When Habits Aren't Helpful

I think that some of the most incredibly successful people in the world are often people with addictive almost maniacally obsessive personalities.

I know that I absolutely have that tendency in my life to fall into addictive habitual patterns - if I like a song, I'll play it over and over again, if I like a recipe I'll make it again and again, I like exercise - so I do it a lot! etc. 

I have noticed that many people (including myself) create habits that make them unhappy - one that we know drains us of positive energy, that isn't good for us. And yet, at the thought of giving up the habit causes huge grief - NO way could I stop running all together, give up my glass of wine, not have a diet coke everyday! It's my guilty pleasure, my reward, my release, etc. 

Last summer after breaking my foot I had a huge exercise epiphany. I had fallen into a pattern of pure cardio for my workouts. Running every single day was draining me, I wasn't seeing any progress, but I kept up my daily grind because I thought that it would be the only way I could stay lean. When I broke my foot and couldn't walk more than 100 steps a day I was reminded that it is IMPOSSIBLE to out run a bad diet. I was forced to get real with myself - I was using running to combat my daily habit of overeating and it was becoming a vicious cycle. My habit was junk food, my bandaid was running. I turned something that I once loved into something that I had become obsessive over.    

We should make sure that the things we do to make us feel better don't actually make us feel worse in the long run.

Am I being mastered by a habit that is not good for me? Do I actually enjoy the glass of wine or is it just part of my daily routine? Am I running because I am enjoying it and I know it will help me be healthy or am I just running to excuse my daily ice cream habit? 

Habits are SO important to shape who we really are. Healthy habits often make for happy people. Have a look at some of your habits today. Hopefully you don't need to break your foot like I had to to figure out if your habits are helpful or hurtful and what they might actually be covering up for you. When I was forced to stop and look at mine I was relieved that running wasn't the answer - treating my body with respect was.

Yes - I still run but I mix it up! Over the past winter I probably went on five runs total. Taking a break was a great thing. The truth is I do like running but there is such thing as too much of a good thing, I know now that I am happiest when I mix up my workouts! Sure there will be times where I do more HIIT, more strength training, more yoga, more Pilates, more dance classes even but the key for me is variety! It is funny because I know that for my Bod Squad classes, it has just taken me longer to learn it for myself! I am now training for a race so my running will increase but I will not let myself become a slave to that run eat repeat cycle again. Exercise should make us healthier and happier - not slaves. If a habit doesn't make you happy, doesn't add value to your life in someway or is not helping you get closer to your goals then what is it doing in your life? 

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