Developing Healthy Habits.

I have habits. I'm great at developing habits. But it's been a very, very long time since I had actual healthy habits.

I'm always shocked when people are surprised that I don't have healthy habits.

"But you do Bikram! You teach it! And you work out with a trainer! And you post healthy recipes online!"

True. All true.

But what you don't realize is that when I am not doing a Bikram challenge, I struggle to get to the Bikram studio TWICE a week. And the gym? I am better about getting there now... But I only go when I have to meet with my trainer. And the healthy recipes? If I post one online, chances are that is the only time I've eaten something healthy.

I am vocal about all of these healthy things in the hope that they will become habits for myself. But reality is... HAH!

I have a tendency to be far more helpful and a healthful muse to others than I am to myself. I was explaining to someone recently about my habits when I was at my last job in NYC...

  • I'd crawl out of bed (after hitting the "SNOOZE" button for half an hour) at 8am. 
  • I'd quickly shower and throw my hair up into a bun.
  • I'd run outside and catch a cab to still make it into the office before the rest of my team. (I was more concerned with getting to work and getting started to help my team than I was to give myself time for breakfast or working out.)
  • I'd try to make my first meeting of the day revolve around coffee. So, ideally, I'd try to make it downstairs at the Starbucks (who were a client) where I could get something in my belly. And I'd order a latte just so I could get some protein from the milk.
  • Around 2pm-ish I would remember that I needed to eat lunch. So I'd go downstairs and see what was left at the sketchy deli in the building. Usually all that was left was greasy pizza. (Side note: After I moved to Boston, the deli was closed for health code violations.
  • I'd work, tucked into PowerPoint decks and Excel spreadsheets, for the rest of the day until about 7pm. Then I'd peek outside my office and see most of my team gone. I'd run downstairs and catch a cab home.
  • By the time I got home, I'd find something for dinner in the neighborhood. Sometimes I would cook something for myself. Most often I'd eat something barely nutritious.
  • I'd Skype with The Husband around 9:30pm. I'd tuck into bed and sleep at about 11pm.

So yes, I got almost nine hours of sleep. That's not healthy, as too much sleep can be a bad thing. But after staring at a computer screen and not eating regularly... My body was exhausted. These were all my daily habits though.

"None of that is good," someone said to me recently. "You need to develop healthy habits and commit to them."

True. It's sad. I was more motivated by being in first and leaving last for my team than I was by eating, exercising and taking care of myself. I was more motivated by doing whatever I could for the two agencies I was working for than I was by doing anything for myself. But I've been doing this in my career since, essentially, before I even graduated form university.

And now, I feel a bit guilty when I explain to people why I am adamant about some of the choices I've made recently... Like living in Boston. Not working outside of the city. Training with a professional twice a week. Attempting that 101-day challenge. Spending money to see my husband every weekend (since he isn't able to live in Boston), and making sure he has everything he needs for his health and happiness. (This last one is the toughest on me. I wish he lived here in Boston.) These are all part of putting my health first. Not just physical health, but mental and emotional too.

My plan is to start focusing on my physical health a little more in the next few months. It's not an easy thing for me to jump in to when I don't make it a "challenge." Making it just an "everyday healthy habit" feels selfish.

I know, crazy... Right? But it's the way I think for myself. I can "talk the talk" for others, encouraging them to do healthy things for themselves and prioritizing that in their lives. But when it comes to myself, I fail.

So the next two months (May and June) will be about easing into healthy habits for myself.