I just got back from a trip to the grocery store. We were at the end of our list when I felt a sudden impulse to buy soda. I must confess, during my recent travels to the US I indulged in my fair share of fountain soda, a guilty pleasure that I don’t get in England (a country that still doesn’t seem to “get” ice).
I’m trying not to be an absolutist about this whole soda thing. A fizzy treat once in a while won’t kill me. But that’s the trick – “once in a while.”
So I was in the pop aisle, looking at the cans of Fanta Zero, and even went so far as to put a 6-pack in my cart. Then Tim went off for some milk and I had a moment to myself to think things over and have a little conversation with myself:
Now Monica, you had your soda bomb in the US with the intention of cutting way back when you returned to the UK. You don’t really want to drink soda – it’s full of chemicals. And if you skip it, your entire basket will be comprised solely of whole foods. You’ll feel good about it. PUT THE FANTA BACK.
So I managed to resist the soda and break the habit, which wasn’t so hard I guess. Somehow having those couple of minutes to myself managed to save me from disaster. For some reason, when Tim was there, I couldn’t have that conversation with myself. Instead I was too fixated on feeling “caught in the act” to actually think rationally about what I was doing. It’s like I needed those moments to myself to decide, for myself, that I didn’t want to buy soda.
Believe it or not, there’s a point here. When it comes to being healthy, there’s no doubt that people can be a powerful support for maintaining good habits. But having some alone time is just as important because in the end, the choice to change is a completely individual choice and we all have to get there on our own, at our own pace.
Now, my soda addiction is in no way solved – I will always be tempted to buy soda if I’m in a shop that sells the magical elixir. So what do you guys do to talk yourself out of bad decisions? I need all the coping strategies I can get!
Monica age 10: caught in the act!
Photo credit: 201cigarettes