We all know that we should eat healthy and avoid junk in order to feel good and make our bodies work well. So why do we still choose junk over what we know is important?
In another article, Wine Is Healthy Right? It Has Those Intoxicants, I Mean Antioxidants, we describe health as a pendulum with a dynamic equilibrium. Balance is not achieved by reaching the equilibrium, but by continuous movement about the changing equilibrium.
Using this analogy, we also talk about classifying foods as “too extreme” and “within an acceptable range” instead of “bad” and “good,” respectively.
We all know what foods fall “within an acceptable range.” These are foods that provide energy and nutrient support to our natural bodily functions. They are foods that make us feel good, which allows us to do more in life.
The big problem is that we get bored with these foods because the “too extreme” foods seem way more exciting.
Look Before You Leap
Jumping out of planes is awesome. We don’t die when we jump out of planes. However, when we don’t pack our chutes well, calibrate our altimeters, and inspect our gear for wear and damage, we create a high-risk environment for ourselves.
Eating donuts, drinking wine, munching on Snickers bars, and taking back a large fry might taste exciting and give us temporary satisfaction; but if we’re not taking the necessary precautions and understanding the immediate and long-term risks, we are setting ourselves up for catastrophe.
Weigh The Risks
A donut every now and then is certainly not going to kill us. But before we bite into that delicious piece of heaven, let’s ask ourselves these questions three:
1. When is the last time I had a piece of junk food?
2. How often do I have said junk food?
3. Is this food worth risking my overall goals?
Let’s be honest. There is no sense in lying to ourselves.
Think Of Other Ways To Treat Yourself
We tend to use food as a reward for good behavior.
What are we, dogs?
You know, the ol’ I-worked-out-for-thirty-minutes-today-I-deserve-some-ice-cream routine. Not cool.
It’s hard to break this pattern of thinking, however, because we’ve been conditioned this way since we were kids. It’s not a slam on our parents, it’s just what we do as a society.
Let’s start breaking this pattern of rewarding ourselves with food. Let’s be more human, more evolved, and more responsible. Let’s not let food be a reward for good behavior.
Let Go Of The Need To Be Rewarded
Instead of needing to be rewarded for working out, let the workout be the reward.
Think about it.
Working out is beneficial to our bodies and minds – it doesn’t have to be pure torture.
If we let the workout be the reward, not only do we release the need for further gratification, we also develop a greater appreciation for the workout. We find greater value in the workout, which makes us want to work out more.
Let’s stop ourselves before we make a decision contrary to our health goals. Let’s re-evaluate what the true reward is and gain more appreciation for it.
Are you proud of your health efforts lately? Good. Now, don’t head to the fridge. Don’t stop by the bakery. Don’t grab a double-cheese-patty-melt-a-burger-monster. Those guys are not rewards for your hard work.
Your hard work is the reward for your hard work. The way you feel and the steps closer to your health goals are the rewards for your efforts.
Let go of the need for a reward and allow yourself to reap the benefits of working toward good health.