So today Kansas City is getting their first real snow of this winter season. It sure is beautiful out there! The dogs are loving it. I love it also. I can stay safe (off the roads), shovel snow at my leisure knowing the house is toasty with the fireplace roaring. But there is a big difference for me between this year and last year when it comes to a ‘habit’ I had during a snow storm.
Last year the little voice in my head would have told me ‘hey, it’s snowing and you are expanding energy outside – walking the dogs and clearing the driveway, therefore you need to treat yourself well.’ Treating myself well meant eating food I knew wasn’t good for me but tasted oh so good on such a day. I had gotten into the habit of doing just that – extra treats, with loads of extra calories and tons of extra additives and preservatives.
So what kind of treats you ask? Wal-Mart is just down the street very close and easy to get to even in the snow. You know they have these awesome popcorn shrimp at the hot food counter for only $2.00 for a big cupful. If you catch them early enough they are scrumptious and they are easy to eat as you walk around the store! I must say though that treat alone is probably 600 calories. Now off to the frozen pizza aisle. Not sure the brand but I know the box – roasted chicken and garlic, flatbread pizza – family size. The entire pizza probably has 1000 calories (yeah I have checked) but I won’t eat the whole thing. I will eat at least 1/2 (it is flatbread after all – less crust), then I will pick off some of the cheese on the other 1/2 and give the dogs a little well deserved treat, the crust not the cheese. The cheese and chicken are mine. I grab a can or two of cat or dog food to make it look like I am not just feeding myself. Perfect – I am now ready to reward myself for having done so little – but it’s snowing!
Last thought before I head home: ‘can I make it to the liquor store?’ I mean you can’t have a snow day and all that pizza without a bottle of wine to top it off, now can you? Just wouldn’t be right. And red wine is good for you – right? So yeah I make it there and then home. Oops – did I forget a green vegetable – oh well I will double up tomorrow! I am all set – I have my food, I have my wine and boy do I have my calories. I resolve to do 10 or 20 squats later to balance out those carbs.
OK so that is just one day of REALLY bad choices and letting old habits get the best of me. But that one day on top of all the other days brought me to a place I didn’t want to be or like to be at. I had gotten into the habit of saying ‘just for today and tomorrow I will start off with better eating habits – I promise!’ Except that didn’t happen and eventually none of my clothes fit well and most didn’t fit at all! But it’s not just the clothes. It’s about how I felt about myself and the slope is slippery when you hope to have another 30+ years of super health but your eating habits are eroding those years, one day of bad choices at a time.
Then that all changed when I meet my personal Take Shape for Life coach – Tina. I heard her amazing story, we talked, I thought, we talked some more and I came to that all important personal decision that enough was enough. I needed to take control, I needed to change my habits and I needed to start looking at food in a whole new manner. My new bible Dr. A’s Habits of Health by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson talks about motivation. Is your motivation to solve a problem i.e. get back into those clothes with the tags still on them or to create a desired outcome i.e. overall better health forever. He calls this ‘optimal health’. If the answer is get back into those clothes then you may succeed but you won’t be creating new habits to improve your health and live longer.
Check out Dr. Anderson’s (Take Shape for Life Medical Director) health assessment for diet, exercise, emotional health, lung health, BMI, BP & cholesterol, medical conditions & family history. Click on the link ‘You Are What You Eat’ and take the test. Let me know how you scored!
I welcome your comments and insight.