“When did it become automatic for me to take the stairs?”
That’s what I asked myself when I was taking the stairs down and carrying my gym bag as I leaving work the other night. As I thought about it, I started to ask myself other questions:
“When did it become routine for me to work out over my lunch break?”
“How did it come to be that a salad is a meal for me?”
“When did I stop having to think about getting a half sandwich instead of a whole one?”
“At what point did I start to reconsider a choice to eat Cheetos straight from the bag?”
“When did I start to automatically reach for Baked Cheetos instead of regular?”
All of this happened when I changed my LIFESTYLE. When I stopped looking for motivation and stopped begging for will power.
I’m not motivated to pack my gym bag every morning or to work out over lunch. These happen because it’s become habit. I don’t even think about it anymore. I just pack my bag in the morning and when I see the clock reaching towards noon, I grab my bag and go to the gym.
I don’t get salads or half sandwiches because I have strong will power. I get them because it’s become a habit to get into the deli line. The woman working the line knows what I get and simply asks, “Sandwich or salad?”
I’ve been doing these things for years now. Some longer than others. But in all cases, it’s no longer a question about IF I’m going to do them. It just is. Like brushing my teeth or putting on deodorant.
Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t happen overnight. But, one day at a time I slowly turned into this person who eats salads and fruit for meals instead of Original Chicken Sandwiches and fries. This person who works out over lunch instead of making five unnecessary Target runs a week. This person who wouldn’t even think about taking the elevator. Not because it’s terrible to take the elevator, but because it literally wouldn’t cross my mind.
Sure, I don’t work out EVERY day over lunch, but I no longer ask myself, “Am I going to work out today?” Instead I ask myself, “Am I not going to work out today to do ______ instead?” Sometimes the answer is yes. But working out has now become the standard. Anything else is the deviation.
I’ve got a long way to go still. I’m 18 lbs heavier than I was at my thinnest adult weight and 16 lbs heavier than I’d like to be. But, my life has changed and I’m doing good.