Posts Tagged ‘habit-forming

Salvatore Vuono /

I always find that when I do hair and make up properly in the mornings,  feel totally ready for anything the day can throw at me.  I am less inclined to faff around, or watch TV, or sneak in a nap.

There must be some psychological trigger, though I can’t quite get my head around it.

Of course, hair and make up can take some considerable time to deal with, especially if you are not blessed with natural good looks.   I feel that if you devote the time to do it slowly and carefully, though, you will be rewarded with increased productivity for the rest of the day.

That’s not entirely realistic, though.  I can’t see myself sacrificing twenty minutes of much-needed sleep over it.  So I found this link: 10 best speedy hair and make up tricks and I’m considering trying some of them.

Mind you, it will take some time to develop the habit.  95% of the time I go make up free.  But the benefit of doing it means I’m certainly going to give it a go.

What do you think? Does make up bring you more zest?


I realised as I typed the title, that this might be the subject of one of my ‘why moving house is stressful’ blogs, but for now this is a good thing.

Now that the house is beautiful, clearly we have to keep it this way until some nice person agrees to buy it.   So we have a more pro-active attitude to tidying up.

With regard to me, that means cleaning up – properly – after every meal, keeping on top of the laundry, going around all the rooms decluttering every morning, and keeping an eye on the state of the bathrooms and toilets.   Amusingly, these are all habits good old Flylady encourages in us.

It also gives me a lever on the kids.  They have to keep their rooms tidy too.  So I have been implementing a policy where nobody gets their meal if they have left their bedroom or playroom in a mess.  They are buying into this, though it’s tricky when they have friends round.   Nevertheless, they are keeping up their side of the bargain, and for every day their room is tidy they get a little extra pocket money.

I hope and pray that all these things that must be done will become routine for both me and the kids.  (Oh, and the loved one, who is playing catch-up on the tidy thing.)   I almost want the house to take longer to sell, to give us a chance to set the habits in stone.

Or perhaps I should just make sure that once the house sells, we don’t collapse in a heap, have a celebrat0ry pillow fight and let the house degenerate back into its usual chaos.  Tempting though that may be, it won’t help once we begin the moving process.  And it’ll be three times as bad once we move into any new house and have any building work to wade through.

healingdream /

But we might have to have the pillow fight anyway.  If we sell the house, can you think of a better way to celebrate with the family?

So, another weigh-in, and a full month gone by since I started this malarkey.  As it’s the first weigh-in in February, I’m going to make this a longer post and wax lyrical about how things are going.  (I really ought to find out what ‘wax lyrical’ means before I use the phrase, but hey, I’m fairly sure it’s nothing taboo..)

I’m starting to realise that you can only do so much at a time if you want to keep it up permanently.  So many times I’ve tried to lose weight unsuccessfully because I couldn’t form a proper habit of what I needed to do.

Funnily enough, the idea of habit-forming is all over the place at the moment, or so it seems to me.  Dare I mention her again?  The Flylady talks a lot about forming a habit if you want to make something last.  Also the Simple Mom (whose blog I heartily recommend) explains a lot about habit-forming in her New Year – New You! post.  Also my man has been doing some work on healthy lifestyle behaviour change for the last few years, so I hear about habits. All. The. Time.  And I’m finally coming round to the idea.

So, in January, the one habit I managed to maintain was regular exercise, and what a difference that has made to me.  I have been going to the gym weekly, and I have been taking weekly Pilates classes.

There were two habits I tentatively formed, which were not eating between meals and not consuming excess alcohol.  I’m getting better at both of these, though they are not perfect.  I’m going to try and keep them up.

The habit I had hoped to form, but looking back, failed miserably to do so, is not having seconds.  Which includes anything on someone else’s plate.

So by the end of February I plan to (1) continue the alcohol only twice a week rule and see if I can get 100% on track for February, (2) nail the not-eating-between meals habit and (3) work harder at not having seconds.

However, (2) is going to have to be tweaked, since at least once a week there is cake at toddlers.

Now, it’s all very well not eating between meals when there is no cake in the house to tempt, but if I deny myself the cake it is tantamount to torture.  And if it feels like torture, it’s not going to work in the long run.  So I need to work out a way of allowing myself to have cake.

I’ve considered skipping breakfast… unfortunately the toddlers get toast just before the cake, so I would then eat all the leftover toast before also having cake.   So I need a more do-able alternative, preferably one that takes into account the fact that I have absolutely no spare time in the mornings, and I detest cereal bars.  Maybe half a breakfast? Hmm, I can’t quite grasp the perfect solution.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Now, (2) is going to require me to get more sleep, since my monster appetite creeps out from the shadows only when I am tired.  So my being-nice-to-me habit for February is getting enough sleep, so it will go in tandem with slaying the appetite beast.

ANYhow, I really need to divulge that I didn’t lose any weight this week.  I’m still firmly stuck at 12 stone on the nose.  It’s a bit too soon to plateau, so I reckon it’s just a case of the appetite monster again.

I promised to do waist measurement and BMI this week too, so excuse me while I go grab the tape.

Yay! A two-inch improvement on January’s measurement.

Let’s check the BMI scale.  Last month I was clinically obese.  Does 3 lb take me out of that zone?

Sacha's BMI this month

Click on image to use the NHS tool

Yes it does!  Hooray!

So the long term goal is to get my BMI into the safe zone at 25, which is 10 stone 1 lb for me.  My original goal was 9 stone 10 lb, since I used to be able to maintain that.  I think I’ll see how I go on that front.  If the weight wants to be at 9 st 10 once I’ve established my healthier eating habits, great.  If not, that’s fine too.

My calculations tell me that if I aim to lose a pound a week like I’ve been trying to do, it realistically turns out at around 3 lb per month. Between now and December (let’s forget about losing any weight in December right now), 3 lb per month spookily turns out to get me to 10 st 1 lb by the end of October.   So there’s a month’s leeway in case of a blip.

That actually sounds do-able.

You know? For a week where I didn’t lose any weight, I’m feeling remarkably optimistic!