I didn’t think I would be able to quit a lot of things. Besides, we’re all creatures of habit, right? Actually, adapting is kind of our thing. The problem is our love for instant gratification.
Most of the time we know that something is bad for us. But we rather put off the beneficial habits for unhealthy habits we can enjoy that very second. My bad habits started to feel like a never ending cycle. Some habits I was able to quit cold turkey and for others it was gradual. It’s okay to slowly wean off a bad habit. You’ll get to a certain point when it feels natural to let that habit go.
We all have unique characteristics, which means different habits to break might require different strategies. And I wanted to share with you unhealthy habits I kicked to get fit.
Yep, I was a smoker. I smoked a whole pack of cigarettes a day for 5 years. It was a social thing and stress reliever for me. Smoking was so habitual that it became ingrained into my identity. As you can imagine, there was a culmination of reasons why I needed to quit.
Most habits good and bad will come with a price tag. But smoking was costing my lungs and my wallet. I realized enough was enough! It’s amazing that I quit successfully living with two chainsmokers. But I really didn’t want to smoke any more. Smoking dictated everything I did and I knew I was addicted.
I got into fitness and noticed the quality of my breathing was so poor that I had a hard time getting through my warmup. I just wasn’t feeling my best. My hair was breaking, my breath always smelled, I never felt like I could get a full deep breath. Gum disease also runs in my family and I was showing all the signs. My dad used to dip, but after the dentist told him he had gingivitis, he quit. I’ve seen first hand what tobacco can do. Cigarettes also trash up the planet, which isn’t cute either. I decided to quit cold turkey a week before my breast augmentation and I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 3 years. Now I can’t stand the smell and I legitimately don’t know how I smoked like that.
Negative Self Talk
Everyone has insecurities and things they don’t like about themselves. They say we are our own worst critics. Maybe it’s because we’re with ourselves 24/7, so it’s easy to pick ourselves apart. But some of us take it to another level.
It went from the occasional self-deprecating humor to standing in front of the mirror and being really unhappy with the person looking back at me. I would tell myself pretty gnarly things like “you’re not good, pretty or smart enough.”
The constant practice of self-talk can and will result in you believing every single word. After I figured out how much I was hurting myself, there was a change in my self-talk. Now, I focus on my strengths and know I am more than good enough and worthy. Do I still have bad days? Yep. But this self-love thing is a journey and no one is perfect. We’re all just trying to do the best we can.
Being A Night Owl
My sleeping patterns have always been imbalanced. I would spend hours laying in bed before drifting off. And sometimes I would just give up and distract myself with YouTube or find something to do.
I would sleep in until the very last minute. I was (and really still am) the girl who rather get 30 minutes of extra sleep than get up to do her hair. Of course, I would be zombified all day, running on coffee and energy drinks. And as soon as the moon started glistening, my inner werewolf came alive. My mood, appetite, and energy all suffered and I knew it was time to try something different. For once in my life, I longed for a morning that wasn’t rushed and a brain that wasn’t shrouded in fog.
One thing I realized was that my evenings weren’t eventful at all. In fact, I was working from home and didn’t get in any regular physical activity. I knew that being sedentary was probably keeping me restless at night. I started out with bodyweight workouts and ran 3-4 times a week. This alone, made it so much easier to fall asleep. My little body was exhausted and ready for rest by the end of the night. I also created a night time routine that signals my brain it’s time to wind down so I can wake up in much better spirits.
I was blessed with a lightning speed metabolism. My teens and early adulthood was spent eating whatever the hell I wanted. But when I turned 23, I noticed I was gaining fat in my lower belly. The first thing I did was track my calories and came to the conclusion that I had way too many fats and sugar in my diet. Instead of reaching for the extra bag of Doritos, I started grabbing the peanut butter crackers.
I tried avoiding temptations like buying foods I knew I didn’t need. And I quickly realized how much money I had been spending on junk food. Again extra money I’d be spending that I don’t necessarily have to be throwing on Oreos every week. Once I got the message that “food is fuel” through my head, the cravings for junk vanished. Now I look for more nutrient dense foods that give me natural energy. But if I want a treat, I don’t deny myself, girl.
I was the girl who always ordered a Dr Pepper with every meal. My mom always kept soda in the house. So when I left the nest, soda was something I always drank and never really thought about. But do you know how much sugar and calories are in one can of soda? A 12 oz. can of Coke contains 150 calories, 39 grams of carbs, and 39 grams of sugar. When I took the time to read and dissect the label, I was shook to my core. Especially since I wasn’t just having one soda a day.
I knew the excess sugary carbs weren’t going to get me to my fitness goals any faster. So, I started drinking flavored water like Sparkling Ice and Clear American instead of soda. I also started drinking more regular water and overtime soda lost its taste. Now I focus on getting my calories from whole foods instead of liquids. I can’t remember the last time I had soda. I haven’t cut out caffeine completely because I can’t quite live without tea yet.
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Peace & Love,