I Don’t Need to, but I Choose To

My original blog post today was going to be about Halloween and how to deal with candy that will be inevitably making its way into our houses in a couple of weeks. But then I had a conversation with a friend who’s been going through a hard time. We’re going out for dinner tonight and he said that he wanted to have a few drinks. I jokingly said to him that with what he’s had going on, he needs those drinks (for the record, I’m not a proponent in any way of drinking your problems away…actually I’m more a proponent of exercising instead). He said to me in a very serious voice: “No. I don’t need to, but I choose to.” Which is what led me to write this blog post.

We all have choices to make every single day. If we actually sat down and made a list of those choices, our heads might explode. Some of them are minor choices. Others are potentially life-changing ones. It’s my opinion that what we decide to eat or drink throughout the day are some of the more important ones. Do we eat a bagel smothered in cream cheese for breakfast or do we choose a couple of hard-boiled eggs, some fruit, and a whole grain piece of toast? Do we eat a slice of pizza or a piece of chicken and some veggies for lunch. Do we drink a soda as a snack, or have some peanut butter on celery and maybe an unsweetened ice tea to wash it down. Do we get dessert with our dinner or just a cup of tea and some fruit?

These are all choices and we are free to make them. Do we make the wrong choices sometimes? Absolutely. Does this make us a bad person and worth beating ourselves up over? No. But realize that when you choose to eat something that goes against what your body needs for its health, it is a choice you are making. And when you make that choice, there’s usually a reason behind it. You don’t need to eat that bagel with cream cheese. So, why are you? Is your body craving carbs? Is it easier to eat that than make eggs? Is it what you’ve been eating every day for years? It could be any of those reasons. Or, some people will just say, “I choose to eat a bagel because I want to.” And again, that’s fine, if it’s your choice. But, recognize that if that is your reason, chances are you’re not ready to get healthy.

Next time you decide to eat something out of choice, rather than because your body needs it, ask yourself that question. Why am I eating this? Is it because I need to or because I choose to? And why am I choosing this over something healthy?

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