Lessons Learned from my Eating Habits

Over the years, my eating habits have evolved from essentially eating anything that tasted good, to exploring different alternatives to lose or maintain an adequate weight, to eating healthy.\r\n\r\nI will share the different criteria I used in each stage of my eating habits, and what worked and didn’t work for me in terms of habit formation and maintenance. Some of these lessons may apply to your own habit experiences.\r\n\r\nIn the first half of my life, I did not pay much attention to what I ate. Despite that, I managed to keep a reasonable weight level. Nutrition was not a top priority for me at that time. I had a bad habit that needed attention: I usually overindulged on weekends, and I typically ate large lunches, which usually called for the use of some type of stomach digestive aid.\r\n\r\nIn the next two decades, I gradually started to pay more attention to my eating habits, both in quantity and type of food. I tried different diets, such as fruit breakfasts, properly combining certain groups of foods, and low-carbs. My success criterion was maintaining my weight, which I monitored on and off through my pants waist-size and the scale. Whenever the pants felt tight or the scale showed a sharp increase, I would tighten up my eating habits. The lesson here is to have a monitoring habit in place for whatever area of your life you wish to improve or maintain.\r\n\r\nIn the last few years, I have evolved from weight control to nutrition. The triggering points were cancer encounters in family members and friends, as well as lab-test results showing inadequate levels of cholesterol and glucose. I started to educate myself on which food groups offered the biggest nutritional value (like proteins and fiber) and which came with negative factors (like saturated fat, processed food and sugar). My monitoring variables also evolved. I placed more importance in the quality of my yearly lab-test results and secondarily on my weight. The challenge I face is that I have only one reading a year to monitor the effect of my diet in my body. This has made me pay even more attention to my eating habits. I have made a habit of constantly educating myself on nutrition. I am also increasing my self-awareness of the instances where I tend to make the wrong food choices, such as sweets and high-cholesterol foods. The lesson here is to discover what habits trigger your poor food choices.\r\n\r\nIn summary, the more important nutrition has become in my life, the more attention I have placed in creating and monitoring good eating habits, and understanding how to protect myself against the temptations of bad food choices.\r\n\r\nI hope you can draw some insights into your own habit formation and maintenance. I welcome your reactions and examples.\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\nAuthor, Consultant, Facilitator & Coach\r\nwww.cannon.consulting

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