How to Give Me Unhealthy Habits
I’m about to get to really honest with myself.
By Scott Mason
I can’t say that I’ve had the most glowing bill of health over the years. Nor can I say that I haven’t spent some time with a body like Dale Gribble fromKing of the Hill. Slim in almost every part of his body but obviously not the least bit fit. Yup, I’ve been there.Here are a few ways to get me to embrace some of the worst eating habits I’ve ever had.
- Holiday Focused Snacks
I make a resolution every year. I also have trouble holding up my end of the bargain. Every single time. No Cadbury Cream Eggs! Every year I could have sworn that there was something better about the Halloween Oreo than the Regular Oreo. Eventually, I realized that the cream was deliberately thicker. The evergreen release of more, thick Oreo products actually proves the point of why I’m so susceptible to seasonal snacks. It’s the ultimate withdrawal tactic. It’s worked too stinking much for me.
2. Kid’s Meal Toys
I wish these things were outlawed in hindsight. Not just because of the extra pounds. I was totally undignified with my love for them. I based my fast food habits around them. I mourned when the Burger King Kids were retired as marketing content. I even snapped when they abandoned Kid Vid sometime later. Giving a dinky, plastic Batmobile or a bunch of 4 inch robot kids to then-pre-adolesents like me doesn’t just border on predation. It robs us of our pride when it works!
3. The Wrong College Classes (Especially In the Beginning)
I will never forget the first class I ever took. Foundations of Philosophy. I will never forget my long hours parsing together writing of Kant, Aquinas and Descartes. My irritation is predominantly reserved for Aristotle. If I ever have to read him again, I’m going to throw something against a wall as hard as an Athenian trireme slamming into a Persian ship at the Battle of Salamis. All of this is to say that I was pretty burned out after my first round of a college education. That takes a toll on my energy once a whole season of pressure is off. I spent a great of my winter break, waking up at 2pm, getting cleanly, then hopping into the car for a Burger King Milkshake. I actually lost weight but I still don’t think it was healthy.
4. Lack of Knowledge
I’ve never found a workout that makes me feel anything other than tired for days, no matter how long I keep at it or rest. Building tolerance doesn’t happen. I don’t know where this refreshed attitude stuff that health writers keep going on about comes from. I’ve never felt it. It’s enough trouble to get on an elliptical trainer of lift some dumbbells for me on its own. It’s even worse if it seems futile or indirect. The fact that I needed physical therapy not too long ago was actually a blessing hidden within the curse of two nerve compressions. I’ve wanted to get better at planks, deadlifts, lunges and squats and now I’m on my way. Except for the lunges. I still need more balance. I can’t avoid fatigue. I can at least be smart about how I use my time.
I am at my most vulnerable when I’m out of gas. I like being productive. I feel better if I’ve made headway with something tough. Getting weighed down does not sit well with me. Neither does having trouble with something that I really shouldn’t be. One of my worst nightmares is being in a room where everyone else is getting something right when I can’t on the spot. Even when resolved, it’s really amazing how much progress we miss if we don’t have the acuity to react to it because of the journey.
6. Big Bowls
I’ve seen several blog posts on Medium advocating for shrinking the size of the bowls they use when eating as a means of portion control discipline. It works. I know that because the converse worked on me. Or perhaps, failed is a better word. Even with healthier dishes and cereals, I was still ingesting surplus calories.
7. Caffeine and Sugar
Anything that will give me a low outside of my sleep schedule is to be consumed at my own peril. Just like burnout, the same applies to highs. I can’t afford to come crashing down in such an inevitable way. It ruins my groove.
I have my XXXX together, now. If I don’t have it 100%, it’s on the way. Exercise still give me a low that works to disrupt my week. I’ve avoided fast food sans the occasional Shorty’s or Shake Shack). I’ve pretty much phased every soda out of my diet except Ginger Ale for my throat and a rare 7Up. I graduated 9 years ago. Now, hopefully, this can finally be the year where I kick my annual Cream Egg binge. Let’s dance, Easter Bunny.