Sneaky Habits That Hold You Back

Sneaky Habits That Hold You Back

Did you know you can go on a plane WITHOUT eating?! It sounds simple, right? But for me, the two were always linked.

I don’t mean for long flights that span over multiple meal times. What I’m talking about is more general, flying = eating.

Over the years, I’ve been able to plan better and eat less junk, but it used to be that traveling gave me permission to binge eat a ton of crap.

Airports make it incredibly easy (but expensive) to fulfill this need. Cinnabon, giant-sized packages of trail mix, and $5 bottles of water come to mind.

Over time, it created a habit in me that wasn’t serving my mind OR my body (or my wallet, honestly). Maybe it’s the stress of flying or because I picked up the habit from someone else, but I’ve always stocked up on junk food at the airport like I’m about to be stranded on a deserted island with nothing to eat.

Fortunately, I’ve been on many flights and never needed to dip into my junk food reserves, although it never stopped me from doing so.

Today was different. On the way back to Detroit from The GOOD Fest Philly, I bought a $4 protein bar (like normal, although keeping it to just one was something new) and I didn’t even eat it.

You guys, this is BIG.

I know, I know, so what? But, for me, it was one of the most freeing realizations, because it means that I don’t have to eat when I’m on a flight.

Eating and plane travel don’t have to be connected.

I’d like to say that I intentionally used this short flight to confront my habit head on. In reality, it was an accident – I was just too tired and slept the whole flight. Guess what? That’s still a win in my book because I came out the other end with the same conclusion and I figured it out by listening to what my body needed – not by what my mind and habits were telling me to do.

While you may be thinking: a flight from Philly to Detroit? That’s only an hour and a half, tops. Plus, you were sleeping the whole flight – how is this an accomplishment?

Well, these things have never stopped me from eating in the past. In fact, I’ve been in this exact situation before and every time I woke up – even just opened my eyes – I would immediately eat whatever I had stashed, then go back to sleep. Almost as if I felt like I had to. Like it was routine.

So, what’s the point of me telling you all of this? 

Because regardless of whether or not you carry the same belief I did, flying = eating, it illuminates the way that habits can hold you back.

Sure, I “knew” I didn’t need to eat while flying. But it never really occurred to me that there was another alternative – or that I should even be looking for one. My habit would often leave me feeling bloated and upset with myself for whatever I consumed, but that didn’t stop me from continuing the behavior every time I was put into the situation.

Take a second and try to think of some habits you may be holding on to. They may be food related or have nothing to do with food at all. 

Don’t be surprised if nothing comes to mind at first – the trickest habits are the ones that are so engrained in the way we do things that we often don’t think of them as habits – they just seem like a normal part of life.

Give thought to the way these habits affect your life and how it may be different without them. Do they improve your life or is it possible that they sabotage your goals? Evaluating your habits doesn’t mean you have to commit to change them, it just means you’re more aware of the unconscious beliefs that may be driving your behavior. From there YOU get to decide whether or not they need to be changed.

Let me know in the comments if any habits come up for you. Although we often think our habits are unique (and sometimes they are), sharing may lead to an ah-ha moment for someone else.


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