When Aya coughs she covers her mouth with her hands. We didn’t teach her this. She saw us do this and copied it. There are a lot of little things she has picked up recently by mimicking us. One is bringing everything slightly telephone shaped to her ear and start babbling and walking around the house. Apparently we do that a lot too. This got me thinking about what kind of habits I want her to copy and which ones I should probably change, so I can set a good example. Her health and happiness are the most important thing. But I also think that tackling my bad habits now is going to save us a lot of time and trouble in the future.
I am going to transform seven bad habits into healthier ones, in seven weeks. For the sake of my daughter. But also because I want to be as healthy as I can be. Most of my bad habits have to do with unhealthy eating. That’s because I don’t smoke, I get plenty of exercise when Aya and I go on our walks and I practice yoga. So I’m good in that department. Research shows it takes between three to eight weeks to form a new habit. So I feel confident that after seven weeks my new, healthier habits will have become part of my lifestyle. Today is November first. I will check back in on December 20th.
Here are my seven sins!
Salt ‘n Pepper
I am the kind of person that always adds salt to her food. Whenever I am at a restaurant I will ask for extra salt. At home I cook without salt, because Isaya eats the same food we do. But ones my food is on my plate I will go in with a salt shaker. Isaya sees me doing this on a daily basis. There is going to come a day she will ask for that shaker. It’s totally unnecessary to add salt to your food. And it can be quite unhealthy: too much salt is bad for your kidneys and can cause high blood pressure, hypertension and low calcium. So that one definitely needs to go.
Regular cola tastes iron if you ask me. I don’t like it. But diet coke is definitely my guilty pleasure. I don’t always buy it when we go grocery shopping. But Aya has seen me drink it countless times, both at home and whenever we eat out. Everyone agrees that the artificial sugars in diet coke are bad for you, with aspartame as the biggest bad guy. Studies also show that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetics. O, and it’s bad for your teeth. So yeah, I’m going to have to find a healthy alternative for that craving.
An Apple a Day
We eat a lot of vegetables. I’m used to center my meals around veggies. Not a day goes by that I don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables. But fruit… I go days without eating fruit. I always make sure Aya eats fruit on a daily basis, but there are very little fruits I like. I like fruit salads, but eating a whole apple, banana or bowl of grapes, ugh, that’s a challenge. I do it – because I know it’s important – just not on a daily basis. Which I should do. So I will.
As I said in the intro, Aya sees us using our phones a lot. Not an hour goes by that I don’t check my phone. Often multiple times per hour. I use my phone to message friends and family, look up things on the internet, go on Instagram and Facebook, check my e-mail and calendar, listen to music and read the news. I am going to make it a habit to not check my phone when I’m around Isaya. I don’t want her to feel like her mom is not present, because I am ‘liking’ other people’s cute kids on Instagram (there are so many though!) or reading up on Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.
Isaya drinks soy, almond, rice and oat milk and/or yoghurt on a daily basis. I make sure she doesn’t miss out on any important vitamins, minerals and fats. But, as with eating fruit, it’s easier to focus on her than on my own diet. So I can go days without drinking almond milk or eating soy yoghurt, which is pretty bad if you eat vegan. So I am going to have to start making it a habit again to incorporate these alternatives for milk into my diet.
Chill Out Woman
I am always busy, doing something. I’m not the type of person that just ‘sits’. I get restless when I don’t have a plan, a purpose, a goal. This is probably the biggest reason why I do yoga, to learn how to be more in the moment and chill out. My days with Aya are always full of activities. We have a smooth routine of playing, eating, going outside, cleaning and tyding the house, just doing stuff. Aya is used to us always being busy. So even though I take the time to sit with her every day to make puzzles and read books and don’t interrupt her child play, I feel like my restlessness interferes with her concentration, causes restlessness in her and prevents her from playing by herself. So I am going to work on the art of doing nothing. Taking more time to just sit. Find inner peace if you will. This is probably going to be the hardest thing to accomplish out of all seven.
Wine is Fine
Even though I am not a heavy drinker, what’s a good old cleanse of the body and soul without cutting alcohol? I am not going to stop drinking completely though. I am going to stop drinking wine during the week. I love to pour myself a glass of red wine in the evening and relax. This glass of wine is usually accompanied by a bowl of chips or popcorn and now that I don’t breastfeed anymore it can definitely turn into two. So time to tighten the reins a bit. For the next seven weeks I will enjoy my wine only during the weekends.
On December 20th I will tell you how all of these changes have made me feel, if there have been any cheat days or epic fails and how I want to proceed. My wife has decided to join my health quest with her own set of goals. Let me know in the comments below if there are any habits you want to kick!
Featured Image by the amazing and talented NY Family Moments.