How To Not Let An Upended Day Control Your Healthy Decisions
That Is Not What I Had Planned
Recently I had one of THOSE days…
One of those days when the best laid plans fly out the window, stress and emotions run high, exhaustion sets in, and comfort food cravings threaten to wreck healthy choices.
A few Thursdays ago, I had carefully crafted my schedule starting 6 a.m. with a training client all the way through dinner at 7 p.m.
Around lunchtime, an unexpected event caused a big kink in the chain.
My daughter and I noticed one of our beloved guinea pigs, Tibbles, was having a hard time eating and was displaying odd behavior. Neither my experience as an RN nor Dr. Google could come to a diagnosis.
Thoughts of losing this adored pet quickly upset my daughter. Not only is he one of the cutest and sweetest guinea pigs, but he is also the first pet she has really ever had.
That’s when I knew the day’s schedule had just changed.
I sent her back to online school while I continued to see what he would eat, do more Google searching, and contemplate the cost of having to take Tibbles to an exotic animal veterinarian for an emergency visit.
As a result, I didn’t finish the coursework for my advanced nutrition coaching class and rescheduled my daughter’s dermatology appointment. We took Tibbles to the exotic animal hospital after my daughter’s last class.
Now, I will spare you all the details of the conversation between the veterinarian and my daughter about Tibble’s care, but it was quite emotional. As the minutes ticked by, I realized my previously scheduled workout wasn’t going to happen.
Though this is not a critical situation by any means, it was stressful and emotional. I had to balance my daughter’s grief over the thought of losing her precious guinea pig with the reality of paying to extend the life of a pet we purchased from a chain store.
Then Temptations Came In
As we headed back home with provisions to care for Tibbles, the healthy leftovers I had planned for dinner lost their appeal.
I didn’t get all the work had planned done, I missed my workout, it was getting late, and I was drained. A perfect storm to make a poor choice.
Even though dinner at home was as easy as warming up a plate in the microwave, all I could think about during the 30-minute drive home was stopping to pick up dinner on the way.
There are a lot...like really a lot...of quick order and take home restaurants between the vet and my house. As I listed them in my head, I asked myself, “Which one should we pick? What am I craving right now? What don’t I normally have that I could indulge in?”
Other thoughts continued... “Yeah, I know I have perfectly good leftovers at home. All I have to do is warm them up. But I don’t want leftovers. This is a rare, off the schedule day. I deserve to splurge.”
I didn’t say anything to my daughter because she would more than likely have agreed we stop and get something. But I know wherever we would have picked, there is a high chance I would not have made a good decision about my order. I continued to press on home trying to ignore the dinner pickup idea.
This One Action Made The Difference
One primary factor drove my decision not to give in to the temptation to stop for take out...
I pushed pause on allowing my frayed emotions to drive my thoughts. I paused and thought about my why. I paused and asked myself a few key questions:
Why do I want this?
Do I need it?
Will this really help long term?
Why shouldn’t I do this?
What will I feel like if I give in?
What will I feel like if I don’t give in?
Is the extra expense worth it?
What example am I showing my daughter by letting emotions guide my food choice?
When our emotions are high our ability to make the better choice greatly diminishes--if we let it. Reasoning can disappear. But pausing to ask yourself questions and answering with your head, not your heart, can help you talk yourself out of temptation.
So I talked myself out of splurging for the evening, giving in to food for comfort, and instant gratification.
Getting home, giving the pitiful piggie his medicines, and syringe feeding him delayed dinner even longer. I’ll admit, it wasn’t very satisfying to eat, but overall, I am happy with my choice. I set a good example for my daughter, and I strengthened my resistance muscle against giving in to an unhealthy choice. Two big, important wins!
The temptation to make emotionally driven, poor choices never go away as you work on mastering your wellness. It can be easy to give in when emotions are high, but the more you strengthen your resistance muscle, the less often you let your emotions derail your healthy habits.
The next time a day derails your plans, leaving you exhausted and wanting to comfort raw emotions with a bad food choice, pause before you decide. Take a moment to remember why you should make the better choice and fight the resistance to do differently. Don’t let out-of-control circumstances control your health and wellness choices.
To your best health and wellness,
If you would like to schedule a free coaching session with Jen, grab a 20-minute time slot here.