We Want Longevity
#112 But Do We Always Make Choices to Support It?
The truth - while we were on the cruise, I made choices that were at odds with promoting the longevity I discussed a couple of weeks ago.
That experience provided me with insights. My daughter and I went wild the first two days. We had breakfasts filled with waffles, sausage, and eggs; lunches at the Food Court with an endless array of food choices; four-course dinners and snacks in the afternoon. Of the 14 eating venues - we frequented five.
The food was tempting and so good. Wine and mixed drinks were readily available. Did you know mango margaritas are delicious?
Our stomachs were not happy. By the third day, sanity kicked in, and we realized that if we kept eating at that rate, we’d gain ten pounds by the time we got home. So, we stopped the food-fest and began making more realistic choices - back to yogurt and English muffins for breakfast, salads for lunch, healthy dinners, and a daily glass of wine despite all the options.
In addition to eating less, we began including physical activity. Instead of taking the elevator, we took the stairs. We walked the track and went to the fitness center. Walking on the treadmill while looking out a window at the ocean is incredible.
We knew eating like we were for a long time would undoubtedly lead to health problems. Still, we made unhealthy choices. Why? What got in the way?
During the cruise, the availability and enticement of beautifully prepared food and what others were doing played a role.
We told ourselves that we deserved a break. After all, we were on vacation.
But were those choices helping us reach a goal of longevity? I think not, and we knew it. Generally speaking, the Psychology Today website offers a simple explanation for such lapses.
The answer is complex and has much to do with the individual making a choice. But in general, bad decisions have to do with acting out of emotion and not out of reason. Unfortunately, strong emotions can cloud our thinking and move us to do things that are not smart. This fact is true whether it is making a choice about a life partner or voting for a political candidate. Acting on emotion and not reason can lead us down one rabbit hole after another since we may attempt to justify our choice by making other bad choices.
We were acting on emotion - we were having fun.
This website also explains that people continuously make bad choices because they fail to learn from past experiences.
Fortunately, we listened to our bodies’ messages and adjusted quickly.
Motivation also plays a role. This short video offers exciting ideas.
I use many of them already. Take a look.
The video reminds me to make choices that support my goal of aging well - as much as possible despite the pulls to make unhealthy ones. I can’t control everything. However, there are things I can do that make a difference.
On another note, my favorite two articles this week are:
Are things really 'good' and 'bad' the way we like to think? This is a poignant story of courage and strength.
The secret to any long-term relationship. I could so relate to this love story.
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Excellent article, Janice. The war of emotional eating can be lifelong. You win some battles, you lose some battles. You hope you win more often. What is currently getting in my way is the voice in my head that says, "I am already 80 years old, dammit, I will eat what I want!" Is it helping me? Not a bit.
Getting back on track on Day #3 is admirable!
I've never been on a cruise and it's probably a good thing. I fall into the 'I deserve it' trap and need to convince myself that I deserve a healthier, slimmer body!