July 05, 2014

Getting back into old habits

Yesterday's get-together ended up being so much fun! I think we need to have people over more often, if only to get motivated to clean our house ;)  Jerry did most of the outside work, and I cleaned the inside, and it was good to go.

For being a last-minute plan, everything came together well, and I think everyone had a good time. It was SO nice outside. Not at all humid, and the temp was in the 70's. We sat outside, under the tree, and I kept looking up at the sky because it was so pretty.

We had dinner (beer brats and chicken sausages, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, and a couple of salads). Then we built a fire in the backyard and sat around chatting while the kids went through about 10 boxes of sparklers ;)

I didn't get to bed until nearly 1:00, which is MUCH later than I'm used to staying up. But it was a very fun evening!

Contrary to what the title of this post may make you think, I'm not talking about getting back into my old BAD habits; but rather, getting back into my old habits that I formed when I was losing weight. I've realized over the past few years of maintenance, that I've slowly started to drop some of the good habits I picked up when I was in weight loss mode.

A few examples: I've started using white rice again instead of brown; I've been eating white English muffins instead of the low calorie whole grain ones; I've been eating premium ice cream instead of light ice cream or frozen yogurt; I've been going out to eat a lot, and I harder ever ate out when I was losing weight. Stuff like that! It seems so small in the moment, but when added up, it's probably making it much harder for me to lose this 15 pounds I've put back on.

When I was losing weight, my tastes changed a lot. In the beginning, I would put two whole tablespoons of brown sugar in my oatmeal, because that was the only way to make it palatable to me! As I lost weight, I cut back on the sugar, and after a year or so, I was able to sweeten my oatmeal with just a banana or a teaspoon of maple syrup.

Oatmeal with one teaspoon of sugar... I used to use six times
that much sugar when I first started losing weight.

I remember a specific time (two months after I started losing weight) that I made warm cinnamon apples in the crock pot, and I followed the recipe as written, which included 2/3 cup brown sugar. The apples were delicious! I thought they were perfect. Then, a year later, I made them again--and I couldn't even eat them, because I thought they were way too sweet. I cut the sugar in half the next time, and it was much better, but still on the sweet side.

I used to work at Lonestar, a steakhouse, in college--and one of the side dishes they serve is a baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon sugar. I used to order them and pile on the cinnamon sugar, completely coating the entire thing. I avoided eating sweet potatoes much when I was losing weight, because I knew I couldn't afford to use heaps of sugar on it, and they just didn't taste good plain. One day, I decided to try one with just a small amount of sugar. Before I added the sugar, though, I gave it a taste (completely plain)--and I loved it! I couldn't believe how sweet it was without the added sugar.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that my tastebuds changed while I was losing weight, and I formed new habits because of that. Plain sweet potatoes, cutting back sugar in recipes, using whole grains where possible (except pasta--I never did get to the point where I enjoyed whole wheat pasta, but I did like the Smart Taste pasta, which is white with added fiber). Healthier habits.

Over the past couple of years, however, I gradually started losing those habits. I was at goal, so I could afford to do that here and there (or so I thought). But what I didn't foresee was that I would develop a TASTE FOR the unhealthier version. Sweet potatoes don't taste as sweet anymore, light ice cream isn't nearly as rich, vegetables taste bitter, etc. My taste buds have changed once again--for the worse.

So I'd really like to focus on getting back into those old habits: whole grain bread, brown rice, light ice cream, plain vegetables and fruits, naturally sweetened foods, smaller portions, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, etc. I know that it will take time--it didn't happen overnight before, and it won't happen overnight this time--but I'm willing to be patient.


  1. Karen McBJuly 05, 2014

    I have always hesitated to give my kids sparklers because of the heat and sparks (duh!), but a solo cup over their hands! Brilliant!!! Sometimes it is the simple fixes that elude me, haha!

  2. I baked some plain sweet potatoes in the crock pot. I thought they tasted like pumpkin pie.

  3. Katie, I just talked to my husband about this a few days ago! Since learning about and paying attention to nutrition several years ago, I have kept some of my healthy habits, but have let some slip, as well. I was noticing it in my 9-year-old son, who asked several times lately for candy or "junk food," so I am afraid that loosening up our standards is starting to impact him (I have also tried not to be too controlling about food). Anyway, we are moving out of state in a few weeks, and I think it is the perfect time to get back into our old habits, as well.

  4. Me too! Everytime I'm going though some kind of dieting or exercising "thing" you're usually going through it too. It's so helpful to feel like I'm not alone. At one point I'd lost 45 lbs. I'm 5'8" and was 153 at my lightest. I was working out then too, so it was a healthy 153 with lean muscles. Now I'm flirting with 170 and I just cannot get those 15 lbs off again. Partially age I think, mostly my tastebuds Why does chips and dip sound good for dinner like it did before I lost weight? Why can't I be satisfied with just a few dark chocolate chips? When I first starting eating healthy, like you, the fruits and veggies, and whole grains and home-cooked meals were amazing. Now I've even contemplated McDonald's for lunch. I'm excited to follow along as you buckle down on your eating habits. Hopefully it'll be motivation for me to get back on track! Thank you!!

  5. Interesting reflection. I recently had company at my house and when I took them grocery shopping I realized how much prepared, packaged and processed foods they wanted that I said "no thank you" to, they didn't even look good and I used to live on that stuff. I sort-of felt like a food snob.

  6. I totally agree with you. It's amazing what you serve when you have company over. This 4th of July we decided to serve a healthy meal. (plain sweet potatoes, grilled veggies, watermelon, a HUGE salad and a little piece of steak) The family was amazed on how good they felt after that meal.

  7. this just goes to show that this whole eating healthy, losing weight thing is a LIFE long thing... I don't want to use the word struggle ... but there are ups and downs and sometimes even some one as successful at it as you Katie, need to get back to the basics... thank you !! Glad you had a great fourth !!

  8. AnonymousJuly 06, 2014

    Perfect timing for this post for me as well. My WW leader has always said maintenance can be harder than losing.

  9. AnonymousJuly 06, 2014

    Try Dreamfields pasta. It's got lots of fiber and tastes like regular.

    I never cared for the whole wheat either

  10. Great reminder to keep up good habits!

  11. It's so true!!! I was also slipping into my bad habits without even really realizing it. I wasn't exactly at goal yet and I slipped, slowly. I thought to myself "oh...i've only had two slices of pizzas, one more won't hurt." or "I'll just eat one cookie, I still workout so I'm ok!" ... wrong! I gained weight and now trying to take it off again. I'm going back to the basics and basically starting over but thank goodness its not from the very beginning!!! :) And glad i'm not the only one!

  12. I read your blog yesterday on my phone and wanted to comment, but it's such a pain to comment on my phone, so I waited until I got back to my computer keyboard! Like you, I have slowly slipped into old habits, leading to a gain of 30 pounds and it's disgusting. But I joined a Dietbet two weeks ago and have already lost 7 pounds, so it's good to be back on track. I had even thought about joining WW for extra motivation, but I seem to have that old weight-loss obsession back, and I have decided that obsession is absolutely necessary for both weight loss and maintenance. But it is so hard to keep up that huge level of obsession necessary over the long-haul that IS maintenance. Just as I went into losing weight slowly, at first only giving up sugared soda, I am slowly getting back into healthy eating again, giving up the cupcakes at grandson's baptism celebration yesterday and throwing out all the so-called healthy snacks that I was binging on. I was snacking non-stop and have put the kibbosh on that, trying to only eat when I am actually hungry. I always appreciate knowing that others struggle too, and love your honesty Katie!

  13. Katie, I know exactly what you mean because i'm falling in to some of my old BAD habits too. But like you said it took time to change them for the good the first time so I just have to remember why I changed them in the first place and continue changing them for the good so instead of slipping back a little I don't fall straight off the mountain before I realize how close to the edge I am. Luckily my diet restrictions help keep me on track but I end up eating MORE of what than what I should which isn't any better than eating something unhealthy...too much of anything, even healthy is not good either. I knew I've been slacking but this post made me realize I need to do something about it. Thanks for your openness.

  14. AnonymousJuly 11, 2014

    I just spent the last 6 months battling this exact same struggle! I started to let myself slip, and noticed that I was beginning to crave the richer versions of foods once again. I've just finished my third week of ditching the coffee (because "coffee" means a little coffee with a BUNCH of creamer!), and finally my taste buds are craving the hot black tea with a packet of splenda I've been substituting. And the scale has FINALLY started to move again for the first time in 6 MONTHS!

    It is such a struggle, sugar addiction is a real thing. Good luck on kick-starting your good habits again!! :D


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