Break Up With Your Bad Habit - Write it Off Now

This year, the National Body Challenge is all about breaking up with bad habits.
After all, we're all just a work-in-progress. Whether you're a world class athlete or grade A couch potato, we all have things we need to work on, good habits to adopt, and bad habits to let go.

So what do you need to break up with? What kind of toxic health relationship are you carrying around? Commit to a break-up, here and now.

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I need to break up with snacking.
I'm a "just a few bites" girl... Few chips while cooking dinner, few bites of pizza at the kids' birthday party, Goldfish crackers with the kids, a few spoonfuls of my husband's ice cream... and at the end of the day, I've added hundreds of calories that I just don't need.

It's time I kiss my unhealthy snacking goodbye.

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Dear Blue Tortilla Chips,

I'm writing to tell you it's over. I thought I loved you. And you know what? Maybe, once, I did. But I'm on to your games: I know that just because you're "organic" that doesn't mean you're healthy, I know that I can't eat just one of you, I know it's easy to eat you late at night, or bring you on a picnic, and think nothing of it. Every time I turned around you were there. It just seemed like you and I were a natural fit.

But not anymore! I don't want to see you again. If I run into you at the grocery store, I'm not going to look at you. You're not invited to my house anymore. My heart - and my thighs - can't take it. You and I are over. OVER!

And you know what? I will still see our mutual friends - hummus and salsa - even without you. And you can't do anything about it.

Get out, Blue Tortilla Chips. I can't see you anymore. I will think of you always.


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I know I feel better, sleep better and look better when I work out. So, why don't I do it? Because it's a pain. You have to get up early, pull on your work-out clothes, grab your iPod and jump out the door into the cold, cold winter air. But, isn't the benefit much better than the discomfort? I now say, "yes." I want to fit into my skinny jeans, again. I want to feel better. I want to look younger. I am breaking up with my lazy ways! I am going to participate in the National Body Challenge, lose the weight feel great!

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We've been best friends for so many years. But best friends are honest with one another, so here goes: our friendship is a thing of the past.

You've been so good at keeping me company at night, when the house is quiet, I'm watching a favorite show, and dinner -- having been finished a couple hours before -- is fully digested. "Oh, of course, there's room for you here in my stomach and on the couch, vanilla with chocolate syrup! You, too, Rocky Road, and Cherry Garcia! Come on over!"

Well, sorry, but you're being replaced with a handful of raisins, or a small bowl of Cheerios, or maybe even just that final tall glass of water.

I want my tummy flatter and my hips slimmer -- you gotta know that you just aren't part of that equation.

So I'm afraid this isn't "see ya' later." It's GOODBYE. SO LONG. FAREWELL.

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I feel the same way, I know I feel so much better just getting up and working out. I want to commit, to actually see the benefit before I stop doing it. But the thing is I always talk myself out of it. I am a couch potatoe and I want it to stop. I want to look great in any outfit, to not worry about how I look when I go out. I was wondering if we could help each other I just sighned up today. I have 75lbs to loose, I feel so defeated and it seems so hopeless. Like I will never get there I have been on so many different things, some work but then I go right back to old habits and gain more weight then before I started. I dont want to fail this time, I need to get past this.

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Have you ever played pick-up sticks, the game of retrieving one stick without causing another to move? Well deciding which of my bad habits is actually the more toxic reminds me of that game.
I don't think one habit stands alone as everything in life is usually intertwined. If I eliminate one, what will take its place? Replacement is the normal method of handling a void but this year I think I am going to go about this differently. I am going to move one stick and let the others move as they may. This time I want to see the cause and effect of making better choices. My first move will be the elimination of peanut butter.

To get something you never had you must do something you never did.

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I deserve to breathe fresh air, to enjoy my world, to love my friends and family. Not to have another cookie, a second helping of garlic bread, a "just because" glass of wine, an "I had a rough week so I'll skip the gym" day. I deserve to feel better about myself all the time, not to feel better in the moment! So long, enabling mind-set! It was good while it lasted!

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To Beating Myself up for "Mistakes:"

I relied on you for many years thinking that it was you who kept me on track. After each piece of cake, or too many fries, I'd call on you, you'd do the dirty business--telling me off for being stupid, fat, and having no willpower--and then I'd go on my merry way. I thought that without you I'd never be able to get fit. I thought I needed you in order to say "no" to dessert and "yes" to a stationary bike. Well, I was wrong.

First of all, I am perfectly fine with the choices I make. If i want a cookie, I want a cookie, and I'll probably go ahead and have that cookie. And that's just fine, because I MADE that choice. And the times when I make the choice not to eat the _____ (fill in the blank: cookie, pizza, burger, hot chocolate, etc.), that will be equally fine.I don't need the threat of beating myself up and feeling guilty in order to make choices. I am smart. I know which foods are better for my health than others, and I usually opt for those. The times when I don't are not sins, just choices.

Second, you are not helping. You have been yelling at my stomach, hips, and thighs for years, and they still show up for me every day! I can't imagine having a boss who let someone come in and scream at the employees, telling them they are worthless, disappointing, fat, and ugly, trying to improve them. And that's what I have allowed you to do. I am the boss, and you just come in yelling at my body (which by the way is a pretty good, cooperative, supportive little body), all the while assuming you could make it better. Well now I know better. I'm kicking you out.

Honestly, I don't know what you're good for. You've never been fun or enjoyable. You've never made a difference in my weight gain or loss, or any effort to be in better shape. All you ever do is make me cry, and make me hate my wonderful God-given body. So this is it. No more. Hasta la vista, baby.

And please, don't come back again. We're on to your game now....



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I to find myself talking myself out of exercise--or at least a less strenuous exercise. I have this secret belief that other people don't need to watch what they eat or work out to look good. But even if it's true about them -- and I'm not 100% convinced that it is true--it's true about me. If I don't eat healthy and workout I'm bulging out of my size 16's or worse. Right now I like how a 10 feels. I gotta do what I gotta do. Never mind about how other people stay slim without work.

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Dear Late-Night Snacking--

Hit the road, Jack.

Better without you,

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Auf Wiedersehen, Sleep Deprivation.

Missing out on sleep is one of the downsides of having tremendous passion for fitness. Between meeting with clients, writing articles, preparing and delivering presentations, managing other personal trainers, and of course, working on National Body Challenge stuff, you might think I have no time to relax. But that's the funny part. I am adamant about taking time to read, or just occasionally zone out, and workout - of course - while still retaining some semblance of a social life. Another challenge - I truly love what I do so it's hard to unplug from it.

What suffers is sleep. It goes back to my younger and college days. I tend to be a night person anyway, and when I was younger genuinely seemed to function best on about 6 hours of sleep a night. Those days are gone. Now anything under about 7.5 feels like too little.

I've been doing better on this the last year or two, but still have 2-3 days per week where I undercut what I need, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out just old habits. And I can sure feel the difference the next day.

I'm asking a lot of myself these days - both physically and mentally - so need restorative sleep to be my best. It's the great part about a career in fitness. If you don't practice what you preach, it shows!

Jonathan Ross
National Body Challenge Fitness Expert

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I am just going to let go of all of the excuses I have been hiding behind that have been preventing me from losing weight. I now realize that there is no reason why I should not be at my pre pregnancy weight and have been using the "baby weight" excuse for 2 years now.... I am heavier now than I was when I was pregnant! Time to get in the game!

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I will say good bye to the excuse of lumbar pain. I will say good bye to herniated discs. My doctor told me I could be back on thy gym as long as I listen to my buddy. I know I may never run again, but I can walk and walk. I gave birth to my dear child against the odds. I know I can say good-bye to self-pity. I know I CAN run away from my emotional eating.
Thank goodness I found all of you

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I am saying goodbye to the nagging part in my head that says that I am not good enough and will always be chuncky. I am saying goodbye to the snacking part in my brain.."Don't you like apples and grapes instead of chocolate?" I am saying to the self doubt and dissappointment that plagues me this time of year, I am working out for myself....not for anyone but be a strong, healthy 25 year old. I am doing it for me, because no one else will. I am doing it for me because it's about time I start taking care of myself. I am doing in for me because I don't want to have migraines anymore, I don't want to pay for medication anymore, I don't want the fear of diabetes looming in the background. I am doing this for me because I want to stand short but proud and know that I am the strongest and healthiest me I can be....and if I want to climb Mt. Everest, I'll do it because I am capable!
To all my critics out there... you are not worth my time to worry over!


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Coca-Cola...we've been in this on again, off again relationship for a long time. I've relished in your sweetness during good and bad times. You've been at every family dinner, every business lunch, you've even been there for breakfast, back in high school. But we have both known that this relationship has been bad for me. I depend on you way too much.
You know longer revive me when I'm tired, you are just a delivery device for my sugar addiction. Please let me go, you must go now. You will tempt me with your Santa packs, reminding me of your comfort during the holidays, but I will turn away.
Goodbye sweetness-

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My love/hate relationship with food. It has caused me so many problems, both emotional and physical.

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I need to break up with snacking. I'm a person who always wants to be snacking on something, and inevitably its always easier and tastier to grab something unhealthy such as crackers, cookies, pretzals, etc. Other than my every-so-often little snacking rages I go on, I actually eat rather healthy. I'm a huge fruits and veggies and salad fan. I also love lean meats like chicken. The only bread I have when I eat it is wheat and I choose brown rice over white. I am breaking up with my habit of continous unhealthy snacking. I know this is the main reason I am unable to lose my extra weight. Any tips for avoiding unhealthy snacking? Like what to do instead or how to stop before you start or anything like that? Any help would be great :)

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I too have decided to take the challenge and kick the habits. I got a Nintendo Wii last year for xmas and last week I finally found the oh so popular Wii Fit. I use to hate to exercise, and just like everyone else always found an excuse why not to do it. But ever since I got the Fit I love it, mornings are hard for me to get going, but once the kids are in bed at night thats my Wii time, I look forward to bedtime everyday so that I can exercise and do something good for me. I absolutely love my Fit and the results have been good so far. As for snacking, I've given all the cookies to the kids, and if I really want something sweet I have a slim fast snack, not sure if i should really be having then but they are small and help with the hunger, and I limit myself to one a day if that. I guess that once they are done I won't be buying them again. I also have nuts and raisins to snack on.

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Dear 3rd floor office at the way-way back of the building,

Do not expect to see me coming from the big silver elevator doors in the morning. I will now be coming from around the corner. Why? Because I have taken the stairs.

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I need to break up with eating at midnight, and staying inside for days at a time. I stopped eating fruit...I want to make up with fruit. Basically, I've let go of anything healthy for me. I'm on a downhill rollercoaster to rockbottom, but not for long. An uphill climb is in view.

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