As a type-A personality, I wasn’t going to put myself out there without testing the waters first. When I first had this idea to incorporate new habits into my life, it was back in August. I wanted to see if this was a feasible idea and if I would actually be able to do this and stick to the new habits before going public.
So I decided to try out a couple “test” habits before sharing my ideas. The first habit was a relatively easy one but when I told my husband about it, his initial reaction was “You are going to tell people about that?” And my answer was “Yes. It’s important to me and although some people will be grossed out, many mothers will totally get it”.
So what was the first habit? It was to brush my teeth and wash my face every night before bed. For many years, with two boys 2 years apart and immeasurable chaos in our lives, I was just counting my blessings to make it to bedtime with everyone intact. I was exhausted. Truth be told, most nights I didn’t even change my clothes before bed. I would put on pajama pants but I would just wear the camisole that I put on most days under my shirt and fall into bed. I was lucky though. People always tell me I have great skin and the dentist always comments that it’s clear that I take good care of my teeth. Little does he know.
But in the back of my head, I felt like my luck was going to run out. If I didn’t start taking care of my skin and teeth, I was worried about aging prematurely and getting cavities. Plus there is loads of research that shows that poor oral hygiene can lead to other health concerns, like heart disease. So I started washing my face. Nothing fancy. Just a wash. I am never going to be one of those women with a multi-step facial care ritual. I also started brushing my teeth and flossing too! I started this new habit on Aug 21 and I am happy to say that I have not missed a single day. It doesn’t matter how exhausted I am anymore. It has indeed become a firmly entrenched habit.
The second test habit had to do with water. As a naturopath, I always tell my patients to drink half of their body weight in ounces. So a 140-pound woman would drink 70 ounces of waters. 64 ounces is the equivalent to 2 liters so she’d need a little over 2 liters daily. Now I am not going to tell you how much I am supposed to drink but suffice it to say that many days, I wasn’t getting enough. I always got 1-2 liters in, but I wanted to make this a priority and get at least 2 liters. I feel that the things we do everyday-eat, sleep, drink-are the places that the small changes will have the most impact.
I have to say that it’s hard for me to say whether or not I have truly succeeded at getting in my 2 plus liters of water. With the first habit, it was easy to measure, I either did it or I didn’t but with this second habit, unless I measure and log every drink I take, it’s harder to tell. But I have definitely been drinking more water and I am certainly making an effort everyday. As I sit here at 7:30 in the morning, the first thing I did was make a coffee. But while the coffee was brewing, I had a big glass of water. I think that’s a good indication that things are moving in the right direction.
I also bought a 1.25 liter water bottle. Two of those surpass my daily quota.
This will certainly make my success at this habit more measurable.
And you know what? I noticed that since I started drinking more water, I crave less chocolate. It might be a coincidence, but I’ll take it.
Today, I started my first “official” new habit. It will be a tough one but the signs are evident that I need to do it. Watch out for next week’s post.Follow @drrahimahirji