I survived turning the big 4-0 this past weekend and so far it seems like will be a good decade. Let me explain how my day went Saturday and then we’ll make a connection or two.
Around 6:30 am our 4 year old came in and welcomed me to my forties. (Does it get better than that?) Shortly after we got up, she and I ventured out to a local coffeeshop. Latte for me and my partner, steamed milk for her. When we got home a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs (with ketchup) and toast awaited. Yummy. After putting a good friend through his paces on the treadmill, I stopped by the grocery store to get some things for lunch and dinner. I had a list, but had also been given the green light to get something I liked for lunch. Uh oh. Green lights and food with me are worrisome. A nice lunch of turkey sandwiches, chips, and some chicken and bean salad hit made for two good birthday meals thus far. Throughout the day we played a bit, cleaned a bit, and got ready for dinner. Friends would be joining us.
A few appetizers were out and about, some cashews, carrots, celery, etc. Out of those options I surprisingly focused on the cashews. In honor of my brother-in-law, who had sent from San Francisco the required ingredients for Manhattans (“You’re old now, you have to drink like you are old.”), we each enjoyed a gentleman’s drink. I turned to a nice beer after being old for 20 minutes. My partner grilled steak (delicious), and our friends delivered on garlic potatoes (delicious) and homemade chocolate cake (need I say how that was?). Through on some ice cream and the 40s are all right. Good friends, amazing family, and great food.
Here’s the connection. Context. On Friday I blogged about how when we label occasions as special we allow that occasion to define what is served and how we behave. Case in point: my birthday. I used the excuse all day. Coffee, shopping at the grocery store, cashews, steak, and cake, cake, cake. Followed by ice cream, ice cream, ice cream. It was my birthday and that defined my eating. The funny part is I understand what is going on and am still a victim of context. No matter how hard I tell myself, “Calm down, it’s only homemade chocolate cake with homemade frosting and creamy vanilla ice cream,” I cannot restrain myself. Now, we may say, “It’s my birthday,” and now the point is proven, context. I can come up with lots of excuses to eat, I don’t need my birthday. However, it does give me some cover.
We need to be on the constant look out for environmental cues to our eating. It’s ok to have a birthday every once in awhile. Enjoy. I just don’t want to turn 40 every day.