Old Habits

Old habits die hard is an axiom for a reason.

Just when you thought you’d put all of it behind you they sneak up on you, prepared to attack at a moment’s weakness.  I had a morning like that but thankfully things turned out for the best.  I knew there was going to be trouble when the alarm clock woke me up at 6AM.  I’m always up before the alarm clock so I know those days I’m especially tired.  It’s been a long week of late nights and I have not been particularly faithful in getting a lot of sleep.  What I learned about myself, as I sleepily banged around the kitchen, is when you’re tired you’re very open to the suggestion of old habits.  Never had a bag of bagels looked more like a fabulous idea.  And those Rice Krispies!  They would be great drowned in milk and coated with sugar.  Speaking of sugar, wouldn’t two tablespoons in your coffee be great!?

It was like one of those Looney Tunes cartoons where Angel Bugs and Devil Bugs sit on their respective shoulders trying to convince Bugs Bunny what to do.  The only problem was that Angel Bugs was no where to be found and the creme cheese was in easy reach.  You’ll be relieved to know I was a good boy and had my usually scrambled eggs with ham and broccoli but it was a close thing.

Even when you’ve been into something for a while, you have to remain vigilant against old habits and their temptations.  Being tired or anxious or stressed will only leave you more vulnerable to attack.  The best remedy of course is to get lots of sleep, eat well, and stay on the ball.  There are times though when things catch up to even the best of us.  Those are the times you need to look out the most.

Personally, I believe in the idea of eliminating temptation as the best way to combat it.  I’ve had people tell me that I’m not proving anything by doing that, that I’m not learning to live with the stressor.  Why would I do that?  If I don’t want to eat bread and I have issues with it, why would I walk down the bread aisle?  This isn’t about proving who’s the strongest, this is about living inside a new life and sometimes that means turning around and walking away.

So just remember, there will be days that you’re vulnerable to old habits and temptations.  Eliminate as much as you can and prepare for the rest.  There will be days when that ice cream or pasta looks like the best thing in the world.  Say no because you can and turn away from it if you must.  This is your life and you can do it anyway you need to.

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