Day 6 of No Added Sugar and Chapter 2 of Atomic Habits

Not too bad today, I ate more chicken tacos, split some breadsticks (sans dipping sauce) with a friend of mine, and ate a salad. I'm stuffed! I read Chapter 2 of James Clear's Atomic Habits. He discussed how change is easier when you associate your identity with a habit. I agree. I used to be 50 pounds over weight. I remember deciding that enough was enough, and I was going to lose the weight. After a rough start where I went a little extreme (lost 15 pounds in 2 months, was exhausted and gained it all back) I decided to make a more measured approach about how much I was going to exercise, and an easier approach about diet. Laura of that moment: No more sweets. I just don't eat them. I used to, I don't now.

It made it much easier when making decisions about food in company meetings. If it wasn't low carb, I wasn't going to eat it. End of story. No "Well, if I just have half of it" or "I can do this now and not eat dinner", it was "If it's not going to help me in my goal, I'm not going to eat it."

After I lost the weight, I remember feeling like I was going to balloon 30 or 40 pounds in a night after eating one or two cookies. I eventually got used to being able to eat sweets in moderation, and the current challenge is just an interesting challenge for me, and thought would work well piggy backing on the 30 days of exercise challenge. While I'm only 4 pounds heavier than my goal weight, it's not a big deal. I'm also getting a lot more exercise, so some of the pounds could be bigger muscles (but realistically, not 4 lbs or 2. Maybe one.) However, I've noticed that it is more difficult to make decisions about food. I do like sweets. I will have chocolate when I can. I now have to put mental effort into saying yes or no to chocolate. I know this piece of chocolate won't lead to my downfall, but, just like in James's book, the trajectory of eating several pieces of chocolate without expending the same amount of caloric energy will be a bad trajectory. I really like his Chapter Summary for Chapter 2 as well:

  • There are three levels of change: outcome changes, process changes, and identity changes.
  • The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
  • Your identity emerges out of your habits. Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
  • Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
  • The real reason habits matter is not because they can get you better results (although they can do that) but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.

Tomorrow will be more of the same... except I'll be returning to the gym!


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