Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Threshold Habit

Next month, I will be celebrating 3 years of successful  - for the most part - weight management after losing almost 70 lbs on OPTIFAST.  I'll post more about the ups and downs of the past year later.  Today's post is about my threshold habit: No McDonald's.  

First of all, what do I mean by threshold habit?  For me, it's a habit I identify with my life when I was fat.  It exemplifies that part of my life.  And it's a habit I refuse to practice - not even once. For me, if I make an exception, I'll be opening the door and inviting my former habits back into my life.   It's a threshold I will not cross.  

Why McDonald's?  Before I lost weight, several meals per week came from McDonald's. Almost daily, I'd stop and get a biscuit breakfast on the way to work.  And then a co-worker and I would go and get a 'value' meal for lunch.  The food was cheap and usually filled me up.  But if left me wanting more and I'd end up hitting the vending machine mid-morning and again mid-afternoon.  By giving myself the MickeyD's 'out', I allowed myself to not plan my food, prepare my food or take any type of responsibility for making sure I was eating healthy.  

So what did I do with all that time I wasn't preparing my food?  I was vegging out in front of the television or indulging my internet addiction.  I certainly wasn't spending the time exercising or even taking a walk to get fresh air.  I wasn't reading to enrich my mind.  I wasn't knitting to indulge my creative self. 

My life was flat dull and very blob-like.  

When I started OPTIFASt, I made a committment to myself that I would not gain the weight back. As I was going through the OPITFAST programl I had the opportunity to look at my life and make decisions about what worked and what didn't.  I realized that I would have to spend time preparing my food and exercising.  To make sure I stuck to that, I took McDonald's (or any fast-food, for the most part) off of my list of options.

And now, almost three and a half years later since I started OPTIFAST, I have not had McDonald's.  I go there to use the restroom when my partner and I are out and about, but that's it.  Eating at McDonald's for me symbolizes crossing the threshold back into a pattern of unhealthy habits.  And I won't go there.

What's your threshold habit?

MFD visitors  - please visit my old blog on MFD: Mindfully Being Healthy.  RealPeach has posted valuable information there regarding different forms of exercise: cardio, strength training, yoga and pilates.  


  1. Nice topic on the threshold Maura! I think my threshold is NO more fad/gimmicky diets or exercises. Just good solid fitness and wholesome healthful foods.

  2. Hi Maura, great topic that we already discussed a bit on my thread. My threshold involves making sure I'm always eating purposefully and conciously. No more shoving food into my mouth without thinking about it or the consequences. It all counts. :)

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!! I'll definitely keep up with you here on your blog now that you are taking a break from MFD. :)

  3. Hi Maura,

    Just checking in with you. How's your MFD hiatus going?


  4. Jay and Sandra - thanks for your comments on the threshold habit. I've been doing a good bit of thinking and realizing I need to start focusing more on now and actively practicing healthy behaviors with balance instead of actively avoiding old behaviors.

    Cindy - thanks for checking on me. I miss MFD, but I have to admit, I've been sneaking a peek every now and then. Congrats on your new apartment. I hope the move goes smoothly. I also noticed a comment you made about not looking in the mirror so much. You sound so much at peace. I'm happy for you.


  5. Maura,

    Thanks for sharing about your threshold habit. It is a difficult concept for others to accept when you draw that line for yourself. It makes you seem extreme. But you are extremely thin and extremely happy with your new body. And I am sure the benefits have been worth the decision.

    I am coming to see that there are certain food triggers that are a threshold habit that just cannot be crossed. It is as alcohol to an alcholic.

    While I am on my way down...I will evaluate what my threshold habits are. At 58 I have had all the deceptions with myself I can stand. I must identify my threshold habits and purpose to never cross those lines.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  6. Paulette, thanks for posting here. I do need to say that I am not at all thin. I'm at least 5 lbs overweight by BMI standards and I'm 7-10 lbs overweight by my own. I'm 5'4 and today weighed 149. Even though I have a small to medium frame, I've always carried my weight well so many people can't guess I weigh as much as I do.

    I'm also not extremely happy with my body. I am far more happier with it now than I was before I lost weight. I am much stronger and have energy that I didn't know existed. I'm working on toning up and getting a bit more of a waist. That said, I have accepted that I will most likely never have the figure I had when I was 18 without surgical intervention. But even though my weight is 25 lbs heavier now than when I was 18 - I'm also tons stronger and much more fit. That's really what is important.

    About the threshold habit - I have a few others, but the No McDonald's is the most important one because it completely exemplifies how my life was before I lost weight. I also have to admit - it's the easiest rule to keep. The idea of eating the pre-chewed "food" (chemicals disguised as food) served at McDonald's and most other chain restaurants makes me sick to my stomach.

    I do encourage you to look at your lifestyle before you started your weight management journey and identify the behaviors that facilitated your becoming overweight. Select one or two of the 'worst offenders' to be your Threshold Habits.

    All the best.


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