Fit Me Forever Podcast

#30 How Do You Break A Bad Habit?

August 06, 2018 The OMNI FIT Season 2
Fit Me Forever Podcast
#30 How Do You Break A Bad Habit?
Show Notes Transcript

Today's episode is Part 2 of our two part series called: Healthy Habit Change

We’ve all been there: we WANT to desperately break bad habits and create change. Today we cover some VERY insightful strategies that will help you break these "bad habits".

Here's a few points that we cover today:

  • Bad Habits are replaced not eliminated
  • Examine your reward: Bad habits/behaviors can have positive rewards
  • What is the feedback loop and how can it HELP us break bad habits?
  • The spotlight effect and how it paralyzes you!

Next Steps:
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Send any questions or comments to: jodie@agingstronglife.com 

Speaker 1:

Hi, welcome to the [inaudible] forever podcast, hosted by the Omni fit. We're about all things fitness. We help women get off the Diet roller coaster to find sustainable health, embracing life right where you are on the way to where you're going. Welcome to the podcast. I'm coach Jodie v, a certified nutrition coach who specializes in helping women become physically and mentally strong to regain energy for a life they love. I would like to welcome my cohosts Kayla Dunkin, owner of the Omni fit and fellow colleague and nutrition coach Taylor blocks. And together we are the Omni fit.

Speaker 2:

Hey ladies, welcome back to the fitbit forever podcast. I'm here with coach Jodie and coached Kayla and we are back to part two of our healthy habit change podcasts. And we're so excited to talk about how do you break a bad habit. We have all been there. We want to desperately break bad habits and create change. Ladies, what do you, uh, what do you think about breaking bad habits? Well, for sure. I think we mentioned it on the last one. Um, bad habits and just the awareness that they are not eliminated, but they're replaced. We layer new habits over ones that are less desirable and there will always be that whole, um, to kind of go back into those bad habits because our brains don't forget them. That takes a good long time to replace bad ones. No.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's funny. I'm, I'm going to open right up with a funny story that I've mentioned several times for the sake of conversation. So if you've been sitting for a couple of times, you've heard me talk about my bad habit that started off as a good habit of eating in the car and every time I would drive a car I would then want to consume food. And in preparing for this, um, this podcast and talking to you guys, we were kind of just reflecting on, on that the fact that it did become a habit. And like we mentioned on our last podcast of creating good habits that eating in general was not bad. I was eating at the right time. I just happened to be driving from school or from work to school. And it was mealtime, so I would always have a meal and that was that way for at least a whole two semesters, maybe even a whole year and a half. And so this became a habit and ingrained and I realized that every time I was driving. So I ended up moving out of state and taking a three hour drive home from, um, I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for a little bit, driving home to Atlanta to see my family and I could have eaten breakfast and they get on the car. And of course I'm like, now I need to eat again. And at first I would just eat. Um, but how Jodie, how you just mentioned that bad habits are not eliminated, but they're replaced and that our minds don't forget what that is. And to this day, even though I no longer drive school to work, I no longer really drive much at more than five minutes, like daycare to the gym. And then I'm back home or the grocery store. And for the most part I don't, I don't hop in the car and expect to eat anymore. But when I go to the airport, which I'm because I'm in New Hampshire and we drove down to Boston to go to the airport, I usually have like a, now I have more cartridge food of it's a monster and those trolley sour worms which started off because I would get tired and I'd be like, oh well this is really great jolt of sugar and Caffeine. This is really cool. But that feeling will very easily come back of that one to swing by the gas station really quick before I hop on the road to go have this. Because the reward is that nostalgic feeling it. I obviously have a ton of energy even if it's only for like an hour and then I crash. But whatever it is, the reward is still there. And you guys had asked me, Oh yeah, how did you break that habit of eating in the car? And I was very, very intentional. And what's funny and the reason I want to say this is because it took a little bit of time that I feel like this is warranted. At first I was like, well, I'm only going to eat when it's a mealtime, I'm not going to do any additional snacking. What I realized is that that was not helping the pattern of wanting to eat in the car no matter what I ate. So then I was like, well, I'm only going to snack on healthy things. So if I knew I was going to be in the car for a while, at the time I was um, really, really strictly counting my macros. And so I would weigh out my carrots and I would weigh out my sugar, snap peas and I would pick all this volume is food that would basically, I could snack like a rabbit for three hours and still be within my goals. So it didn't technically deter me from my goals. I want to make sure that I put that point in because I could have continued that behavior and it would not have been bad. That would have been totally fine. The reward was still there. I got to be satisfied snacking and it didn't change how I looked or felt, but it did change whether or not I also craved crap food while I was in the car and the only way that I was able to break that habit was I just didn't eat in the car anymore. Not on a regular basis. I mean obviously if it. If it was totally inconvenient I would, but to this day it comes back so fast. That's interesting and this is crazy because it's not removed from my brain. It's. It is ingrained in there and I had to replace it with an intentional behavior. Not doing that, but I want to stress that it didn't happen overnight. It took me testing my boundaries just a little bit to see what was going to work for me and now I know. I think that's super important to know that it like deprivation or stopping something. I'm cold. Turkey is very, very difficult. It takes a lot of willpower, so the step to replace that with something a little more optimal as you work towards what you really wanted to do was probably key to to making that change, right? Yeah. Yeah. And you're not putting a bandaid on it. You are not, you know, stopping cold Turkey that no, pretty much nobody can, can handle such a thing or else they're just going to end up creating another habit that may not be be good, so why not create some thing right away that's a little more conducive to what you're trying to change. Right. Do you have any good stories about a bad habit? Taylor? I'm not going on the last. The last episode I don't know about here. I am prideful. I'm like what bad habits, but I can think of a couple of habits that I started to do just recently that have been more consistent. I have not been getting like eight or nine hours of sleep like I normally like to. It's slowly going down and I have these little flavor packets in my water that helps me to drink water and I normally am fine just being able to drink plain water. Um, so that's a habit that has been increasing even more. I'm like, I have to have one in my water. We're also, I won't drink it and it helps you to do that, but it's not always needed. And same with the chocolate. I love dark chocolate like crazy and it's slowly increasing to more chocolate, more chocolate consistently. I need a chocolate for every meal when she was here, how she gets her fat sources and she's like chocolate. Mostly saturated.

Speaker 2:

I think some of you may have shared this another time before, but does have a lot to play with bad habits. I know in an upcoming podcast we're going to be talking about habits might get developed as we're younger and habits with our children and things like that. And I think about that too. I have a car situation where my grandmother lived five and a half hours away from where we were and we'd visit her a couple of times a year and it was our big family trip and so mom always made a big deal about it. We went to the store and got to pick out a snack for the trip and my brother and I invariably would choose the licorice shoestring, licorice, you know, the big packs and we'd grade it would the whole trip. We would just be playing with this licorice type of thing. And for the longest time anytime I took a road trip, it's the same thing. I felt like I wanted either Swedish fish or shoestring licorice. I mean, it's crazy and it all came from, you know, young childhood basically reinforced every single time that we took a family trip and it was great to have, you know, some of those, um, traditions type of things, but they can become problematic.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that'll be, that'll be really fun to discuss and go into detail with about. We do things and we don't realize the impact that they're making. But similarly to on the last podcast where we kind of laid out a structure about how to create a healthy habit and just kind of a quick reminder for you, the habit cycle is reminder, routine and reward. That's the cycle you're going to see with habits. So when you go to break a habit, you're going to have to jump into that habit cycle and identify first, what are some rewards that you might be receiving from your habits, any habits before you even maybe designate them as being good and bad, brushing your teeth well. You get, you know, cleaner breath or having your cup of coffee. You might get energy like these normal things and kind of using the tools as we had described on the last podcast. If you had a habit that you were hoping to create, at what point in that habit cycle, what trigger could you pair that habit with to receive a reward? Now, if you're in the same fashion, if you're trying to remove a bad habit, you need to identify what are some of those rewards that maybe your bad habits are giving you that we can then replace with a good habit that gives you a similar reward. You guys have some examples about maybe the reward that is paired with a bad habit, but how you've seen success with a good habit coming in and still receiving a similar reward

Speaker 2:

specifically. Um, there's something else I'd like to add to that. So I'm talking about if you have, if you have some bad habits, it might help to sit back and ask yourself which one, if it changed, would cascade like a domino to change everything else. Because as we mentioned, I'm trying to change habits. It's hard and trying to change too many of them at once is almost impossible. So it's like identify the one that's going to cause the greatest change and, and give you that domino effect all the way down the line will be the really powerful key. And when you focus there, it's amazing how quickly things can happen. Or even if you have a little trip up or a less than optimal decision related to it, it's so much easier and to get back on track because you're just focused on that one thing that kind of affects everything else.

Speaker 3:

Taylor, you had shared a client story about someone who had negative impacts from a bad habit and can you share with the listeners kind of how habit change ended up inadvertently taking and it was almost an unintentional process, so one of my clients, she she would regularly go out to the bars and drink alcohol in the evenings and it was more of a social gathering and so just realizing that this wasn't a good thing for for her goals. Getting to see the dehydration process and just not just not benefiting her in any way by being dehydrated from the alcohol consistently and what it was doing. So realizing that that was not good for her progress. She started to now switch that bad habit of drinking alcohol, going to the bars, drinking alcohol consistently with drinking water. So she realized herself that it was all in the social aspect of it. She didn't ever go because it was, it was all about the alcohol and in some cases some people you know, might have a coping mechanism for, for the alcohol and that's, that's a whole different thing, but she realized it was just the social aspect of it and she replaced alcohol with the water, so she still goes and now she's being hydrated consistently, which is exactly what she needed, but she then saw what she was missing out on and that is a reward of how she's feeling her mental clarity, you know, all of the different things that she noticed inflammatory wise of, of this new reward from a habit that was still. It was still a habit, but she changed, changed it to to better herself and have a better award from it. What's really cool about that tailored is she didn't miss out on what was the really important reason that she wanted to go and that was the social aspect of it and what like just knowing yourself and so huge to be able to go, oh, I'm really liking this more because of this benefit reward. Because the social effect was definitely a reward too, but by changing that one thing that like kind of what I was saying is that whole domino effect for her. Then she got the health benefit. She's just got a dual reward and changing, you know, changing that habit. This is such a cool example, I think. I think that water is something, something is simple as hydration is. You guys know how just it's, it's seriously so important and how that can domino effect directly to so many other things. So it's so cool that it was, it was something as simple as hydration, but it made the hugest difference in literally every aspect of her life. And that can happen with any small change as well. No, I love that. The reward from her bad habit of going to the bar and drinking alcohol at the time, the reward was time with her friends. She, I'm. It was stress relieving. It was a social event. It was a break from um, you know, whatever, daily life or whatever it is. It was a thing that she liked doing, but she realized that she didn't have to be consuming alcohol while she was there. She was really there and we've had so many other clients come and tell us stories about similar things,

Speaker 2:

being at weddings, being at other events and drinking seltzer with lime and not even abstaining completely from alcohol, but doing the every other. That's a common thing if you have a long night or you go to a concert or something. Jodi, you and Scott have been to several concerts this summer. Um, and I know that you love a good beer, but being able to, you know, be hydrated while you're in the heat and it just, it makes the whole thing more enjoyable. But a lot of times people think that they're going to be recognized for changing that behavior. Right. Yeah. It's interesting. We have, um, I, I think of a couple of podcasts ago, guests that I had on a client that I worked with for a year. We were office often concern. I mean she mentioned that it's pulling back and what I'm eating or I'm making these changes or whatever. Everybody's watching me, you know, that I'm open to these critical eyes, are people going, why are you doing this or what did that kind of thing. And the truth of the matter is, is that's rarely the case. I mean we, we kind of have a tendency to have the spotlight effect where we think everybody's looking at us are watching us as we're making changes and some people are and that's for the positive, but the negative side of it, most people are really concerned about themselves and what they're doing and not so much about you sadly to say, you know, type of thing, but I don't think that we have to be all that worried about that mean certainly a spouse or a really close friend might notice and then you have an opportunity to share, but ultimately your changes in your life or about your choices and what you know about what you want. Um, I think of another really great story of a, a gal at the live event. Kayla, do you want to talk about that? Yeah, that's a great one. And her progress.

Speaker 3:

So, so great. I'm a good friend of mine. I'm not going to share her name yet, although she's going to hear this and smile from ear to ear because I do hope that she'll come on and share her story with you guys soon because she's lost over 100 pounds and she's had some incredible life changing. She attended our live event and shared something that was really funny about some of the bad habits that she had about like mindless eating in front of the TV at night and she works a stressful job. I'm very successful and would come home and just sit in front of the TV and eat and she realized that well that was not serving her with her new goal of trying to be healthier, but in order to remove the mindless eating, she didn't just have to stop eating. She had actually stopped watching TV for a period of time. Break that trigger of wanting to shovel food in your mouth. Like it's so normal like me driving in the car and she's now. She said, you know, a year later she can go back and go, oh, now I can watch TV. And I don't just want to eat all the time, but she replaced sitting down and watching TV with being active and that became her new behavior that became her new trigger so that when she finishes work, she's ready to go do something active going to the gym or trying a new class or doing something that broke that pattern of sitting in front of the TV. Um, but it was such a real life example from someone who has not only made one change, but like we talked about before, habit stacking. There were so many other small things. She, another really great thing that she mentioned similar to the social event is this one particular time she actually participated in the seven day challenge that we had going on a couple months ago. And she had shared in the group that going out to dinner to an Italian restaurant, super social. She has all these friends doing different stuff, happy hours. And she's like, there's no reason why for years I would order the heaviest thing on the menu even though it wouldn't feel good to eat it. It wouldn't serve me. And then she posted a picture of like, you know, a salad and a piece of grilled chicken and she's like, this wasn't delicious, this was a delicious meal and I'm here with all of my friends and I'm also reaching my goals. And so I thought that was just a really great example of, of how we can do things that serve us and still receive the reward that the quote unquote bad habit actually delivered.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. It's interesting. And notice too, in all of these situations, their routine changed something about one portion of the routine changed and it caused a domino effect across all the way across the board. And so like, I want to challenge our listeners to think about what is that one thing? Then if you changed, might change everything. It takes a little bit of thinking and a little bit of digging and sometimes it's, it's. I mean, it's hard, but it might not be the hardest thing for Lauren. It's like I just stopped watching TV. Right? Yep. Um, or for Michelle, if you know, if I just make a different choice. I mean, one of the things Michelle talked about in the podcast was, um, they, they used to go get ice cream regularly type of thing and they hadn't done that in awhile. And her husband, there was an event that happened that she felt like he really wanted to just go get the ice cream and she needed to be with him, but instead of choosing what, what have been the older team, she just chose something that was more optimal her,

Speaker 3:

but she still got the reward of being there to comfort him and letting him do his thing and enjoying a little bit less of something that she might have indulged highly in, in the past. So like they're. So, you know, and, and Taylor's client about the social aspect of, of having a night out with friends. One thing changed everything. So it's, it's amazing. Um, examining those rewards that, that your behaviors might be producing, um, and being able to attach those with some type of routine or trigger that is causing that behavior. Being able to interrupt that cycle and then start to see the trickle effect of what's going to happen. Because overall with all these examples that we've given, you have to rethink what's going on and then replace that reward with are replaced that trigger with a reward that's comparable and what I'm confident that you guys are going to realize and experience is that the reward that you thought was. I'm trying to think of the right way to say this. The word that you thought was propelling your behavior was probably not the reward that you think. So like if you list the rewards, this is why I'm doing this. You're gonna. This is so introspective. You're going to learn so much more about yourself by going, why do I really do what I do? Um, and then next thing you know, you're going to fast forward your life a year later and a year from when you're listening to this podcast. If you start to kind of implement these small changes, you're going to be able to come back and go, wow, I'm not fueled by the same things that I used to be fueled by. And they're probably going to have a new realization of what actually fuels you and what, what gets you excited and what gets you. I'm sticking to the things that serve you. I'm jody, you've mentioned several times that avoidance. Totally. Like saying, I'm not even going to go to the bar anymore and see my friends because I have weight to lose or I'm not going to go get ice cream with my husband or I'm not going to go out to dinner. Avoiding all of those things is not a strategy for sustainable change. Yeah. Taylor, we've talked a lot about that, haven't we? I mean, it's definitely isn't. It's just a total bandaid and, and just not confronting the whole situation in the most beneficial way you can handle it. I think it's, you know, you learn so much more by going into a situation and making an I talk about this with my clients a lot. Making choices that you own, like I will do this or I won't do this. And um, and kind of just taking ownership of that. And that does sometimes take little bit of willpower.

Speaker 2:

And we know that willpower, again is, is an exhaustible resource, but when as you start practicing these things or that one thing and you're focusing your energy on that one thing, that's going to change everything, you can better navigate. And if you vote control a situation just by based on your mindset and owning the choices that you make, you know, Michelle said, I'm going to have an ice cream. I'm just going to have a little bit of an ice cream and you know, tailor your, your client said I'm going to go be social with my friends. I'm just going to do it differently. You know? And those are ownership choices that really it just, it strengthens you. And the more that you practice it, I think that's the thing is practice to this. Changing habits is not going to be this linear, a linear progression of perfection. It's just not. And so allowing yourself to know that you're getting you may make a less than optimal choice, but you learned something from it. You take some feedback and then, and then you move on, you keep, you keep moving and you keep practicing it. Until it becomes second nature and you're going to find the thing that that serves you best, like your example with the eating in the car, Kayleigh, I mean you had to kind of work your way to the place where you went, I'm done with this, you know, type of thing. So everybody has a different journey with that and that's totally okay. Yeah. I love what you said about when you do make a choice that doesn't serve you. Learning from that. A lot of times they want to skip over it. We want to be like, oh, let's just start over. Let's just pretend it didn't happen so I don't get lost in guilt. Um, but what we really like be in that moment, experienced those feelings. Even if those feelings might start with a little bit of guilt. Let's dig there a little bit. Why do you feel guilty? We do a lot with our clients and we're having our coaching calls about not about experiencing all the emotions that are associated with change and with what's going on. We, a lot of us that's heavy, so a lot of us don't like to work through all those feelings, but it doesn't take that long. What you think is going to be, you know, a total derailment of your mood. Maybe if you talk about how you feel about something, it really isn't. Um, once you get those feelings out and you own them and you identify them, you can move on rather than, than basically being carried like a caboose behind you and then impacting health, the other decisions that you make because ultimately, whatever decision that you make that doesn't serve you food or otherwise, there's going to be something to say, I don't want to do that next time. Okay, great. How can we avoid doing that? And either us as your coach or someone in fit me forever as your accountability partner or something in your circle can go, hey,

Speaker 3:

you know what? Hold me accountable to that. I just, I want to touch base here. This might be challenging. Here's some things that you might want to watch out for speed bumps to look for what you can. If there are people in your life that are going to notice any changes, what they might say, how we can. Michelle talked about that also on her about how her husband was the cook and she had this idea in her head that if she asked him not to cook certain foods, it was going to break his heart because that's how he loved her and it was such a great. If you guys haven't listened to that episode, go back and listen to it. I'm from Michelle about her experience

Speaker 2:

episode 28. Yes, it's episode 28. I think Kayla Taylor, I. it's. Sometimes it's just helping people change the language. They tell themselves around these things and instead of calling it a failure, let's call it a learning experience. Let's call it. The feedback was, you know, let's, let's just reframe it from this was really bad into this was less than optimal. I mean there's. As we began to change the language around what we tell ourselves, it either propels us or detract us from our goals. So it's super powerful and that was just like you said, that was one of the examples with Michelle is how do we, how do we still, um, you know, let your husband know he's loved and appreciated, but still be able to ask for what you need and, and change your thought patterns around that and all of that. So it's super fun. I love working. I love it.

Speaker 3:

It is, and it changes you from being a victim to being in control and empowered over your life and your situations and it bleeds not only into what you're eating and how you're moving, but um, who you are as a person, as a woman, as a wife, mom, sister, spouse, everything. So, um, so yeah, that was great. Guys, if you have any questions about this, please let us know. We can just talk all day about healthy habit change. But um, our desire is to, again, like I said in the other part, one is to give you guys some tools and strategies that you can apply today. Right now, as you're listening to this, if that means putting something on pause and taking a quick mental note of what some of those rewards and triggers might be, and then just starting to execute and we would love to hear from you, kind of what you're, what you're battling against, what your triumphing against when you're winning, so just let us know.

Speaker 1:

Well, there you have it guys. Thank you so much for joining in to another episode of the [inaudible] forever podcast. If you guys have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out via email@infoattheOmnifit.com, and of course, please connect with us on social media. All of our handles are instagram and facebook are both at the Omni fit, and if you like this kind of content, if you like what we're putting out, please rate us on itunes and stitcher. That helps other people find us and it lets us know that we're putting out content that you enjoy. All right, talk to you guys soon.