Healthy Habits and Balance 365… How I’ve Grown Through this Program

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September 13, 2018 by Courtney

After a summer of struggle (with the kids being home… I kind of hate to admit that but not really, ha!), I am settling back into my healthy habits.  I kind of needed a “reset” after floundering over the summer, and I am back and better than ever.

It is amazing to look back at where I started and where I am today.  I have learned and grown so much since I joined the Healthy Habits, Happy Moms group and joining the Balance 365 program (that someone paid for me to do!).

The program is amazing.  The goal is to learn how to develop healthy habits one at a time.  To help you choose what’s important to YOU.  Whether that’s fat loss or not.  They help you do it in a healthy way, not by dieting or extreme exercise.  It’s all about healthy habits and joyful movement.

For a while I was completely anti-fat loss.  I thought the only way to do that was by dieting and anything that allowed fat loss was a diet or diet in disguise.  But I’ve learned and grown and realized that I should be able to choose what I do with my body.  At the moment fat loss isn’t a goal.  It may be one day, but I’m totally content with where I am.  I have been the same size for like a year and a half and that’s great!  No more constant fluctuations.  No more yo-yoing.  I’m steady, which is where I have wanted to be for years.  I haven’t dieted since the summer of 2016.  It feels so fantastic to not be dieting.  It was miserable.

Anyway.

The point of this post is to talk about the healthy habits that I have adopted.  Some are in the program and some aren’t.  Some I have been doing a long time (before the program) but have revitalized since being in the program.  Some are new.

I realized the other day just how well I’m doing!  I don’t have physical evidence like fat loss or size changes, but I have so much mental and emotional evidence and that’s more important to me than anything. Mental health is my first priority.

Some things that I do well (90% of the time):

  • Sobriety (almost 2 years thanks to AA and God!)
  • Meal planning (I’ve done this for years!)
  • Meal prep (I’ve done this for years as well!)
  • “Goldilocks” (eating until comfortably full)
  • Self care (I’ve been working on this for several years but the focus on it in the program is so so helpful)
  • Eating 3-4 meals (I mean, sometimes that meal is a piece of pie… so it’s not balanced, and that’s okay at the moment!)
  • Night time skin care routine (especially when I have makeup on!)
  • Nighttime meds (no choice here)
  • One balanced meal per day at least (this include carbs, fat, protein, and fruit/veggie)
  • Daily chore habits: dishes, 1 load of laundry, make bed, tidy the house, floors (sweep and vacuum) every few days, etc.  I try to have a clean house most of the time.  I try to do this even during the summer but it’s harder for obvious reasons!
  • Planning my week/days using my Happy Planner
  • Ensuring the right environment for foods that I don’t want to eat constantly and for things that I do (having sweets high up and my prepped meals in the fridge right where I look when I open the door)
  • Emotional eating isn’t really a problem most of the time.  Once in a while, but I’m okay with that.
  • Reading 1-2 chapters in a book most days
  • Not being hard on myself when I don’t hit my habits all the time (this is huge because when I was dieting I would beat myself up anytime I didn’t follow it 100%)

The current habit that I’m working on:

Joyful movement!  I am working on getting outside to hike/walk, then add in yoga, then add in some strength training (via the balance 365 program).  This will take some time.  I am planning on allowing this one to take a while.  I haven’t consistently exercised in several years and have been pretty lazy (aside from the daily chore habits that I have).

Right now the goal is to walk/hike twice a week (it has been raining a lot lately so I’ve been doing more walking than hiking on the muddy trails).  I was going to try to do this after the kids leave for school in the morning, but it’s still really dark!  So I think I’ve settled on after lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  These are the days that I’m at home most of the time.  It’s also not 100 degrees anymore in the afternoons so that helps!

Once I have this down 90% of the time, then I will add in more like yoga and strength training.

I’m also working on sleep hygiene kind of.  Only because I have to.  I am so tired of not sleeping.  I’m trying to read before bed and go to sleep earlier.  I’m thinking that the movement will help that and it’ll just be habit stacking.  I’m not wanting to add anymore intentional habits on top of the movement.

The habits that I plan to work on in the future:

  • Remembering to take my morning meds IN THE MORNING (and not later in the day haha)
  • Daily Bible reading (I’m at about 3 days a week at the moment and I’m okay with that) along with daily prayer journaling
  • Eating when I’m hungry (I’m looking at you, breakfast)
  • Eating breakfast daily
  • Balancing other meals one at a time (I probably won’t ever get to 90% on these and I’m okay with that)
  • NEAT (having more daily movement in things that aren’t specifically considered exercise)
  • Emotional drinking… obviously alcohol isn’t a problem anymore, but I’m ALWAYS emotionally drinking other things like coffee with creamer and sugar and Coke Zero.  I find that they have just replaced alcohol.  I’m not ready to tackle this yet, but I will be eventually.  Most days I don’t even drink water (except on the days that I get out and move).
  • Flossing and brushing twice daily

I’m slowly working through the printed material as well, kind of out of order.  Well, I’m doing the Story of You right now but then might skip around.  I mean, I need to do what works for ME (which is what I love about this program).  Also, some of it I already know and understand through Balance 365 group “osmosis” haha.  Basically just learning through lots of others posting in the Facebook group.

Because of this program I don’t feel like I’m floundering all the time.  It has given me structure, something to focus on, and reminded me how far I’ve come.  A couple of years ago I basically always thought about my size and how much I wanted to shrink to fit some mold of who I was “supposed to be.”  The diet culture is everywhere.  I thought I wasn’t enough.  I thought that losing weight would help me be “enough.”  But this program has taught me that I am enough, right where I am.  I have learned to do things because I love myself, not because I hate myself.  I do things to feel better mentally/emotionally/physically/spiritually, not try to be someone that I’m not.

I have a long way to go.  I mean, growing is a whole life time experience.  I just love having the structure of knowing how I want to grow and move towards that.

Obviously there’s so much to life and growing like growing into who I want to be as a Christ follower, but I can even get there through this program (I mean, I want to get back into the habit of reading my Bible and prayer journaling to grow closer to Him!).  Habits can be applied to every area of life!

Let me know if you want to know more!

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