If you have ever been like me and have used food for entertainment, for relaxation, or for reward, changing those eating habits can be a major challenge. I am finding that running errands and regular daily activities can be major triggers for me. Just going about my daily life, I am faced with decision after decision. Just a few examples. . . and at the end, what I learned from writing these down:
--I'm grocery shopping. Should I buy that big chocolate bar (that's only around $1)? You know, the one you usually buy as a little, on the side, treat. The one that you can eat as you drive home. The one that has almonds in for a little crunch. I often go to more that one grocery store in a week, so, again, I'm faced with a challenge--with the decision. Should I buy that chocolate bar, you know the one. . . .
--Running Errands by Myself. Should I just stop at Caribou and buy a medium Mocha (regular, milk chocolate). I'll just get it this last time, and tomorrow, I will be eating better. You could really use a little treat. And don't you deserve it. You finally have a kid-free moment--take a break. It's just a little something. Tomorrow, I will make better decisions.
--Running Errands. It's almost lunch time and I didn't have that morning snack. Maybe I should just stop for fast food (you know which one--the worst food ever--cheaply made and tastes cheap, but for some sick reason, I'm drawn to it). If I get the fast food, I won't have to make a big mess in my kitchen. But at the same time, I don't want to feed my kids garbage. Maybe I'll just get it for me and make my kids regular lunch. I'm not really on plan, so I might as well. . .
--Weight Watcher Meetings. Even my WW leave me with a decision to make, since I've developed a bad habit. Had a great meeting--I'm challenged to give this a go, but perhaps I should start a little later. I hear that fast food calling my name (that same one). What should I do? That fast food would sure taste good. I don't really need to start right this instance, do I? Do I want to get to work, or do I want to make it happen later. I have my little guy with me, so it's kind of hard to focus. Might as well get something to eat. . . .
As I read this, I realize that I am going to face these kinds of decisions every day, every hour, and with the regular activities of my life. Graduation parties, family potlucks, barbecues with friends, holidays. Going shopping, going on vacation. . . . the list of events that triggers me to eat for the wrong reason is unending. The list is the events of my life!
HOWEVER, if I can make the ONE decision, the ONE decision, to treat my body with the respect and care and love it deserves, perhaps dealing with the daily, hourly, smaller decisions will be more manageable. Perhaps recognizing that the chocolate bar, and the coffee drink, and the fast food are NOT really treats, are NOT really rewards. They are part of a self destructive behavior--a self destruction pattern--and they are not giving anything good to my body or my mind!
Life is about decisions. Changing old habits and patterns is about decisions. Losing weight is about deciding. Living a healthy and full life is about deciding.
Next I want to talk about strategies to help with the daily decisions that can trigger poor food decisions. I have a few I want to point out to myself soon. Do you have any suggestions?