Habit energy

Thursday, also known as the new bagel day!  We woke up way too early (or TFE, as John likes to say…).  Downed some protein drink and biked away.  I was maybe a squidge tired from the monster workout yesterday, but not too bad.  The heat broke and it was a beautiful, nonhumid morning!  Yay!  I also got to have breakfast with my favorite person…

Sunflower seed bagel and cream cheese.

Somebody please stop me from thinking about opening a bagel/cupcake/muffin/coffee shop… please…

It was nice to sit and relax since we were up early.  Funny, but now our 2 bagel days coincide with the start and end of my workweek.  We go Sunday, which is the start of the week for me, and then Thursday, which is my Friday (and my mind gets all sorts of mixed up when I start thinking like that).

Good ride home.  13 miles round trip at exactly 13 miles per hour.  Convenient!

Steady work right away with good dictators.  That made for a nice end to the week at job #1.

Lunch time!

Finally opened a bag of Food Should Taste Good Lime chips to have with tuna salad.  This bag has been unopened for 2 weeks! It’s funny how long things last when I don’t snack on them…  Whodda thunk that?? 🙄

One of the terms that I really liked in the Savor book was “habit energy.”  There is also a sanskrit work for it – Vasana.  Habit energy can be good or bad.  What happens is that when there is a little seed of something and it gets watered, it grows in strength.  You can see how this is good or bad.  The thing about habit energy is that it can be (and usually is) totally unconscious.  I had a lot of habit energy towards snacking while preparing meals.  First it was a little nibble of what I was making, then it was snacking on cereal or crackers while cooking.  It became really easy to add an extra 150 calories before I even sat down to eat.  I noticed that this habit energy was very powerful and occurred at all 3 meals!  I would get back from the gym and have some nuts while my oats were cooking, or if I was putting chocolate chips on my oats, then I would have a few. (Easy to eat 70 calories of those without noticing – 1 tbsp).

When I decided to nip this in the bud, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be.  I had fed that habit energy so much that it was unconscious and like a snowball.  Do you ever have an epiphany like that where realize you did something, but now *how much*?  Breakfast was easier than the other meals, because I just would make my coffee earlier and start drinking it while cooking.  The other 2 meals were more of a challenge.  I started popping the Altoid ginger mints to prevent my nibbling.  There were some times where I would have 2 or 3 mints just to get through the cooking without nibbling and I still found myself going to the pantry out of habit, but didn’t eat anything.  The first week was really rough.  I chose to not even let myself nibble on something like carrots or part of the fruit for my dinner because it was the habit I wanted to break, not the food.  If I were to allow myself only something I deemed ‘healthier’ would put food into good and bad categories, which I don’t like to do.  It was hard because I am hungry when I am cooking (to which the intuitive would say eat, right?).  Of course, there really isn’t anything wrong with being hungry and waiting a little bit for your meal to cook before eating.

I have to say that it is much easier now.  The habit energy is there still, but dwindling.  I need fewer mints and don’t unconsciously start to grab for things as much.  I started this habit breaking on the 11th, so that is what, about 2-1/2 weeks?  Not saying I am going to never nibble again, but I do feel like I am getting this habit under control.  Wonder where that energy went?

The interesting thing about habit energy is that it really affects so many aspects of our lives, including how we react to other people or situations.  Being mindful can really make you stop for a second and notice that habit energy.  Once you acknowledge it, the power starts to go away.

Snack time included a latte and another couple squares of Lake Champlain chocolates:

I do much better with chocolate when it is in bar form rather than chip form.  Again, I have some strange food things going on.

Finished up job #1 for the week.  Yippee!  Tomorrow will just be some of job #2.  And blueberry picking 😀

I had an omelet hankering for dinner.  This has some sauteed broccoli, caramelized onions, and a laughing cow wedge inside.  With a plum on the side.

The drink on the side is a POM cocktail (of sorts).  I mixed some POM juice into lime seltzer water.  Very good.  POM Wonderful sent me a case of juice!  Gotta celebrate Friday Thursday.

And in even more celebration, John and I hit the mall just for fun.  Kind of like high school where you go to the mall on weekends, right?  I found some wrinkle cream at TJMaxx.

Score!  Hopefully it isn’t expired or something and burns my face off….

Then it was Starbies for some real vitamin C:



That’s the stuff…. It’s decaf, though.  Can’t live it up too much, now.

That’s where I am blogging this post from!  Starbies now has free WiFi to everyone, not just card owners.  ’bout time!

Question:  Can you think of habit energy you have that you would like to change?

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14 thoughts on “Habit energy

  1. Roxie

    Hmm, habit energy? Interesting concept. And I think my habit energy has gone a little negative with time spent on the internet. Although with a vacation coming next week, I won’t have any sort of access. That should be a nice break in the energy surrounding my browsing time.

    I love reading about how much you and John enjoy going and doing simple things like bagel days. That is really sweet.

    Have a great weekend?!
    .-= Roxie´s last blog ..The Good- The Bad And The Ugly =-.

  2. Tish

    I’ve been weeding out my habit energy garden for a couple of months now. The latest energetic habit that is under the knife is my dependence on adding little packets of Splenda to make things sweeter. I’m down to one or two a day and it’s going reasonably well.

  3. Shelley B

    Like you need wrinkle cream! I do love what you can find at TJ Maxx, though. 🙂

    Very interesting and easy-to-understand post about habit energy. Way cool how you consciously broke yourself of snacking…love your awareness!

    Running with my camera was easier than I thought. I tucked the camera strap under Ricky Bobby’s strap and just held in in my hand the entire time – didn’t bother me at all. I also put it on Sport Mode, so I could take some of the pictures (like the bands) while still running. I wouldn’t do it for every race, but once in a while, sure.
    .-= Shelley B´s last blog ..Wharf to Wharf 10K Recap =-.

  4. debby

    Well, I think my ‘right’ to have sweets is evolving into a habit energy that I don’t need to indulge so much. Really, you don’t need to have dessert after every meal. I am contemplating what I will do about this without causing a rebellion (inside my head.)
    .-= debby´s last blog ..Food Fabulous and Flops =-.

  5. Amy

    Very interesting post! I definitely have some habit energy going on in different aspects of my eating behavior. One of the things I want to change is wanting to read the newspaper when I have meals alone at home (which is every day during the school year). I know reading while eating is a terrible habit and it really does cause me to eat more than I do if I am not reading.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Done! =-.

  6. Fran

    Interesting post and I recognize some of it for myself too. But I have to think about what habit I would have to break. I’m proud of you that you broke the habit and didn’t give in to the predinner snacking for 2,5 weeks now!

  7. Alissa

    Very interesting about habit energy. I have plenty of areas that I could work on that. I tend to taste while I’m cooking and those little tastes can really add up. I didn’t know Starbucks never had free wifi for everyone, I remember sitting in their parking lot a couple of years ago using their wifi. 🙂
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..I did it! I did it! =-.

  8. Leah

    I can think about many and one is drive-by munching. *sigh* Not motivated at all right now… Thanks for posting and keeping on. You give me hope! 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Out and About =-.

  9. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    So many habits, so little time….

    Kudos to you on getting your snack habit in check! Mindfulness + Plan = Success! 🙂
    It can actually be–dare I say it?–FUN to create ways of making a lasting change.

    I’m back into a nighttime snacking pattern (beyond my planned snack), and just this morning I came up with my new scheme, er, plan: I can have any snack I want, as much as I want…but I have to record it, even if it’s just 2 pecans or one more bite of yogurt. A limited version of food logging. I have a little magnetic notepad on the fridge that will serve this purpose nicely.

    Have a great weekend!
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Mixed Bag of a Rest Day =-.

  10. kalli@fitandfortysomething

    i just love how you and the hubby get to bike everywhere together-so much fun! my bad habit energy is eating when i am not hungry-i have been working on it though and listening to my own body cues instead……have a great weekend and great find at TJ Maxx!
    .-= kalli@fitandfortysomething´s last blog ..Last Day In Irvine =-.

  11. Jody - Fit at 52

    Like that habit energy stuff! Lori, you know me & I am with you as I have been posting about this little bit here & little bit there of food since I started blogging & how it adds up, people don’t pay attention to it OR they just ignore it as it was just a bite but then 30 plus bites by end of day times days on end… what do you have – weight on in a year & you ask yourself where did it come from! I know, I just posted on this not too long ago with your choc chip example but I may do it again as it is powerful! Well, to me! 🙂 YOU ARE DOING GREAT! I guess accepting & acknowledging it is the first step!

    OK, I want to know how you like that wrinkle cream!

    As for that bagel shop thing… we used to have all those amazing bread places around here 10+++ years ago… I had to start staying away from them… OMG, the smell and the taste! 🙂 They all closed up.
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Turkey Burger Recipes!!! Olive Oil – Some Important Info! =-.

  12. Kimberley

    My habit is getting caught up in negativity and letting it swirl me around and around until all I want to do is have a gluten fiesta.

    Definitely working on it.

    Glad you are well on your way to breaking your nibbling habit!
    .-= Kimberley´s last blog ..Rotten Lemons =-.

  13. Pubsgal

    I just read that chapter! 🙂

    I’d say the habit energy that I want to grow is to SLOW DOWN! I had gotten pretty good at this, then having kids meant bolting down some food in between all the other stuff. The kids are bigger, and the need to rush with eating is GONE. Especially since Thing 2 eats as slowly as my mom…like a little grandma clone, is Thing 2. Scares me sometimes. 😉 Anyhow, having to stop and take pictures first helps, I guess it’s serving as my “bell of mindfulness.” I also sometimes do the breathing in/breathing out exercise. Although mine goes something like, “Breathing in, I know I am eating nuts. Breathing out, I wish I hadn’t inhaled that last cupful.” With today’s cup, though, I took my time and really chewed and spent time focusing on the flavor in each nut.
    .-= Pubsgal´s last blog ..Weekly Update- 7-28-10 =-.

  14. Susan

    I’ve been taking advantage of the free wifi at Starbucks now too!!

    I have the same habit energy – snacking on things while preparing food. I think the one that I really need to break now though is my habit of adding an extra scoop of food here and there instead of sticking to my serving sizes – it adds up!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Things I Learned The Month I Found A New Home =-.

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