One of my goals this year is to become a morning exerciser. This quarter, this has been made more challenging with 9am classes. If I want to work out, shower, eat breakfast, and catch the bus in time to make it to the law school with a bit of breathing room, I either have to do a short workout (i.e., 20-minute yoga DVD) or get up REALLY early. This is made more complicated when my roommate, who gets up after me, is already using the shower when I get back from my workout.

But the real problem isn’t the shower: I have the hardest time getting out of bed at 6am! I’ve been slowly trying to push back my wake-up time, but I have this unfortunate tendency of falling back asleep. Even putting my alarm across the room hasn’t nipped this habit in the bud.

On the habit-forming side, I am having some success resurrecting an old, kind of weird habit: Pulling off pieces of food–like cheese from pizza or a quarter of a cookie–and throwing them in the trash before I can eat them. I know it’s weird. But when I hit my first plateau two years ago, I started doing this at work and the scale started to budge again. It is best to do this only with snacks and treats.

At first, I was horrified at myself for “wasting” food by not finishing what I started to eat. We’re all taught to clean our plates as children. (By the way, I think this is the worst thing that you can do as a parent. By all means, withhold dessert, but making your child eat past satiation sends the wrong signal. They learn not to listen to their bodies saying, “Hey, I’m full, you can stop eating now.) But then I realized that eating something I didn’t need or want wasn’t a waste–it was just another step towards a healthier, fitter body. So I’m going to continue to pick pieces of granola bar off of my snack and throw it away, pull cheese off of entrees at restaurants, and leave things on my dinner plate.