In the months that I’ve been making an effort to not be grossly unhealthy, I’ve noticed that a lot of times when I reach for something unhealthy, it’s not really because I’m craving it, but because I’m used to it. It’s a habit. We have coupled unhealthy choices with another one – handcuffing one to another one.

Once you choose something unhealthy, you usually pair it with its partner. Like:

Hamburgers with french fries
Pasta with wine
Pizza with beer
Nachos with margaritas
And my personal favorite – donuts with coffee

Even our entertainment is paired with unhealthy consumption:

Movies with popcorn…and then popcorn with gigantic soda
Shopping with an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. And with an Orange Julius
Dancing with drinking
Karaoke with cocktails
Sand volleyball with beer in plastic cups
Video games with Doritos
Gambling with drinking, then drinking with smoking

So to curb this, I have created my own duos:

Running outside to girl power songs
Salads with water (yeah, this craze hasn’t caught on)
Running on the treadmill with Bravo TV
A bath with a book
Puzzle races with more singalong songs

If I sit on the couch and watch TV, I will probably snack on junk food, because it’s what I’m used to. So now, if I’m going to watch TV, I do so from the treadmill. Instead of letting my mind’s autopilot take over and me remembering what goes with what I’m doing or eating, I am recreating my life into healthier duos. Reading never went with anything unhealthy anyway, and that’s one of my favorite ways to spend my free time.

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