Sometimes it just happens.  You are rolling along on your new healthy lifestyle and feeling pretty good — and good about yourself.  You are developing a taste for good-for-you low glycemic food and only rarely miss that soda.  Exercise has become a part of your life, not something you must do for a while.

Then something dramatic changes that throws your life out of kilter and your healthy habits out the window.  That happened to me this week.  Just a few days after opening our new business  (a life-changing operation in itself) we had a death in the family.  My brother-in-law suffered a traumatic head injury.  While he was unconscious from the first, it took several days before all his automatic responses stopped and he was at rest.

Every aspect of the acronym H.A.L.T. came into play during those long, difficult days. Don’t get too hungry — difficult if getting away at mealtimes is not convenient.  Don’t get too angry, or stressed.  Well, avoiding emotional stress was not an option!  Don’t get too lonely.  Lots of people around, but taking the quiet night watches made boredom eating a definite temptation, particularly since vending machines were convenient.  Don’t get too tired. Needless to say, watching while someone you care about slowly passes from this life — and doing that for days — saps your energy and makes you instinctively look for a sugar boost.

Add in the lack of choices available when you sleep during regular hours and stay up alone at night after the cafeteria closes, and you have a recipe for healthy habit breakdown.

What can you do when life throws you a curve that can’t be straightened out?  You do your best and plan to get back on track as soon as possible.  Diets fail because we think of them as temporary fixes and plan to go back to “normal” as soon as we reach our goals.  We can reverse that idea when we are in a place too difficult and too emotional to make wise choices.  Tell yourself, as I did, that this is temporary and you will go back to your “new normal” as soon as possible.  If we are talking days, not weeks or months, you won’t have any lasting damage.

Heaven’s streets are paved with gold, but we are still traveling on asphalt.  We are going to experience trials and griefs.  Things beyond our control will knock our good intentions flat at times.  Just remember that these tough times will pass and plan to get back on track when they do.

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown

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