Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bad habits

Establishing good habits is sometimes hard to do because first one needs to break the bad ones!
Breaking bad habits usually dies hard, even for the most self-disciplined.

For example, a very close friend of mine tried to quit drinking coffee recently. A few weeks after he had stopped, while telling me that he banished his caffeine addiction, I noticed that his breath smelled like cigarettes.

Rule #1: Do not replace a bad habit with another one!

Another example comes from the annals of my friends as well. In an attempt to curb television consumption, said friend got rid of her cable television service. Although she had good intentions, she quickly discovered Hulu (online T.V.) on her computer. Let's just say that her appetite for juicy reality shows has grown.

Rule #2: Doing the same thing in a different way does not mean one has kicked the habit.

Last month, in an attempt to purge my diet of all refined sugar, and stick to the zone i.e. a healthy, balanced diet with controlled portions, I tried to keep the above rules in mind. My goal was to eat healthier and to see whether or not my athletic performance would improve measurably.

The results are indeed interesting.
On most accounts I succeeded. I did not replace my love of sugar and baked goods with a smoking stick of tobacco or pole dancing, however I did discover a new milk with about 2 tablespoons of honey. I relished the times when I could scrape the cooled honey off the bottom of the glass. I pretended it was ice cream. I often thought, "Am I violating rule #2?" Usually that thought was immediately followed by this one, "I don't give a crap, this tastes good!"

As far as measurable improvements in my performance, there were definitely strides made. My maximum kipping pull-ups have gone from 3 broken to 12 in a row (possibly because I am 5 pounds lighter). My squat clean increased 50 pounds. I dropped 2 minutes on the benchmark workout called Michael.

As a present for last month's strict adherence to the zone, I have given myself permission to eat whatever my heart desires until the 4th of July, after that, I will go back to the zone. The funny thing is, my first "freedom to eat crap" day was yesterday and I still ate in the zone (except for two peanut butter cups given to me by a fellow crosssfitter Lindsay). Today, I went to the store and didn't even go for the sweets.

Why, when I am now free to eat whatever, am I not choosing the sweet stuff that I missed and vowed I would eat as soon as I could? The reason is this: now I have a new habit--eating healthy.



At 9:08 PM , Blogger Faith said...

Great post Jaala! I totally understand, after my month on the Zone with you I find myself still sticking to my prescribed blocks. I still haven't kicked my love for sugar/grains, but that's a whole new challenge =)

At 9:06 AM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

I love pasta too! We have to allow ourselves to eat whatever we want to in moderation though. I think that is the key. If we deprive ourselves totally of something we'll binge later.

At 1:08 PM , Blogger CJ said...

nice Jaala!

I'm with you, I'm eating however I want until after the 4th!

I hope you don't mind, but I'm stealing this for today's post!

At 2:35 PM , Blogger Lindsay said...

You're awesome, Jaala and have way more willpower than I do! Congratulations on all the fantastic PRs over the past month. There's many more to come. And, I'm so glad that I was able to provide you with your first "dark side" treat!

At 3:40 PM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

Thanks Colin and Lindsay! Of course I don't mind if you use it for the post...and Lindsay, you are now to be known as my "guilty pleasure girlfriend." How naughty.

At 3:30 PM , Blogger said...

Its great that your doing stuff. I hope to see you doing even more bigger stuff in the future. But I have one question. Do you like peanut butter?

At 3:31 PM , Blogger said...

BTW, dont have to read my last posted comment

At 3:34 PM , Blogger said...

I feel like the things you eat are more boring then other peoples. I eat 3 cookies a day, coffee, and pizza then ice cream and I am really happy but it takes dicipline to make sure I am stocked up on cookie dough. -a

At 3:42 PM , Blogger said...

Oh yeah, i meant to ask you. Is salad good?

At 10:38 PM , Blogger Jaala Thibault said...

Dear Mr. Kader,
YOU are a bad habit.

P.S. I love peanut butter if it is mixed in chocolate ice cream and on top of a warm chocolate chip cookie.


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