The worst thing imaginable to a blogger is accidentally deleting all of your beautifully scripted words. The struggle is real. Y’all, I had been writing this post since Saturday. Yesterday morning it was finished. Complete! It had been formatted, highlighted, spell checked and all of the links were plugged in. All I had left to do was drop in a few pictures from my phone and hit the publish button. I saved the draft, closed out and went to the app on my phone to pick up where I left off. When I opened the draft, a pop up appeared. It said something about restoring to the latest draft…I took this to mean the draft I had just saved 10 seconds ago so I hit the restore button. What this did was DELETE
every single word all of my work. Clicking this key had restored my final draft to the last version I had worked on from my phone which was SATURDAY. The struggle with technology is real!
In any case, the title of this post didn’t change. The struggle is real. I’m trying to shake it off and attempt to re-write all of my original thoughts. SMH.
I talk a big game. I preach from my
soap box, FIT box, workout bench from a place of genuine (GEN-U WHINE) experience. I back it up with a gazillion second day sore muscle stories and plenty of perspiration. However my current season of t-totalar-ness has reminded me of just how hard it is to break a bad habit.
(a short poem from me to you)
When I gave up crappy fast food, it really wasn’t that bad.
I went cold turkey on a chips & salsa bad habit I had.
But when I put the champagne bottle down, it was a STRUGGLE giving it up!
And now I can say, I understand the pain of beginners on the FIT route.
A bad habit is so hard to break
A bad habit is so hard to break
I FORGOT…I honestly forgot how ambitious it is to make a change and stick to a plan. I don’t mean to brag but I have been living the healthy lifestyle for so long, it’s like second nature. Y’all, I’m not ever on a “healthy diet.” Eating clean is equally as habitual and important to me as brushing my teeth. Working out and completing cardio is right up there with using deodorant. I do it several times a week because it makes me feel good. At this point, not doing these things would be the hard habit to break.
This, my friends, is the point of my story and where the ironic anthesis lies. Over the weekend I had one of those light bulb moments. It dawned on me that I have NOT “struggled” to give up a bad habit in quite a while. My former struggles or temptations on the FITness front were long gone. What I hadn’t anticipated was experiencing a different kind of struggle.
Until recently, a typical Friday night for me usually included an impromptu happy hour, tex-mex, friends, or chilling and grilling and hanging out. Either way it involved winding down the week with wine or champagne. I recently decided to give up drinking wine for lent. I didn’t anticipate it being difficult but honey the struggle is real. I’m referring to the habit of social drinking.
Last Friday night me and Mr. Chicken Fry waltzed into the Blue Goose, bellied up to the bar and ordered a club soda with lime and a root beer. Sure, I noticed all of the shiny wine bottles on display as I carefully squeezed my lime into the fizzy soda. I got this, I got this. Later that evening we joined some friends who were in town from California for spring break. Upon arrival I saw our buddy, a LONG time friend (over 25 years) wave us over and motion something to the bartender. He was graciously preordering our usual drinks. I hurried over to greet him and politely change our drink order to a sweet ice tea and a bottle of sparkling water with lemon. I bet you can guess which drink was for Mr. Chicken Fry!!
Yes, it was a bit of a hassle. You bet your sweet bippy it was tempting to let it slide and accept the generous drink. Yes, I hated feeling like I was under the interrogation lamp and needed to explain my position from champagne bubbles to sparkling water. Naturally at first it was awkward sipping water from a wine glass but I did it.
MUDDLE through the STRUGGLE.
I came with protection. I loaded up the big guns and brought extra mental ammunition. As I chatted and caught up with my friends, I observed the bar tender shaking drinks and pouring glass after glass of wine. I had a talk with myself. “Girl, those are $10 a pop. You are banking and saving money baby.” I gave mysef a fist bump. I witnessed the giddy girl group in the corner clinking glasses and celebrating. “Tonight, honey, you have bypassed like 600 calories…and a dull head ache tomorrow morning…you’re on the home stretch.” Another high five in my head. At the end of the night, I had a laundry list of positives along with a clear conscious and memory.
Maybe the alluring long stem champagne flute is as tempting to me as a hot steaming bowl of oohey gooey queso dip is to you? Maybe a salty sack of fried hot french fries is as seductive as a tall generous pour of a light yellow cold glass of Santa Margarita? I get it, a plate of grilled chicken breast, brown rice with steamed vegetables doesn’t seem as inviting as a chili covered tamales dinner or a chicken alfredo pasta dish, but I promise your waist line wants to party so pick the first dish. I can assure you a hot cup of tea or a non alcoholic beer doesn’t compare to the sound and fizzle of a glass of champagne or cold beer but the finish line has it’s rewards.
The problem is both areas have constant, in your face enticements EVERY WHERE you go! You are bombarded with television, social media, restaurants, friends, office lunches or parties, weddings, events, grocery store, home, airports, hotels…you can’t escape it. So what do you do?
Muddle through the struggle
If you want to lose weight and keep it off you need a bullet proof plan. I use the mental mantra effect and it worked for me. When I was starting my FITness journey it was painful ordering in front of people…especially when I was dating. But there was no use faking it. Yes, the spotlight will be on you for like a minute while you order off menu but who cares? You might mimic a “When Harry Met Sally” sort of situation and friends might poke fun at you but who cares? Care more about your goal. At the end of your journey you could be 20 pounds lighter, more muscular, have more endurance and stamina, less depressed, energized , several dress sizes smaller? The possibilities are endless. Laser focus on your goal. STEADFAST FOCUS!
Chances are you will convert a few followers and your bold choices will birth a new good habit for someone else. An unintentional pay it forward. You may want to clean out your friendships. If you have to, find some like minded people who will support your FIT endeavor or who are also living proof of a healthy lifestyle.
In my experience what I have gleaned over the years is this:
When I order a healthy meal while dining out, I get teased.
“Miss Healthy show off over here, scared she’s going to gain a pound or two.”
But if and when I order a cheat side item or heaven forbid a dessert, I get teased just same.
“Angi, oh my heavens girl, you’re going to need like a 16 mile run to work off that pancake, piece of cake, piece of pizza,” or whatever it is of the ordinary I chose.
At home you will need to clean out the fridge and pantry to make space for healthy snacks that you actually like. For instance if you don’t like celery don’t buy it. Find earthy snacks and foods that taste good to you. High protein low carb fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I did it too. I cleaned out Mr. Chicken Fry’s beer fridge along with the rows of chilled champagne. I cleared the wine from the cabinet and filled the fridge with Crystal Light lemonade, a pitcher of water with fruit, iced tea, coffee, skim milk, coconut water, and Lacroix sparkling waters.
The answer to how long does it take to break a bad habit all depends on YOU! If you do the homework and you are a consistant A/B student you will FEEL a change in 2-3 weeks. Once you reach a steady 6 week mark you will see small changes and the battle /hassle doesn’t seem so steep anymore. FITmentum begins to build and snowball. Rememeber it isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
YES, all things are possible and doable and there is no denying that habits are hard to break and it’s a hassle before it ‘s a habit. Honey I know the struggle is real….BUT…WE must muddle through the struggle.
I hope that this FREE advice has inspired you to trudge through your battle of the buldge or social drinking habits. It’s worth it. You’re worth it.
Love, laugh and muddle through the struggle.
Ps. I’m tempted not to drop in pictues at this point. Fingers crossed it works! xo