Friends, what do you think about when you see or hear the word “trigger?” Does it conjure up images of guns, and asthma attacks, of anger and food cravings? Well, it does for me. Maybe you guys aren’t quite the Debbie Downer that I am, but the word “trigger” truly triggers some dark stuff in me. But what if we reclaimed the word? What if we came up with a long list of POSITIVE triggers that could help us be healthy and happy? What if we actually stopped to identify the things that led us to be our best selves? When you have a goal, especially one as daunting as changing your eating habits, it is crucial to align as many of the forces in your life as possible to make that goal happen. If you are trying to eat less sweets, but your roommate just stocked up on ring dings at a BOGO sale, guess what you’ll be whenever you open that pantry? TRIGGERED.
Triggers play a really important role in developing healthy habits. Recently, I noticed how frequently I was eating out. I chalked it up to summer relaxation, a busy social calendar, it being too hot to cook, and about a zillion other excuses, being the Queen of Justification I am. But no more! I decided right then and there I was going to put an end to the madness, blow the dust off my cast iron skillet, and get back to work in the kitchen. My wallet and my belly both needed some serious reprieve here. But alas, these days, technology and apps might make certain things easier, but they also make giving into temptation far easier than it’s ever been. I found myself doing ok with breakfast, lunch, even snacking more healthily and less frequently. By the time evening rolled around, if I was feeling a certain way, some combination of the busy-tired-bored wheel of funk, those dang apps were just staring back at me from my phone screen, taunting, teasing and tempting me. If I made it past Yelp24, there was Seamless fresh on its tail. If I managed to dodge both of them, GrubHub was hot on the case. If I couldn’t find anything to satisfy my desires there, their evil step-sister UberEats was waiting in the wings. I felt I was doomed for failure, and realized something HAD TO GIVE. So I took the plunge, faced my fear, and deleted the whole kit and kaboodle from all my devices. Just like that, cold turkey. Like the health guru and gangsta I was. Inevitably, for the first few days were miserablel. I couldn’t believe how drastic I’d been. WHAT WAS I THINKING? DID I HAVE TO BE SO EXTREME?! The short answer? Yes. For me, this was the only way to do it. Remove the trigger, reduce the temptation, and make the fight to power through easier on myself.
Honestly, in all seriousness, I think the fact that we do currently live in what I like to call “Seamless Culture” has absolutely contributed to the modern struggles around obesity. Why cook when we can order a different cuisine every night of the week, without even having to pick up the phone and talk to another human? Well, a few reasons. Primarily, it is extremely challenging to eat healthy while eating out all the time. You may throw in a salad or a quinoa bowl here or there, but eventually, those food restrictions become less important because they’re less easy. The sodium is higher, the portions are bigger, the ingredients less simple. So friends, do whatever it takes to make these changes easier on yourself. And in no time, that crockpot will be your new trigger - not of a panic attack, but of cooking a healthy meal and nourishing yourself and your family.