Health, Yoga Philosophy

Friday Food for Thought: Habits


“You need not fight to stop a habit. Just don’t give it an opportunity to repeat itself.” – Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

I’ve struggled a lot with food this past year. I got kind of a pass on being a disciplined eater since I’ve been breastfeeding Bear Shark and need the calories. I probably could have been more discerning about what kind of calories I was consuming, but I also really did not have the time to be that focused on my diet. I remind myself daily that the first year of a baby’s life is all about survival as parents.

We took a lot of short cuts to get meals on the table, trying to make the healthiest choice from a takeout menu as we can or making big batches and eating the same thing for days. Lately, the 3-year-old tells us that his food is “boring” and won’t always eat his lunch at school. And then there are days (weeks?) where we did not care at all and ate EVERYTHING.

Last weekend, our meal times got shifted. Lazy Saturday morning turned into a late breakfast and a later lunch. We feed the kids at their usual times to avoid sugar crashes, but we don’t necessarily eat when they do. This led to a desperate run to Sonic for an afternoon snack while the boys took naps. Similar story on Monday where our meal times shifted, and by 3 pm, I was starving. I was so hungry that Carl’s Jr sounded good.

I paid very dearly for that Six Dollar Burger with a wicked case of food poisoning. I’ve never had food poisoning before, and this lasted 2.5 days before I stopped feeling nauseous. It’s not to say that it couldn’t have happened from other fast food restaurants. I probably rolled the dice a few too many times, and it finally caught up to me.

The quote above showed up at the right moment as I was feeling sorry for myself and looking up ways to treat food poisoning. I have a major sweet tooth and another weakness for french fries, and it’s been a struggle since I was a kid to say no to either. Why do I feel the internal fight? Why can I not leave a bag of candy alone when it’s in the house?

And here’s the silliest part. I don’t even like most fast food. The times we pull up to the drive thru, I’ll stare at the menu and think everything sounds gross. If I do have a burger (PTerry’s is my local place of choice), the craving is satisfied, and I won’t want one again for a while. Then, when it comes to candy, it’s usually from the kids – Halloween, Valentine’s, Easter, birthday parties, etc. Kid candy isn’t GOOD candy. Like, how in the world is a Tootsie Roll even considered chocolate? And yet, instead of throwing all that candy away immediately, it sits in the house and eventually ends up in my stomach.

So, I’m going to stop fighting my habits and instead, not give them an opportunity for me to repeat them. I will exercise use of the trash can much more liberally. I will listen to my body and eat at regular meal times so I’m not making stops at the closest and fastest food places. Ah… this yoga lifestyle… it’s changing me for the better!

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