The Mindful Diet Day 15
Week 3: replace old vices with new routines
Habits follow a very specific “loop,” says Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. You get a cue (say, it’s 3 p.m.), which prompts a reward-seeking behavior (you walk to the kitchen to grab a cookie and chat with co-workers), and a routine is born: That 3 p.m. cookie-chat break becomes a daily ritual. So, this week is all about noticing triggers for unhealthy patterns—and figuring out how to reward yourself in new ways.
Day 15: Identify your “bad habit” routine.
Name one unhealthy eating habit you want to change—like that afternoon cookie klatch.
I am far from perfect, but I had to think about this one for a while. In the end, I determined that my bad habit routine is being flexible at the wrong times. Sometimes this means indulging on unhealthy snacks because I forgot my packed lunch or using my headache as an excuse, but all of them can be avoided.
Until recently I wasn't flexible at all, but I have embraced flexibility in the kitchen when it comes to adapting recipes and have found that it is easier to focus on solutions than problems as they arise. I am usually the one to overcome issues before they arise, I am great at putting together a plan for the week, whether it be meal planning, scheduling workouts, or making time in my busy schedule to read. However, I have found that when something doesn't go according to plan it is more difficult to force something than to start over and find an even better solution. A good mantra for these situations is, "there are no problems, only solutions".
In Buddhism, we're taught that every moment is a new beginning. Forgive yourself for whatever you did 5 minutes ago, let it go, live in the now, and focus on being the best you that you can be from here on out. Our shifu would always say, "the only time, the only place we live is now".
Don't wallow in your failures, view them as an opportunity to improve. There's no better time than now!