28 Mar 2017 by Hazel
Last week I read a book by Sherri Nicholds entitled “The Realist’s Guide to Sugar Free” and an article, which I cannot re-find, on how to make change lasting. Both were really insightful. I strongly recommend Sherri’s chapter 9 “Now go do it” if you are considering giving up sugar. Like me she also recommends Sarah Wilson’s plan. Oh I recently bought her latest book “Simplicious” which I’ve not yet cooked from. Watch this space when I do.
The article which I cannot re-find was more focused on a general approach to weight loss and not just giving up sugar. Another, which was similar, is this one. Which had me reflecting on how I did it.
I can remember three of the 5 steps the article mentioned which were:
- Make it a change of lifestyle
- Be patient
- Form good habits
All of which have been part of my transition. The 2nd article talks about doing thing incrementally which has definitely been a big part of my approach.
My lifestyle change started with giving up sugar. I knew that this was something that had to be forever. Not a short period of time so that was where I put my focus. Remember this started before the trauma of my partner leaving. It was only after he left that I decided to incorporate a few more habit forming rules into my relationship with food. Low carbs is a by product of no sugar so that was already in place but I also introduced small portions and no second helpings. For the first 6 months I really just re-educated myself on what I could eat. Got into the habit of reading the labels and looking out for the ingredients “sugar” or “fructose”.
Exercise crept into my life and has built up incrementally. I think the first step was another habit forming rule “Though shalt not use lifts”. At the time I worked on the 5th floor and had days full of meeting so I was forever running up and down flights of stairs. Then I started to cycle to work and introduced my “Walk 2 Work Wednesdays”. Every Wednesday, come rain or shine, I would walk the 4 miles to the office and home again in the evening. I then overcame my aversion to gyms and started to swim. Today I still don’t use lifts if the stairs are available to me – whilst working in Coventry I would climb to the 9th floor everyday, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. These days I spend most of my time at ground level because there is no need for stairs, however, I walk, swim, do yoga and body balance and have recently begun body pump again. The summer is coming and cycling will be part of my routine.
So you can see this lifestyle change has come slowly over a period of nearly 3 years and I still have yet to reach my ultimate goal. I am in no rush, slowly does it. During this time I have formed healthy habits incrementally. The link to the 2nd article majors on inspiration, this is not something that has been part of my approach so I guess is not that important to me but might be needed by others. What drives me is my own desire to succeed. To be the person I have dreamt of being for years and never had the mental or emotional resources to reach out and grab it. Now I do and I am absolutely driving myself towards that ultimate goal.