Recently, one of our community members posed an interesting question: What did you give up to reach your health goals?
The comments that followed were filled with sweets and snacks that people missed eating and drinking. You probably have a list like this for yourself as well. There is nothing wrong with missing some of your favorite foods, but we need to reframe how you think about these choices in your life.
Think about what you gain with a healthy choice, not what you lose.
In my years as a critical care physician, I was no stranger to comfort foods. When you’re on-call and racing between patients, you eat whatever you can grab at the vending machine or have ordered-in. These foods weren’t much more than calories—and the elastic on my scrubs confirmed that—but they were quick and convenient and tasted sweet.
As good as the sugar rush of a candy bar felt in the moment, I soon realized that I was losing out in areas of my life that were more important to me. My daughters were growing up while I was doing rounds. When I was home, I was tired and didn’t feel like myself. With a poor sleep schedule and little meaningful nutrition, I didn’t have the energy to really be present.
You might not be working in critical care, but your story is probably not that different from mine. You have family and friends who mean more to you than a candy bar, and you are becoming increasingly aware of how your health moves you closer or farther away from the life you want to have with your loved ones.
When you think about how much you miss drinking soda, remind yourself what you gain by drinking water. Your health is your gateway to a vibrant life, and each healthy choice means that you are more likely to live a longer life.
It’s not about what you don’t get to have. It’s about what you get to have instead.
What do you gain each time you make a healthy choice? What in your life is more important to you than a sugary treat? Write down your answers in your journal, and if you feel comfortable sharing, share your story on our Facebook page.