Repeat After Me....Practice Makes Perfect

When it comes to weight loss, the key element is to change your eating habits.  Not easy to do.  However, success will come if you commit to the daily repetition of your new healthy habits.  I’ve seen it time and again with the clients that I counsel.  The only way to create healthy habits is to do them over and over and OVER again.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a healthy lifestyle.  You have to eat breakfast every. single. day.  You have to eliminate cookies at lunch every. single. day.  You cannot drink 22 oz of Coke every. single. day.  We all want an easy fix and yet when I tell people that it’s as easy as doing it every day, they balk! They create wild excuses as to why they can’t do that.  They tell tall tales of low blood sugar, hectic schedules, demanding spouses/bosses/children.  And I look at them and say “You are in charge of your health.  You have to commit to changing your habits and it’s as simple as doing [insert healthy lifestyle change] every single day.”  

    Remember when you were young and you were taking piano lessons or learning how to play tennis or soccer?  You probably went to a formal group practice session at least once a week and you probably did a good amount of informal practicing at home.  These are skills that we can use now, as adults, to create new healthy habits.  Treat this new way of eating as a new skill - something that you have to spend dedicated time at practicing.  You have to mindfully repeat these new muscle movements just as you did sitting on the piano bench or soccer bench.  You have to really focus on what you’re doing to get better at it.  Many clients have not been mindful in their approach to eating and therefore have developed poor habits.  It takes real focus and attention to change those habits and learn new eating/shopping/cooking skills. 

    And then remember when you were finally able to play the song all the way through?  Or you finally scored the goal or heard that resounding thwack on the ball with your racket?  That came after weeks or months of practice and man, did it feel good!  Those high five moments from childhood can be had again now in adulthood.  You just need to practice and that feeling of accomplishment can be found again with regards to your health and your eating habits.  You can feel great about your snacks, or your choices at dinner and you rejoice when the scale reflects that hard work.

    I tell clients that there are many ways to approach weight loss and we will work together to find the right one for them.  I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all weight loss plan and I certainly don’t believe that I have all the answers.  You are in charge of your weight, your choices and your commitment.  I can help by providing various ways to go about your journey to weight loss or healthy eating and continuing to motivate you to repeat those new healthy habits over and over and over again.  Just keep remembering that euphoria you felt at age 8 when the pop fly came your way and… caught it!  You can do it again now, it just takes some practice.


The Power of a Clean Fridge


For some reason I don’t get an itch to clean in the spring.  Well, to be quite frank, I almost never get an itch to clean.  However, when we arrived home from our annual vacation up on Cape Cod, I was overcome with this incredible desire to clean out the house.  Something about a fresh start for the fall, putting away the summer toys and towels, and getting the house into order just took hold of me and I must say [pat on back], when I was done, there was more in the closets, the yard looked less like a trailer lot and the best part of all - my refrigerator actually sparkled! I mean it, I think my crisper drawer actually winked at me.

    This all began because I had tried my best to empty out the fridge before our big trip.  I made my best efforts to eat up the perishables before we left and to cull out what could make it a few more weeks.  Then the last minute stress of getting the family packed made me toss my well-planned menus out the door so we ended up with some leftovers the nights before departure and my parents ended up staying at the house while we were gone soooo by the time we came home there were some FUNKY inhabitants in there.  Cue my gag reflex, followed by frantic tossing into the garbage bin.  And then it just kept going!  I found three mustards and two tubes of pesto -  GONE.  Then a lovely jar of anchovies from my Feast of Seven fishes at Christmas…. 2014 - GONE.  The list could go on and on.  I poured a plastic container of sesame seeds into a baggie and tossed it in the freezer -  much easier to store that way.  And those crisper drawers, oh boy.  They needed some love.  I realized how much I just crammed into them and never bothered to do a deep scrub.  I decided to remove the dividers (hello?!?  why didn’t I do that 4 years ago) and suddenly the lettuce tubs fit nicely with heads of radicchio and knobby peppers fitted in around.  I cleaned the doors, the handles, everything.  Maybe this isn’t breaking news to some of you, maybe you have a regularly scheduled cleaning of your fridge but friends, I do not.  So this was truly groundbreaking.

    In school I took classes about food safety and became ServSafe Certified (only those who’ve worked in a professional kitchen will know/care of that) but I hadn’t been playing by those rules in my own life.  What a difference it made to organize my fridge with the meats on the bottom, perishables on top.  What a difference it made to actually SEE what was in the back of the shelves.

    In sum, here is what I learned from my clean fridge:

  • you will eat what you bought if you can see it
  • you will not have to waste as much food (and money) if you eat food before it goes bad
  • you will be a more creative cook if you force yourself to eat from your fridge and freezer instead of just buying more
  • a pretty refrigerator can inspire you to eat cleanly and make small improvements in your diet

    And here’s to keeping it that way…. at least until the holidays.