Starting a New Habit

January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Losing Weight….

Two words that encompass far more than they appear to

I think one of the reasons we often fail at weight loss is because we fail to see that “losing weight” is a multifaceted goal

It is not ONE goal at all

It is actually MULTIPLE goals all wrapped up in one category


Have you ever given your kids a task such as “clean your room”

Only to come back and find it NOT clean?

I’ve often given my kids the job of “Straightening up the house”

I come back in the room 20 minutes later and I see things sooooo NOT straightened up

Oh to be sure…some things were done

But was it done in the way I expected?


It boils down to this

We say things like “clean house”….”straighten up”….”lose weight”….”Get healthy”

But these are all big goals that are made up of multiple tasks

Is it any wonder at all that we get exhausted and often quit?

We set ourselves up for failure because we act as if we assigned ourselves ONE task

When in fact we set out to do 20 or 25 different things masquerading as ONE task


Let’s face it…

It takes me 2 seconds to ask my kids to clean their room

But what I really meant was…

Make your bed

Hang up your clothes

Put away your toys…WHERE THEY BELONG

The list could continue because it also includes things you might not even think to mention

Such as…

Close your closet doors AFTER you’ve hung up your clothes

Pull your sheets up BEFORE you pull the comforter over them when you make the bed!

Put the container lid back on the lego box before you put it away

Don’t throw all your shoes in the closet…match them!

Don’t jam your clothes in the drawer….fold them!


The same can be said of me telling my kids to brush their teeth

It means…

Put toothpaste on the brush

Brush ALL your teeth..not just one

If you drop toothpaste in the sink…don’t leave it there to dry!

Floss your teeth…ALL OF THEM

When you floss…throw the floss away! Don’t leave it on the side of the sink!

On and on we go….

Almost every task we undertake is really multiple tasks disguised as ONE


Even a simple task of getting out of bed can be broken down into multiple steps

When I was 417 pounds, getting out of bed involved numerous steps

First I would start with trying to scoot myself up onto the pillow using what little strength I had

Next I would use my right arm and try to push myself that way

Then my left arm to scoot up the other way

I would take breaks in between to regain my breath

Eventually I would start trying to push myself to an upright position

Then it was time to try and swing one leg over the side of the bed

Swing the other leg over the side of the bed

And finally there was standing!

I would brace myself with the bedside table

Take deep breaths and carefully move one step at a time

My feet would always swell very badly at night in spite of elevating them

So the first few steps could cause me to see stars from the pain

But finally I was UP!

Mission accomplished!

But how many little steps were involved to attain that goal?


As things become easier for us

Or habits are formed within us

They feel easy and automatic

Starting my car seems simple to me

But in teaching my daughter to drive, I was reminded of each little step involved

The same is true of changing our lifestyles to include healthy habits

Each habit must be formed

To really be successful at this, we must break our goals down into the multiple tasks that are really involved

Focus on each task

Simplify it

Uncomplicate it

And work at it every day until it feels automatic

Only then will these big goals start to feel do-able


From time to time, we get out of our routines and habits

And then we must go back to reforming them

I am at that point myself right now

Looking to pick back up some good habits

And get rid of some bad ones

Join me in the process!!!


If you want to “lose weight“, we must break that down into tasks

Acknowledge that losing weight involves multiple habits all strung together

Habits we need to break down and work on one at a time

We pick ONE of those tasks and start working on it

But can’t you see how trying to do it ALL AT ONCE is a recipe for failure?


So often  we view it as one task—lose weight

And then condemn ourselves for not being able to do it

But what if we broke our goals down into the multiple tasks that they really are!!

Recognizing and acknowledging that what we are really trying to do is a LIST of things

Instead of simply just ONE thing

Stop beating ourselves up for not being able to change our world in a day

Start treating ourselves with the respect we deserve

Instead of throwing every hard task at ourselves at once


I started with 30 seconds of exercise when I weighed 417 pounds

Because if you recall my description of getting out of bed

That was ALREADY a workout for me

30 seconds was not easy

But at least it was  DO-ABLE

No matter what your level might be

30 seconds is something we CAN accomplish

And if you do THAT every day….you will form the habit in a much easier way

In a way that doesn’t feel insurmountable


It may seem silly

It may seem ridiculous

But I know this

I started with 30 seconds and was up to 5 miles in 5 months

So it works…


When you put together a puzzle, you must pour out ALL the pieces

Pick ONE and start there

Do you expect to pour out puzzle pieces and have them fall together at once?

By no means!

Instead you sort through them strategically

Maybe you start with trying to find all the edge pieces first

Then you might sort similar looking ones into various piles

Those that  have pieces of a mountain maybe in one pile

Those that have pieces of the sky in another pile

But once you have all these different piles sorted–you can begin

You will probably start with the border to define the space you will be working in

Because you have to start somewhere…right?

There will be missing pieces but you know with time and patience it will come together!

And so it is with weight loss


For the next several weeks, I am going to focus on the topic of habits

And with each week, I will pick one habit to work on that week

This week I plan to  reconnect with my water habit!!

Drinking water is good for me and it does help to control my appetite

If you are addicted to soda, starting a water habit will go a long way in breaking away from soda


Here is my game plan to start forming a new habit

First I pick something that feels do-able

By making sure I have chosen something that is not 3 or 4 tasks

In other words, make it very specific!


My habit/goal for this week is: Drink Water Every Day

How will I accomplish this?

First, I went out and bought a brand new water bottle that I liked

I literally got in the car and went shopping around for a water bottle on Saturday

I wanted to make this whole habit an adventure

I have favorite mugs that I drink my coffee out of

I might have 20 mugs in that cabinet but I tend to drink out of the same one or two mugs

For whatever reason…they just make me happy!

So I decided to do the same thing with my water bottle

Hey….I need motivation wherever I can find it!!

Trying to make it fun is important!


Second, I made a specific plan

1. When I start my coffee….I will pull the water bottle out of the fridge

2. While my coffee is making….I will start drinking water


This should take about 3o seconds

But let’s not forget this involves a second task in reality

It means at night I need to fill up the water bottle and put it in the fridge

So I have a second task to work on


When I fill the dishwasher at night….I will fill my water bottle and put it in the fridge


I already make coffee every morning and run the dishwasher at night

This makes it even easier because I am already in the kitchen!

I know this works because when I started out to become healthier 2 years ago

To break my soda addiction and switch to water



So here is Day #1 and my mission has been accomplished



My new water bottle says   HOPE !!

And it refers to Psalms 71:5




I chose this water bottle because of that word HOPE and how integral that has been to me in losing weight

We all need hope after years of feeling defeated!


So last night while I was filling the dishwasher

I also filled my new water bottle with ice and water

When I started the coffee, I pulled out the water bottle

While I was waiting for my coffee to be made, I started drinking it

Now I have my water bottle with me and just having that by my side will encourage me to drink more water

Every day this week, I plan to continue practicing this habit

And I know with each day that goes by it will become easier and more automatic


What new habit do you plan to work on this week?

Pick one and let’s move forward with hope that things can change!

One step at a time

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle Liggett January 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Thank you for the encouraging topic this morning. I tell myself daily today’s the day, and at the end of the day I feel totally defeated. Maybe if I didn’t try to do it all the first day, I wouldn’t feel like such a failure.


Pam Holmes January 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm

ONE STEP AT A TIME! And over time, it will become a habit. Like you, I changed lots of bad habits and developed good ones, then slowly went back to the old bad habits and regained some weight. I have put myself out there: I’ve been on national TV, magazines, websites, and newspapers, even our local radio station interviewed me last year. A regain is just too humiliating to contemplate. Twenty pounds isn’t really noticeable to anyone but me and my husband, or so I tell myself. But I know 30, 40, 50 pounds IS noticeable, and I’m not going there. When I used to go on a “diet,” I would lose some weight, then grow tired of eating healthy food and go back to eating my sugar and carb-laden treats and immediately regain. My philosophy back then was that because I was gaining weight, it didn’t matter anymore, I could just eat anything I wanted. It’s crazy the way we can rationalize and ignore what we are doing, and try to fool ourselves.
At least this time, I realize 170 lbs. is not that 150 lbs. I wish I weighed (and did weigh for over two years!), but it is better than the 328 lbs. I weighed once. So I’m trying to regain those GOOD habits, because I know I need to drop those 20 pounds yet again, and gaining more weight is imply NOT an option. God Bless us both Holly, as we struggle along on our journeys, trying our best, falling, but picking ourselves back up, over and over again. May we never quit trying!
Pam Holmes recently posted..SurgeryMy Profile


Shivonne G. January 27, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Holly you are SUCH an inspiration to me! (I’m sure a MILLION others too!) I REALLY can identify with soo MUCH of your struggles and what you’ve been through! I LOVE the way you think! I love that you POST all your experiences, being GOOD or NOT so good, lol! Going through your site here it’s AMAZING, the posts you have!!

I was ORIGINALLY looking for a ‘sugar detox’ which is how I found you! You just POPPED up on Google!! I was SOOO HAPPY that your ‘detox’ was EASY! I NEEDED ‘easy’ to be able to be SUCCESSFUL! I get overwhelmed sooo EASILY and when I saw JUST shakes and WATER… I was LIKE… I HAVE to try it!! SUGAR has been my BALL and CHAIN for YEARS…. and reading YOUR “Sugar Addiction/Detox” post made me REALIZE this and have TOTAL CONFIRMATION!! WELL GUESS WHAT? I DID that sugar detox (with the Atkins Advantage shakes) and (I chose to forgo the dinner meal because I KNOW myself… and I don’t think I could have DONE it if ‘food’ were involved…. I have a VERY terrible relationship with food… OR should I say sugar and JUNK food! I am a TOTAL SUGAR ADDICT!) …and GUESS what my results were!!! I lost a SOLID 14 lbs! (I say ‘solid’ because of that STUPID ‘point’ on the scale… do you KNOW the one?? …you scale says you weigh 135.7HOPE<—!! God BLESS you and your family Holly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXO


Shivonne G. January 28, 2014 at 6:18 pm

The rest starts here: 135.7… yeah I WISH, haha… but SEE what I mean?) So, I WOULD say 15 but because of that… a SOLID 14! So that was a 14 lb. weight loss in 7 days!! While that was VERY IMPRESSIVE to me… I REALIZE that being on LIQUID ONLY for that long, I’m sure ANYONE would lose that! I was soo PROUD of myself because I didn’t cheat… NOT even ONCE!! Not ONE bite, sip or lick of ANYTHING!!!!! (and this was even when I COOKED food for my husband and daughter) It was HAAAARRRRD!!! Sometimes I had nights where I would wake up with a SCREAMING headache!!! My WORST symptoms were: headaches and MAJOR fatigue… and in the VERY beginning.. maybe first couple of days… I had theeee WORST ‘nausea’… and THEN those shakes weren’t HELPING… uuuuhhhhuuck!!! BUT! IT was allllllllllllllllll WORTH it because NOT ONLY do I have NO CRAVINGS and I have LOST that ‘ACHE… that neeeeed–wwwaaannnt’ for SUGAR’… NOW I’m eating sooo MUCH better… NO— I am eating the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I USE to eat and the WAY I use to eat… I USE to HIDE alllll the bad food and eat it in private… but WHAT did THAT matter!?? My ENTIRE BODY gave me away!!! So, thankfully with God’s help and direction, finding YOU, a few GOOD friends for support and a supportive husband… I am FINALLY getting my eating under control and I use the MFP too!! Here’s my food journal so far! I log my food EVERY DAY and I feel soo good about that because of the ‘accountability’. I NEED that soo much! I find it extremely helpful! I cannot WAIT to get all this weight OFF!! It’s KILLING me!

Anyways, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing allllll your experiences, struggles, tips, sites EVERYTHING! I love to come here sometimes and check out your OLDER posts! Always something NEW to read and ALWAYS some ‘treasure’ to find and something HELPFUL I didn’t’ know!!

Thank you Holly soo much! I appreciate you MORE than you know!


Shivonne G. 🙂

PS. I “HOPE” (hehe) you don’t mind but I am going to borrow that beautiful picture above of HOPE! That is ANOTHER thing I LOOOOOOOVE that you have all ‘sprinkled’ allll OVER your blog posts!! HOPE!! God BLESS you and your family Holly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXO


Shivonne G. January 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

YES! WOW it actually FINALLY WORKED, sheesh!!!


Shivonne G. January 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Hi Holly,

You can erase this comment but my comment up THERE is MESSED UP! I hope you got the ‘whole’ thing! Looks like a LOT Of it is missing from up there?

The rest of the post looks like this:

135.7HOPE<—!! God BLESS you and your family Holly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXO


Shivonne G. January 27, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Omgoodness… lol! Sorry about all that… I guess maybe I WROTE too much!


Cameron January 27, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Funny. I also chose “drinking more water” as my focus today. I filled a quart size container and filled it with water. Then I filled my favorite glass that I like with water and drank it first thing this morning. Then I filled that same glass full again. Now the full glass is almost empty again and I have my quart container right here so I can refill it up. If I drink it all, that will be 7 cups of water and my goal is to finish by the time the kids get home at 3:00pm. Then I have one more full glass for dinner at 5:30 and use the rest of the night to pee it out! LOL :0)


Shelley Johnson January 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm

Wow, Holly! What an inspiration you are!! I am about to start the 2-week liquid pre-op diet and feel like I’m facing a mountain. I also am a Christian and I know that with Jesus on my side, I can do anything, but this mountain sure looks insurmountable at this point. I need to put one foot in front of the other and break it down into small pieces like you have done. Thank you for your inspiration to us all!! God’s blessings to you and all the others out there, whatever stage they are in!!


Faith January 27, 2014 at 7:26 pm

So funny that we started the same new habit today lol I bought a gallon of water (as that is my goal to drink a gallon a day) and squirted some Dasani Pink Lemonade water flavor/enhancer into it. I’m almost half way done and it’s not even 2 p.m. yet! 🙂 Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration to me every time I open your blog.


Mrs. Swan January 27, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Ah the dreaded water. I too need to work on this myself. To bad I hadn’t read this first thing this morning so I could also start a bottle. Granted I could just as easily go get one now. FINE I will drink at least 8 oz of straight water today. You happy? LOL (baby steps)
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Mrs. Swan January 28, 2014 at 5:06 am

Umm I lied on the straight but I did drink 20 oz of SF kool aid water today. (Squirt bottles of flavor)
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Lori January 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

You are so right. I am trying to remind myself that keeping up my good habits are much more important than the number on the scale.

I think you’d like to know that I’ve started a 5 minute work out inspired by you. The five minutes is intense. As soon, as it begins to feel not so intense, I’m adding a minute. I’ll keep doing that until I get to 30 minutes. Then I’ll add some thing else.

Baby steps in the right direction are still steps in the right direction!
Lori recently posted..Taking My Own AdviceMy Profile


Leah January 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

You are such an inspiration and really make me feel this time will stick. I’ve been sick the last 4 weeks with what felt like the plague so I would like to walk at least twice this week. Ease back into it.


Joy January 28, 2014 at 7:21 am

I never thought about it that way but you are so right!! I don’t have kids but when I ask my boyfriend to wash the dishes he just washes the dishes. He never wipes the counters, sink or stove. Or put things away. Lol. Some people! My goal is to eat vegetables with every meal. Good luck! And thanks for sharing


Joy January 28, 2014 at 7:22 am

Ps. I really love your writing :).


LHA January 29, 2014 at 9:50 am

I struggle with getting in enough water daily too. If I don’t work on it and remember to force myself to drink, I find at the end of the day I may have just had a few sips here and there. I don’t drink coffee or tea and very rarely have a diet coke so water is the only liquid I get daily. Here is something that really works for me: drink all my water through a straw. Even if I am in a restaurant I ask for a straw and the water goes down much more easily for some reason. Maybe this tip will help someone else struggling with drinking enough water. I really appreciate your blog and also all the people who comment and give their ideas.


robin February 2, 2014 at 11:18 am

journaling my food intake! that’s my habit im starting, since summer lost 43 pounds need to lose 48 more but for the last 2 months just stopped because I no longer did the steps I was using when dropping the pounds. Journaling my food intake requires me to be accountable for the amount of calories and fat I consume each day, I also like you need to drink water. Just so easy to forget this. And I would love to go back to the gym 3 days a week starting Tuesday my day off this week. Ill let you know if I accomplish these goals this week. Love your blog!!!…..Robin


Marcella February 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Congratulations on your accomplishments! I must say this one blog is the best advice I’ve heard. Or I should say it’s what’s best suitable for me. Look at what I need to do individually to lose weight instead of just saying lose weight. That supersedes everything I’ve tried in my adult life to lose. I can’t wait to apply this to my life. Thank you every so much! I’m a new fan!


Ren February 3, 2014 at 12:13 am

Breakfast. Every morning for a week.. I WILL eat breakfast.


Tess February 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Thank you, Holly!! This was a great reminder for me, I needed this! 😀


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