That being said, just how long does it take to eliminate bad habits, and replace them with good habits? Well the rule of thumb I have always heard is that it take 21 days to break an old habit. I am not sure if that is true or not, but I do know that in order to BREAK a bad habit, one must REPLACE it with a good habit. That is why they call them habits to begin with. Your body and your mind get very accustomed to habits good or bad. I have formed a good habit since starting this blog of researching good habits and trying to apply them. I have now found that my body craves doing circuit training weight resistance, combined with aerobics exercising. I have a routine worked out where I go from one exercise to the next to the next for 3 or 4 times through the entire exercise. I start with push ups, followed by squats, followed by dumb bells over the head, followed by abdominals, followed by a set of 10 with the curl bar. I immediately go right back through the entire circuit of exercises again, and then again until I can hardly do anymore. I DO drink cold water between sets and walk around to catch my breath before the next set. I will be honest with you, some days it is TOUGH to do it, but I keep at it. I take (1) day a week off and sometimes I vary the routine a little, by doing more squats than push ups, or more abdominal exercises than curls etc. but I pretty much keep to the program. I feel the squats are the most important and they seem to have an IMMEDIATE effect on my BG readings. I have been doing them for going on three weeks now and the good news is it has become a habit.
I have also made a habit of eating oatmeal every morning with fresh blueberries, a tablespoon of cold milled organic flax seeds, and flax seed oil on it along with some organic raw cows milk. I am finding it easy to stick with and it is healthy. I always take an additional tablespoon of flax oil and then eat a handful or two of walnuts at the same time.
I have also been cutting back on the total carbohydrates, and have pretty much given up on the diet Pepsi and diet Coke, which was tough for me. I just keep reading the list of side effects from Aspartame and equal and Splenda etc. and it makes it easier. Doesn't mean I don't give in once in a while because for a while the cravings drive you nuts. I don't beat myself up over it though. I just go ahead and drink one or drink part of it and realize I didn't miss it that much after all and then move on.
I think what happens is that your mind and your body starts to get the hang of what you are trying to accomplish and the more changes you make the more you want to make.
Here are a few tips for changing habits:
- Take baby steps, but keep taking them and after a few tumbles, you learn how to walk
- Do the research so that you are constantly reminding yourself of WHY you are doing this
- Tell someone else - I am telling you my progress in this BLOG
- Make a decision to do it for at least 30 days
- Stay away from temptation - don't go to Dunkin Doughnuts and other fast food or junk food
- Start today, TOMORROW never comes
- Partner up with someone to walk, run, work out with etc. if you can - make an appt to be there
- Don't buy junk food and then you won't have it around to eat when you get weak
- Join a diabetic discussion group if need be, help support each other's efforts
You will succeed if you do not give up. Depending on how long you have been a diabetic and how many drugs you are on and how over weight you are etc. it could sound like a daunting task to even begin an exercise program or tackle portion control, to begin reading labels with a purpose etc. Just remember that nothing worthwhile ever comes for free. A 1000 mile journey begins with the first step.
The Healing at Bethesda1After these things there was (A)a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is in Jerusalem by (B)the sheep gate a pool, which is called (C)in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes.
3In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [[a]waiting for the moving of the waters;
4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was made well from whatever disease with which he was afflicted.]5A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?"
7The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when (D)the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."
8Jesus said to him, "(E)Get up, pick up your pallet and walk."
9Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. (F)Now it was the Sabbath on that day.10So (G)the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and (H)it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet."
11But he answered them, "He who made me well was the one who said to me, 'Pick up your pallet and walk.'"