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Eating and Running Optimism This Month

Posted Oct 17 2008 9:13pm

Looking at my running for November was a shocker. 

Fruitcake Where are the miles?  Where are the digits representing the miles?  I set aside October for easy running, light duty following the Chicago Marathon.  But somehow November slipped by with way too little running and way too many calories.   I didn't even save any eating room for December.  Not only was eating high and calorie burn low, traveling heavily last month meant eating poorly.  My waistline is begging for a break, so I need to try something.

Legend, or science, or urban myth says that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  And that time frame has actually worked in a number of attempts at reforming my life, including weight management.    Plus, a BRF left me a useful comment last summer saying that w hen we stick with eating good foods for a sustained period, eventually the healthier foods begin to taste better and the junk food grows less appealing.

Another experience I've had—you'll love the profound eloquence here—is that the bad stuff builds on the bad stuff, and the good stuff builds on the good stuff.    When I'm eating carelessly, it carries over into reckless eating.  But when I'm eating well, then the discipline to eat well carries over into other parts of my living.

I’m going to try that theory plus the 21-days-to-form-a-habit route.  By starting today, in 21 days it will be Christmas Eve and I will be the pillar of strength, scoffing at fiends’ and relatives’ succulent cooking and baking.  Instead I’ll be saying, "I've got to get the recipe for these amazing raw carrots!" and "Who brought the parsley?"

As for the running, pounding the streets for 21 days straight would feel more like boot camp, not the enjoyment I find in running.   So I’m going to re-commit to my standard running weeks—three weekdays and both weekends—to get back into my routine.  In the meantime I have Nancy's 8 on the 8th race to look forward to this Saturday, and the Holiday Weight Loss Challenge to keep me focused and honest.

With any luck by New Years Eve, I’ll look back at my December running and I’ll be a model of reform, and won’t need a New Years Resolution for health and fitness —just a bunch of other new habits waiting for the 21-day test.

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