I know that -- for me -- long term weight loss success and sustainability needs to involved shedding the bad habits and creating new patterns in my life to follow. Patterns that involve healthy eating. Patterns that involve moving my body. Patterns that involve grocery planning and meal planning and getting enough sleep and using moderation. Patterns that involve managing stress with something other than overeating.
Another major part of this weight loss journey is figuring out what the patterns are that I really need in my life. And making the pattern a pattern -- by repeating it over and over and over.
Lately, I feel as if I have been repeating old habits--the same old pattern. Here's my situation:
Part one of the pattern: Life with three kids and business happens and takes over my life and I "fall off the wagon" so to speak and return to the bad habits of eating too much, lots of junk, staying up way too late, watching wayyyyy too much TV, and feeling like crap! And this goes on for a while.
Part two of the pattern: I decide that I need to regroup, so I tell my husband that I need to be by myself for a while. I need to get away. I need time and quiet. So I take the laptop and head to the library or to the coffee shop (for that one last mocha) or to the coffee shop and then the library. And I try to regroup. I try to recommit to "the plan." I try to get my brain in focus so that I can do the work, stick to a plan, and live the life I say I want to live. A lot of times I get distracted by the computer and blogs and commentary and junk. A lot of time I waste my time. But I do decide to start again--after that last coffee and that last night of overeating. Usually I spend a LONG time in this part of the pattern--waiting for that perfect time to start again, for when I am really, REALLY ready.
Part three of the pattern: And then I am on plan--I'm eating well, I'm moving my body, I'm writing it all down-- for a few days, maybe a week, definitely not a month and then it's BACK TO PART ONE!
I can not tell you how often I have repeated this same old pattern. I bet I have repeated this pattern at least 20 times over the course of the past few years. Seriously, I am doing it right now. Although I'm not at the coffee shop; I'm in my bedroom, trying to escape three children who never stop talking. And as I continue this post, I have also been to the coffee shop. (I wrote this post a few weeks ago before I started using MFP).
So this is one key for me: I need to avoid returning to this same old pattern! I need to throw this pattern in the garbage--no more! I need to find a new pattern for when life becomes too much, for when the endless questions of a six year old put me over the edge, for when I just need a little quiet, for when the chaos of my life with children seems to be a great reason to throw in the towel and lay on the couch and eat chocolate.
A new pattern is what I need! I'm on the hunt for a new pattern. I could lie to you right now and say--I know what I have to do! This is what I will do instead of patterns one, two, and three detailed above. I have figured out what to do by sorting through my thoughts right here and now.
But I do not know! That's part of my problem. That's why I am here. And honestly, I'm just trying to figure out how to manage my life without returning to food. I don't have the answers.
But I do know how to create a pattern: repeat, repeat, repeat!
I'm on the hunt for a new pattern. . . perhaps with time, action, lots of writing, and repetition, I will find it here!