The Time I Gagged on an Apple
The time I gagged on an apple was probably when I was a little kid, right? Wrong! It was just last week.
Like many people during this never-ending pandemic, I’ve turned to food for comfort. And, I’ll be honest, I’ve also turned to drink. Nothing like a coupla glasses of wine to get you through the 280 lonely Netflix nights, amirite? I’ve gone so far as to buy the stemless wine glasses because they fit in the dishwasher better. That red flag (or does white work better?) should have alerted even the most vine friendly friends to just how far I’d fallen.
Before COVID, I was a supplement evangelist. I was a super-food snacker. I was primarily a plant-based food promoter. Did cheese, or even worse, a ‘cheese food product’ pass these lips? Not often, and I more than made up for the transgression the next day.
I used to crave a cucumber, red onion, and tomato salad. I drank water like it was the nectar of the Gods. I made as much as possible from scratch — cakes, cookies, salad dressings, breads, even almond milk. I squeezed the lemons and limes from my organically raised trees, and froze their juice in ice cube trays for future recipes.
I read books about how to live a long and healthy life through proper nutrition. I watched documentaries on how eating nutritious food has a positive impact on one’s mind, body, soul, and immune system. I bought matcha for fresh fruit smoothies, and tossed in some spinach as way to get more veggies in. Heck, I even spooned in some turmeric to ward off inflammation.
And now here I am, 280 days into a global pandemic ashamedly admitting I gagged on an apple.
Why the 281st Day Needs to Be Different
Some writers on Medium have attempted to make their readers feel better about not crushing goals during rising COVID infection rates, and lockdowns. I read what they wrote and gave myself a pass.
I gave myself a pass when I stopped writing. I gave myself a pass when I stopped exercising. I gave myself a pass when I started buying more and more junk food. I gave myself a pass when I skipped my supplements, skipped my sauna, and shortened the time I spent walking the dogs. I gave myself a pass to sip wine every night while bingeing The Queen’s Gambit, Bridgerton, and The Crown.
In short, I gave myself a pass on living a longer life due to short-term circumstances. It’s easier to fall off the goal wagon than it is to jump back on a moving vehicle, but it is something I must do. Slowly but surely, I need to return to my health goals.
Achieving Goals Through Habit Coupling
An article I read this morning by Amy Shearn reminded me of a simple way to make changes that stick. The idea is to tie a current habit with a new one. So, for example, when I sit down to a Netflix show, I will drink a cup of tea instead of wine. The old habit was pour wine into the stemless glass and turn on NetFlix. The new habit is to grab a cup of tea before heading to the couch.
Lately I’ve been reading so many Washington Post articles. I feel like I can justify this use of my phone because I’m becoming a more informed citizen. My next new habit coupling will be reading the WaPo news only on my exercise bike. If I want WaPo, I have to pedal for it.
Gagging on an apple was my canary in a coal mine moment. What I choose to do today and every day before the RIPs come pouring in on my Facebook wall, will determine whether I live the longest and healthiest life I can possibly live, or die faster full of Doritos and regret.