How I Quit Smoking, One Day at a Time

I quit smoking many years ago and the only way I could do it was by thinking ahead, not forever, not for a year or a month, or even a week, but one day at a time. Every day when I’d wake my first thoughts would be a decision for that day and that day only; “Today, I choose not to smoke. All day. No matter how badly I want to, I can make it through one little day. Just today. If I want to, I can smoke tomorrow, but not today. Just today. I can do this, I am doing this.”

I spoke to myself that way when the urge came on strong, and believe me it did. Time after time. The urge to follow-through with old habits is strong. It’s the same with eating less or eating differently. The urge to get the bag of chips is strong, and you won’t be able to resist if you think in terms of “never eating chips again.” It’s too large – chunk it down to a manageable size. Just today.

Today I Choose …

“Today I choose to eat a healthy diet. Today I will forgo my usual 6-pack of beer and drink only pure water. Today. It’s only for today. One day at a time. If I want to eat chips I’ll have them tomorrow.” Then, tomorrow, you decide again, for that day only.

Some days you’ll decide not to eat a healthy diet. Big deal. It’s okay. If you have a day where you’d like to skip it for that day, fine. Go ahead. The next day you decide again. Then the more often you decide to eat well, exercise, have fun, do things you enjoy, find other activities besides eating, then the weight will melt away, and you’ll develop healthier habits at the same time. Doing it in this manner allows your old urges to slowly melt away until the intense desire to go get that bag of chips when you sit down to watch TV simply disappears. You no longer think about them. The habit is gone.

You won’t have to do this every day for the rest of your life. Just long enough to break some old habits. Generally speaking I’ve heard it said that 21 days is what it takes to break a habit. I’d give it 30 days straight of deciding each and every day what you want for that day. Get a calendar and write it down, every day you make a choice, first thing in the morning. Choose to eat well or not, but make yourself aware that it is a choice and you’ll feel less like you are not in control and as you progress, you’ll be slowly getting back into those favorite pants you so long ago put away.

What have you tried?

New Attitude Toward Changing Eating Habits

Scarcity and Deprivation: Ugly Twin Sisters of Fear Based Living

This actually addresses two issues: Scarcity (I’m afraid there will not be enough to eat, or I’m afraid I won’t get enough to eat) and Deprivation (I’m not going to get what I want).

What if you’re the type that cannot just “cut back?” You go crazy if you see your favorites, or even think about your favorites? Sometimes it does take the “cold turkey” approach and here’s why.

New Year’s Resolutions Coming Up Fast

A fresh start, a new beginning. It’s the beginning of that last two weeks of the year when we stuff ourselves silly because next year is going to be different. Next year we’ll get it together. Next year we’ll eat right, exercise, get that better job, make those kids behave. Yes, next year. Then you stop and realize, next year never arrives. It’s always just around the corner. Your life is what you make of it right here, right now.

Get a New Attitude

Sometimes what it takes is a new attitude towards the whole thing. Eating, after all, is something you need on an ongoing basis, day in and day out, you must eat to survive. So, it comes down to better choices, but how do you make better choices when you are constantly facing the same enticements to eat? You fight back, that’s how. You use any tool you have. You get mad. This isn’t about ice cream with a cherry on top, it’s about your life. You choose.

The First Step Is Get Angry

Get mad at the companies constantly trying to sell you more, bigger, better. There’s nothing wrong with designing a better product, but the food products are not better, only more fattening and more expensive. Fake foods are a good example of a junky product that we’re being told is good for us. That’s a lie–those products, including the low fat lies are highly responsible for the sorry state of our health, but it’s our own fault for believing the advertising. Now low carb foods are being introduced. Just say no with your pocketbook and refuse to buy them.

Take Back Control of Your Eating

Today, decide you are mad, and you are going to do something about it. Taking action is the only way you’ll get to your destination. You take action by doing EFT – right now, while you’re thinking about it. I saw a TV program where the actress was having a stressful moment and she started tapping her eyebrow point. That was an eye opener because I believe the time will come when the EFT technique will be an accepted practice for every person. It’s an easy way to relax yourself, and reduce stress right in that moment. It’s also an easy way to get past limiting beliefs that keep you stuck.

If you have foods in your house that cause you grief, get rid of them. This will be a winter clean-up, get the old, stale chips out of the house. Throw out leftovers, unless you plan to use them the next day. It’s not wasted food to throw excess away. It makes good sense. Stop thinking of yourself as a garbage can. If you paid for something and ate it all, it cost you that much money. If you paid for something and ate half, it still cost you that much money. No difference in how much that item cost – so it’s not a better or worse value whether you eat it at all. It’s money already spent.

Choose one thing you get often, but that you wish you wouldn’t and decide to not get this product today. Just take it one day at a time – “Today I will not purchase X.” Make a vow to yourself, that for today, you will not get this food, eat this thing, do this deed, whatever you choose. Do a round of EFT on your craving or desire for it, and start now. This isn’t a good idea for sometime, but an exercise to do right now. No matter where you are, no matter what time zone, do it now. (Print this out though to keep for the future – you’ll want it).
Do EFT for this particular food or drink when you awaken in the morning, when you get in your car, and at meals everyday for the next week – 7 full days. Mark it on the calendar, today you started, put a mark for every time you do the EFT and keep track until you’ve got seven days straight with at least three marks on each day. Take this one simple action and you’re life could change for the better.

This cold turkey approach works well for things you purchase habitually, but wish you wouldn’t. It could be your habit of checking out the bakery section – you can still grab bread without looking at the pastries, trust me. The aisle where they sell candy bars can be skipped without too much trauma. The act of obtaining your treats is half the allure.

Think about it – you decide to get something to eat, you think ahead to how much you’ll enjoy having it, you see yourself eating it, you get in your car, you head to the store, it’s an “event” in itself. You choose your food, you carry it to the checkout, you get out your coins and you make your purchase. Only when you are safely outside the store can you actually “have” what you bought. Up until then, it’s not really yours at all. No small wonder we’re all so wrapped up in the process of getting food and eating it. Is this true for you?

You can start now, and even though during the holidays you may find you have to go into the bakery (or wherever), that’s okay. The idea is to get past the notion that you are powerless over your urge to purchase something. Give it a trial run now. It may end up being the best thing you do for yourself this whole year.

EFT suggestions

“Even though I want to look at donuts, I choose to walk on by.”

“Even though I can hardly stand not going in the bakery, I choose to say no, today.”

“Even though I want to look at candy bars, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

“Even though I can’t stand it if I don’t …”

Do a round of EFT and know this is a decision you are making for today only. Tomorrow you can do as you choose. That takes off the edge of feeling like it’s forever. Anyone can make a 24-hour commitment to change, and each day stands alone. You’ll never reach the point where you’re saying, it’s been 365 days since … because it’s always just 24 hours. That also keeps you from suddenly thinking, “Hey, it’s been too long. I don’t want to go forever without …”

I’m going to get healthier and leaner in the upcoming months and I invite you to join me.

Habits Make the Man

We are all creatures of habit, going about our daily lives without giving it much thought. The same thing happens with our eating habits. Our favorite foods, snacks, times and places to eat. Mostly done out of habit. Have you ever polished off a bag of chips without even realizing your eating?

Most people vastly underestimate what they eat every day. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a person to ingest from 3,500 to 4,000 calories or more every single day. Double on weekends! Small wonder we carry a few extra pounds.

Follow yourself around today and track what you eat and drink out of habit. If you’re presently following a specific diet program, think back to what you used to eat. This is the first step in developing new habits that will support the body size and level of health you want to achieve.