I’ve learned so much more about myself in the past year than in the 30 plus years of my life.

I’m emotional, dramatic. I love with the heart I wear on my sleeve. I love pizza. I hold too many grudges and worry too much about what others think….

Yes I know all my faults and all my strengths better than anyone.

And through the process of really getting to know myself I have discovered that I am a huge creature of habit.

I set my clothes out in the same location each night, I do my vitamin regime morning and night, I eat the same breakfast every day, when I get to work I set my stuff down and go fill my water. I eat my snacks pretty much at the same time everyday.

Yep most of the time you will find me living in my structured little habit box.

Habits are everywhere in my life… and they are the secret to my success.

My alarm goes off at 4:30 and my body is pretty much in auto pilot, heading to my Orange Theory class, sitting on my same rower, running on my same treadmill. I do my class and then head to the Y for my walk. I don’t even think about it. It’s not hard to go. My body just does it.

In fact I don’t really notice my habits until I get thrown off of them. Yes life often pulls me away from my nice structured box like a determined toddler pulling a toy out of a another’s hand.

Yesterday was a perfect example. I was in court all day and I had to leave super early. Because of this I didn’t head to my workout, which in turn meant I didn’t drink my pre-workout drink or my protein shake etc. As I drove to my hearing I started to feel just “off”. A lack of caffeine headache started and I was tired even though I slept a half hour more.

My whole day I was in court so I didn’t do my regular schedule. Another day in my world.

So when I got home and was done with what I had to do I ran back into my structure faster than the roadrunner. I set out my clothes, did my workout this morning… and I’m happily back in my box today.

Yep I’m so much happier when I’m in my box.

I really appreciate the fact I’m habitual. Yes my love of living in a crazy scheduled structured life is actually one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Dieting is hard, working out on a busy schedule is hard. But the way I maintain this life is through structure… forming strong habits. I live in my routine and now a year in its so much easier.

Now you may be thinking… how can you do that when a life of a working Mom is anything but structured?? And sure there are a lot of days I am pulled out of my nice orderly structure. But now I love the structure so much that I get through those moments and come right back to the structure. Hence the reason it’s easy for me to maintain this life. I get pulled out, I come right back in and repeat.

Now eating healthy and working out 5 days a week is so easy and in fact I prefer it.

Of course it wasn’t always this easy. I didn’t always love the structured schedule I have for myself. Quite the opposite. Everytime I tried to tie myself to a schedule I felt like a prisoner chained to the wall. I hated it. I didn’t feel comfortable in this world. It felt foreign to come in from the chaos and live with the “chains”. I preferred the chaos. It was too hard and I had no time to stay planned in my life.

So When I started I was flying by the seat of my much bigger pants and I had no habits, no schedule. The problem with that life is that everytime I did do something healthy I had to really think about it and make myself do it. I had to force myself to eat healthy, force myself into the gym. There was no auto pilot. It was emotionally and physically exhausting.

I’ll never forget when I first set my alarm for 4:30 and started working out in the morning. No joke I was so miserable I literally had to watch my feet as I walked into the gym to make sure I would keep moving forward. I was in hell for the first few weeks.

But I realize now that the fact I forced myself into building this little box, forming my routines is the reason for my success. Forming the habits was hard but completely worth it. Every day of thinking about this routine made it so now I don’t even think about it.

I realize now that this is why my former zillion diets failed because when it was so hard to form those habits I gave up. I didn’t keep going so my habit box never formed.

I know most people say go with flow, be flexible… but I’m here to tell you the opposite as you are starting this journey. Yep… I’m actually telling you to become rigid, structured… yes even anal… about your life for awhile. Make a schedule, keep consistent every day for awhile. I know it’s hard… I know it hurts…and you will hate me for giving you this advice. But everyday that it is hard just means you are getting one day closer to the habit forming and auto pilot beginning.

Once the habits are built and formed strong then it’s a piece of cake… err I mean piece of low carb protein bar. You will love your structure. You will prefer it. In fact you will actually feel better when you are back in your box and will want to run back in every single time life pulls you away.

So let’s start a habit today….

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