reading lots about the book).
This idea of habits and habit change has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve been trying to practice better habits all week. No, I’m not overweight or on an upward trend in my weight, and I don’t binge or have terrible eating habits. But we all have those days in which our emotions take over, we get lazy in the kitchen, or we indulge too much and don’t feel great the next day, and I want to be stronger than those emotions and those days. Yes, those moments will always happen (in fact I make room for them with mindful indulgences!), but I’m forever wanting to practice healthy habits.
I’m working on one of Georgie’s 4 core habits right now: eating 3 meals a day. Sounds simple, right? But this means getting hungry enough to want that next full meal (ie: allowing yourself to feel some hunger) and then eating until you are satisfied. No snacks, no mindless munching while you’re making dinner or coming home in between clients and just want to grab a small bite to eat. This has been valuable because it’s revealed to me how much I really do snack when I’m NOT hungry – I might be bored or be tired when I *think* food is what I need but it might actually be a quick nap or more water. So that’s been fun to work on!
(Lately: lots of spaghetti squash, some kind of meat, loads of broccoli slaw, and hot sauce!)
A new-to-me vegan protein; I’ve bought the whey version of this brand but am happy to bring some plant-based sources into my diet as I have a protein shake maybe every other day.
It’s got me thinking about habits. Some people, after years of cultivating the habit of regular weight lifting, have muscles that just seem to stick around, regardless of their activity level (I’m lookin’ at you, mom!); others have committed many verses in the Bible to memory and are well-equipped to think of encouraging verses in their own lives or for others when they need it. Some people always drink water regularly or have practiced healthy habits and boundaries around alcohol, and never need to imbibe too much! It takes work, active work, but we can change our habits that are so ingrained in us one step at a time.
(Tired 1 am – or maybe 2? – pizza in New York earlier this year after our first loooong day of walking all around the city until we were super hungry and exhausted; pizza never tasted so good and I didn’t regret this late-night choice in the slightest!)
I always encourage my clients to choose one thing to focus on until they nail that goal; then choose another habit and continue moving on. Overhauling your entire life is too hard – it’s unstable and unsettling and can drive you crazy! But focusing on one healthy habit change before moving onto the next can help bring actual change whose results are sustainable.
One of the habits I need to change (WANT to, as well!)? Time spent listening to Jesus in silence, prayer and by reading the Bible. It’s amazing how many other things I make time for and neglect this one very important relationship in my life. Why is it so hard for me to sit down and be still? To spend time listening instead of asking; seeking Jesus’ face instead of praying for answers to prayer; getting to know Jesus through His Word rather than breezing through a chapter or two of verses I’ve read and glossed over, familiar with since my youth?
It’s a pursuit, a life-long pursuit, so I know that my habits in any of these realms (fitness, nutrition; spiritual, emotional, relational; etc) will not change overnight, nor would I want them to, really. The fight, the learning that comes from growth through the struggle is worth it to see change. I wouldn’t want to be the same person in my fitness goals or thoughts about nutrition now as 10 years ago, or 20 years from now either! I certainly want to know Jesus more deeply every day, but I need to action on my habits in the meantime, starting with one small move at a time.
What realm do you need to work on in your habits or helping to create habit change?Physical? Mental? Emotional? Spiritual?
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Some habits that are dialed in for me? Having fun on the weekends! 😉 I trained a few clients Saturday morning and got my own workout in with Zach at CityFit!
We saw SUCH a great movie I cannot recommend enough later Saturday: The Intern. We went to a matinee (random and fun for something different!) with a friend who’s in town and I felt like this was a great use of a few hours; such a believable, real story that tugged at me the entire time. I’m an easy cryer, so don’t base anything off me, but wow I sobbed the whole movie. 😉
Sunday we had a great morning at church (such a solid sermon!) and got the chance to see my in-laws and lots of friends; so grateful for good community! And then we watched a Nat Geo Live show at the Arts Commons building in Calgary – another great use of almost 2 hours! These shows bring fascinating people with amazing experiences to speak and share video clips and it’s a very popular and entertaining speaker series. It’s a chance to meet extraordinary explorers, filmmakers, and photographers who are both documenting and helping to preserve our world’s natural beauty (source), and Sylvia Earle, referred to as “Her Deepness” and a true pioneer of underwater exploration, did not disappoint Sunday. I was surprised to see an old woman, hunch backed and walking slowly onto the stage, when they introduced a woman of great accolades in the science and diving community but was immediately engaged and inspired by this fire cracker of a woman! Wow…it was an incredible experience to hear her speak about her travels and adventures and pursuit of helping restore the ocean, enjoying it herself, and helping others to dream big and dive in (literally)!
After this fun time, Mikey and I dropped a meal off for friends who just had a beautiful baby girl and got to connect for a bit with them and hear about all the life change (she’s only 8 days old!) and that was a beautiful finish to our weekend.
So fun? No problem there. 😉 More on the discipline side to come, but everything I ate this weekend was intentional and mindful, and I made room for it by saying no to other things. I got a fun workout in but also rest, was busy but also had a bit of downtime. Habit change – little by little.
Any highlights to share about your weekend? Lay ’em on me! I want to hear about them!
Live well & be well, friends, and make one healthy habit change today and commit to work on it all week!