I’m not getting fat this time (the power of habit)

It’s just over a month now since our third child was born and I’m determined to not get fat this time.

You see, five years ago my wife told me she was pregnant with our first. And then, as you do when you are eating for two, she started eating. A lot. So I started eating. A lot. A lot, for me, became too much and I soon found myself well above my ‘normal’ weight. I’d let myself go, allowing the disruption to my normal routine be an excuse to stuff my face with take-out and corn chips. I welcomed my first born baby boy to this world 10 kgs heavier than I was 9 months before he arrived (which was 3 times his birth weight!). That’s when I felt the extra weight, holding me back.

For 6 months I ‘tried’ to lose weight. And by that I mean I ate a bit less than before and did a half dozen runs around the block. Thinking about losing weight was making me feel worse about it. Giving it a half-hearted attempt wasn’t working.

So I decided to apply the same concepts and process that I do with my clients in helping them reach their financial potential, to help myself reach my own weight goal.

First, I wrote down the reasons to lose the weight and why those reasons were important to me.

They were to:

  • Feel healthy
  • Get more comfortable
  • Be fit enough to play soccer on weekends and play daily with my kids
  • Take back control
  • Prove to myself I could do it

Second, I got specific about my goal.

  • Lose 12 kg in 12 months

Third – I hired an expert to help me understand my options and create a strategic plan of action

Bad food choices and sitting down too much needed to be addressed. I hired a nutritionist and dietician, referred to me by a close friend, and with their help, I got a plan of attack to make the goal a reality. The plan was simple enough – stick with a very strict, healthy diet and start playing soccer weekly.

Fourth – I implemented the plan, using strategies, tactics, and tools to measure and motivate me 

This was the hardest part. I’ve clearly shown a lack discipline in this area, all from bad habits. I had to replace those bad habits with good habits (like shopping smarter, taking time to prepare meals and having back up plans for limited restaurant options and temptations).

Good habits were formed by getting the right tools in place to help me. I used the online food journal on My Fitness Pal to understand the impact of my food choices. Sharing my results with my experts kept me informed and accountable along the way. The clarity helped create new habits and make better choices which got me to my goal weight.

It’s the power of good habits that gave me the discipline to get there. The same power of habit will keep me disciplined to stay on track this time.

Are your habits working for or against you? If you want to find out how you can start using the power of habit to realise your financial potential, get in touch today.

Neil Salkow

Director and Independent Financial Adviser