RANT: Breaking Bad Habits

“Choose a quit date. It can be a significant day, like a birthday or anniversary or hold no significance at all.  Start cutting back between now and then, and determine what you will do instead of smoking when you get stressed or want a cigarette”

That’s what I tell patients who are contemplating ‘smoking cessation’ (as we call it in the medical biz).

But how effective is that? If I employ the same advice with ‘sugar cessation’ or ‘dessert cessation’ would I be successful?

Could I quit?

Eight Ball says: “Not Likely”

I know it is highly unrealistic for me to never eat a dessert again.  Or to never drink a beer again.  So why would I expect a smoker to be anymore optimistic?

reaching for cake
(photo from culinarykicks.blogspot.com)

What could I do instead of snarfing down the beer and pizza that will inevitably be ordered during gatherings, football games, etc without feeling like a total social outcast?

When someone offers a cookie or cake or my Achilles heal: ICE CREAM, how do I decline without feeling like I’m missing out?

And how do I get through the holiday season not only trying not to over-indulge, but to trim down and eat healthfully to boot?!?

Sounds Daunting.

I do have patients, that quit smoking “cold turkey”, despite numerous failed attempts in the past.  Could I do the same?

Could I be successful this new year? And what foods are off-limits? Sugar? Wheat? Dairy? Meat?

There are no patches, inhalers or pills to assist me.

So how will I do it?

Here’s my list of things I will do instead of over-eating:

Eat something healthy instead (Duh)

Drink water

Make Tea

Take a lap (i.e. walk away from the apps)

Strike up Convo (distraction is key)

Chew Glee

Breath deeply

Read something

So, what bad habits do you hope to break this upcoming year?  And how will you break them?

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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