Mar 29, 2012

Breaking unwanted habits

The last two years have been a good experience in terms of breaking a couple of habits which I no longer wanted to continue. I felt it might be useful to share my experiences here for people who want to adopt a similar change in their day-to-day routine.

For years (from 2004 to 2009, to be precise), I used to be a big fan of Lays chips. Whenever husband and I went for grocery shopping, we would pick up a few packets casually and dump them into our shopping cart. Though husband would try different flavors, I would always go for the cream cheese & onion flavor. Every evening, as soon as we come from work, we would dig into a pack of chips, sitting in front of the idiot box. In no time, the pack would be emptied. Isn't Lays chips a pack of air with a few potato chips thrown in?

With sedentary lifestyle, no exercise and no diet control, my body became very inflexible. Thanks to my genes, my weight wasn't increasing though. So in 2010, we decided to stop eating Lays chips. Call it, the New Year resolution or whatever. It required certain amount of will power but we completely stopped eating Lays chips. The idea was very simple - when we go to a supermarket, we consciously avoided the aisle containing chips and other savory items. It's better to avoid the sight of such foods and getting tempted by them.

But something had to be substituted in place of chips, isn't it? The hunger pangs would start immediately after we step into our apartment. We started to buy a lot more fruits than we usually do. Yes, they are on the expensive side. But it's better to spend on something healthy rather than eat junk food and spend later on for hospital bills and medicines. We also started eating whole wheat biscuits (McVities, Nutrichoice) and believe me, they go very well with tea.

As we talk about tea, my most favorite beverage in the world, I should also mention about coffee. I'm a coffee person too. During college days, my dad would prepare fresh filter coffee using the traditional coffee filter. I always rate it as my most favorite. While I was working for Yahoo!, there were times when freshly prepared filter coffee would be served right at your desk (good old times, I say). After a while, when the company started expanding, the fresh filter coffee was still available but you would have to drop by the cafeteria. I didn't mind it, as it gave me an opportunity to take a short walk. Coffee used to be the perfect accompaniment while having a quick chat with a colleague or a friend at work. I moved to Cleartrip and the serving-coffee-at-your-desk privilege came back again. Though I always prefer my morning beverage to be tea, coffee began to enter into my routine much more frequently. I wanted to stop this caffeine addiction. A reason, no better than pregnancy helped me to break this habit. Ever since I realized I was expecting a baby, I stopped coffee completely. If it was an addiction, I couldn't have stopped it so easily. It was just my mind tricking me into thinking that I need caffeine in order to be alert and productive.

For 8 months last year, I did not have a single sip of coffee. Though I have read that limited coffee (upto 2 cups a day) will not affect the growing foetus, I decided not to drink it. Even when I had gone to my dad's place, I said No to his amazing filter coffee. My daughter was born and the nightly feeds began. There were nights when I slept at 2:30 AM because my daughter couldn't sleep. I had to keep myself awake in order to feed her. So I restarted the coffee habit but ensured I don't drink more than a single cup in a day. Now that the frequency of nightly feeds have reduced, I have stopped coffee again. The ability to decide what to have and when to have and sticking to it is such an empowering feeling. Sometimes, we just go with what the mind says or asks for.

I always strive to be the master of my mind but sometimes the mind tends to take over the lead. By being conscious and aware of my thoughts and actions, it's becoming easier to take control over the mind. Has this ever happened to you? How do you ensure to take the lead? Would like to know!

1 comments:

Anu said...

Hi Anu - I have a similar story to share. I used to be a coffee person. My friends used to joke saying they would buy me gallons of coffee on my b'day. But as soon as got pregnant with my daughter I simple could not stand the smell of coffee. Since then I have successfully kicked the habbit, from 5 cups a day (yeah, right!) to 1-2 cups a month. It's amazing what you can do, if you want to!

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