You know how sometimes you do something, and then almost instantly wish that you hadn’t? Like screaming at your husband when he’s done nothing wrong. Or eating the kids’ leftovers when you’re not hungry at all.
So I’m tired this morning. In fact, I’m very tired, even after a good night’s sleep. 5 months pregnant and this baby is growing, leaving me empty. I’m up and working, but I’m battling. So I wander over the road for a coffee and a chocolate croissant. It’s delicious. And then I stop and think, why did I just do that? It’s 10am on a Monday, hardly the time to be unravelling. A glass of water or a cup of tea would have solved the problem. Or simply stepping away from the laptop for a minute.
Luckily for me, I don’t do guilt. So I’m over it. I’m not sitting here beating myself up. But it made me think. We all make poor choices every week, probably every day. And some of them are impacting our health. So what can we do differently?
After mulling over this while chewing on delicious flaky pastry, I’ve decided that the number one solution is ‘The Pause’. If you’re about to fly off the handle at your husband, your kids, or anyone else, stop. Are they in danger? Do you really need to yell? Have they done anything wrong, or are you just tired and frustrated? If there is genuinely a problem, voice it. Face it head on and make it better. But if you are the problem, the pause should be enough time for you to reconsider, and leave the people around you in peace.
When it comes to diet, The Pause is the answer. Imagine that you want a chocolate bar. Decide to wait an hour. Drink a water or herbal tea while you wait, because often cravings come from thirst. Keep busy. And if you really want it an hour later? Go for it. Chances are, it won’t happen every day.
One of the best things you can do is figure out what days and times you tend to make bad decisions. What are your triggers? Boredom, stress, reward, hunger, thirst, fatigue? Or something entirely different? Do your best to pre-empt the hardest parts of your week. And notice how much better you feel when you are tough enough to resist.
When it comes to cravings, think of The Pause as a back-up plan. If you’re well hydrated and you have meals and snacks prepared, you’re less likely to end up desperately trying to talk yourself out of a trip down the confectionery aisle. But even the best plans can fall short, so it pays to know how to cope.
When it comes down to it, we’re only human. And if we never made dodgy decisions, we’d have very few stories to tell. So who cares if you trip yourself up sometimes? Learn from it and move on. As long as you take the time to make sure you’re not constantly doing things you don’t want to do, at the expense of your health & wellbeing.
Gretchen Masters loves helping everyone to get fitter, healthier and happier. With the solid foundations of an exercise science degree and over 10 years experience in the fitness industry, Gretchen knows how to help you to get the most out of your training.
Gretchen’s biggest project these days is Spring – a national campaign delivered online to fight depression. Held each September, members follow daily fitness plans, eat good mood food and access meditation podcasts. They track their mood and watch it soar. All of the profits from Spring are donated to mental health charities.
Gretchen also delivers corporate wellness programs and writes regular columns for Inform magazine. When she’s not busy boosting health and vitality all over Australia, you’ll find Gretchen planning her next trip to France. Each July, Gretchen shares her passion and guides groups from the French Alps to Paris, following the Tour de France.
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