Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

The Olympics are over and I'm sad to say that I didn't get a chance to watch all of our athletes in action, but I did see some memorable moments, including an early morning gold medal game.  Go Canada Go! 

With the games now behind us we're back to our regularly scheduled programs.  I wouldn't categorize my television consumption as excessive but I did notice its absence during the Olympics.  It's not uncommon for me to unwind at the end of the day with a television show.  I'm not glued to the boob tube but I did miss catching up with some of my favorite characters and found myself wondering more than once this past month what to do with my free time?  Meeting up with Olivia Pope and her team each week had become a habit for me - a routine of behavior that's repeated regularly and tends to occur unconsciously.

I had a similar eye-opener last October.  Although I normally eat pretty clean, I decided to take on the Whole30 saying no to grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and alcohol for thirty days with no cheats, slips or "special occasions."  The most revealing part of the program was recognizing my cravings as habits.  For instance, why did I "crave" wanting to treat my taste buds on Mondays?  What was so special about the first day of the week for me?  After thirty days of thinking about it I came to the conclusion that Mondays were my Fridays, and I was in the routine of treating myself with a well-deserved yummy yucky to unwind after my work week.

So what do these two seemingly unrelated topics, television and treats have in common?  For me?  Unconscious indulgence.  A sneaky saboteur that disguises itself as part of my regularly scheduled program.  And while it's fine to trade my time for television or treat myself to a yummy yucky every now and again, it becomes a problem when it's no longer a conscious choice - but instead a result of training unconscious habits.

If you can't unwind until you've had your post-work wine or find yourself looking forward to going to the movies for the treats, not the show, you may be a victim of the unconscious indulgence.  The great news is behaviour can change.  You got yourself into the predicament and can get yourself out by recognizing your routine and taking the "un" out of unconscious.

Do you have an unconscious indulgence you'd like to share?

~ Sasha

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