Breaking Bad Habits

I don't know about you, but the pandemic kickstarted a few months of bad habits for me. All the progress I had started making the month before the whole COVID thing happened went right out the window when I found myself stuck at home all the time. I started drinking several times a week again, I started eating excessively and often, and I was exercising less. By the time May came to an end, I was short on my 100-miles-a-month goal by nearly four miles and I felt like crap.

When June 1st rolled around, my employer lifted some of their pandemic restrictions and I was able to start going back to the office for half-days in the morning. This was enough to lift my mental state, have something to look forward to, do my job better, and get back into a routine. I decided that it was time to start breaking my bad habits for good! Here's what I've done over the past three weeks.

1. I quit drinking. I know, I know, I've said this before, but this time I mean it. When I sit back and think about it objectively, I realize that I have a drinking problem. Binge drinking, even if it's one or two days a week, wreaks havoc on your health - both mental and physical. I still want to be able to socially drink with friends from time to time, but that's it. So, I started drinking seltzer water. I'd really gotten into hard seltzers over the past year and a half, so I deduced that drinking regular seltzer water would kind of trick my mind into thinking that I'm drinking when I'm not. And, it works! I keep seltzers around and drink those when I have an urge to drink and I'm satisfied. It's a win-win because I'm getting plenty of water into my diet without the harmful side effects.

2. I got back into intermittent fasting and I'm staying there. Back in 2018, I lost a significant amount of weight by employing IF into my life, but after my deep depression period, I couldn't stay on that path for nothing. But, with my 8-12 schedule at work, I don't take any food to work, so when I get home, I can eat. My window is 12-8 to eat and I stick to that religiously. I've even lost 10 lbs of the pandemic weight I gained, but we won't talk about that!

3. Going back to work during the week has meant that I get at least 2.5 miles in just walking to work, walking around work, and walking back home. Since I have more free time in the afternoon, I've been taking walks in local parks or downtown with my daughter as well, so I've been averaging my daily goal of 4.07 miles. I've also been hiking both weekend days, as well.

4. The most significant thing I've been doing, however, is to finally deal with my personal issues and start moving on from them. Being quarantined for so long not only brought everything prominently to the forefront, but it exacerbated so many issues. I found myself being ugly and negative so much that I was starting to really hate the person that I was becoming. Even worse is that my kids had to see this ugliness when they're trying to deal with their own issues that stem from their lives being upended. After a particularly nasty argument with my son, I had to take a step back and think about things. I understood that I had two paths in front of me. I could either continue being an unbearable, negative bitch, or I could be the adult that I am and be supportive for my kids. The three of us are in it together and I needed to start acting like it. I quit being negative and pushing my personal issues on them. They're just kids, trying to navigate the world and what they need is a loving, supportive mom who can help guide them, but also be an example of how to live their lives and how to be as people. That was a big eye-opener for me. Yes, I have my struggles, but they're my struggles, not my kids'.

Breaking bad habits can be really hard, but it's absolutely necessary in order to grow and be healthy & happy. The pandemic has created a lot of extra time in which to be alone with my thoughts and it has been both a horrible and a great thing. It encouraged me to deal with the worst of things at first, but then move on to that which can help me become more, do more. To become a better version of myself and start moving towards the future that I want. As always, I hope my stories of successes and failures motivates and inspires you. If I can touch one person in a meaningful way, I would consider that a success. While I love to share my life and all that is going on in it, I want - as always - to reach you, my reader.

I hope your weekend is as grand as you and that you have something fun planned. I've been filling my weekends with activities because I realized how much I missed doing much I missed living life to the fullest I can. Remember, you can watch the sunrise at Stonehenge this evening if you're so inclined. I know I will be!


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