The Eldest of the Darling Daughters has printed out a Healthy Living programme for me. Well, actually, it's for Mr B even more than for me, but he is unlikely to try anything so, well, healthy, until I have tried it first
and vouched for its effectiveness. I am therefore giving it a test drive.
What attracts me to the programme is that it is based on habits. Both good habits and bad habits. As in, forming the good and breaking
the bad. So far, so haven't we all heard this before. But the difference, according to the E of the DDs, is that you don't try to change everything all at once. So you don't move on to the next habit until you have mastered the one you're working on. It only
takes 21 days to form a new habit apparently, after which it should be automatic, part of "what you do." And one habit at a time, that's the idea.
My daughter explained that the first bad habit she had decided
to break was drinking too much coffee - her newly established good habit is to drink but two cups of coffee a day and both of these before lunchtime. I think of the delights of meeting up with friends in coffee shops all over Worthing and suggest that maybe
I could leave this particular challenge till later - like when I've got into the habit of habits, if you know what I mean. Though perhaps I could exchange my delicious latte for a Plain and Ordinary Decaffeinated. Perhaps I'll think about that one for a bit.
While hoping that a better idea comes winging my way.
Mr B and I are alike in that we are both Creatures of Habit. This new approach to good health should therefore suit us both. All we need to do is to select
our habit. It doesn't need to be the same habit, I suppose, but it might help, particularly by introducing an element of Marital Competition. Mr B likes nothing better than to beat me at an activity, especially if it involves a pack of cards. Which is neither
here nor there in terms of what we are talking about today.
Most of our habits, however, can't really be categorised as either "healthy" or "unhealthy". For example, when we return home from a trip out and
see that there is no flashing light on the telephone indicating a missed call, one of us will always, but always, say: "Nobody loves us!" To which the other will reply: "Good job we love each other." Likewise, when staying in a hotel, away from home, we always
say: "Let's hit the breakfast trail!" once we are both showered and dressed. These are just two examples, there are many, many more but I don't want to bore you with our idiosyncrasies.
We almost always go
to bed at the same time because this enables us to listen to "The Bag", a general knowledge quiz on Paul Miller's late night show. We tend to wake up at the same time, too, as in far too early to get up - though Mr B will rise and shine anyway and head off
downstairs for his first coffee of the day, leaving me to turn on "Wake Up To Money" on Radio 5 which I know will be guaranteed to send me straight off to sleep again at the first mention of quantitative easing.
I take myself off into the garden because I generally find I come up with good answers to problems when I am communing with nature. Plus I have just bought some green sacks, available from the Borough Council, and need to bag up all the garden greenery
I tidied up yesterday. Why have I never used green sacks before? What an amazing amount of weeds, pruning, grass clippings and other Green Stuff each bag holds. I have been converted and am now a Paid Up Member (80p a sack) to the Green Sack Brigade. Seriously,
this could become a habit.
Gardening. That's a healthy habit, isn't it? And I'm growing vegetables, they're healthy too? All I need to do now is to to grow and eat my
five a day for the next 21 days.
Except, oh no, what's this? Yet another expert says 21 days to form or break a habit is a vast underestimate - it takes 66 days at least. Concentrating on just one
habit at a time means it will take me a whole year to tackle just five and a half habits. Will this be enough to improve my Health and Wellbeing? Presumably it will depend on the scope and breadth of each new good habit. And what is half a habit when it's
Don't get me wrong, I am prepared to give this a Healthy Living Lark a good tryout. It worked for the Eldest of the Darling Daughters, so why shouldn't it work for me?
I just can't see me making a habit of it...