August 25, 2012

Healthy Step 9: Discipline

Discipline is a catch 22 characteristic, because it is a trait that is both earned, but also needed in order to be obtained.

When it comes to breaking old habits, and changing your diet for the better, discipline is a productive attribute to have.

This past weekend, I was in Philadelphia covering the American Chemical Society’s 244th National Meeting & Exposition. During this trip, I was faced with many decisions that required discipline.

Fortunately for me, Philadelphia doesn’t have any In-N-Out burgers to be tempted with, however they do have plenty of hot juicy subs.

I’m currently on a track that by the end of the year, every meal I will be eating will be healthy, except for the three cheats a week. What this means, is due to my current path, I only have to eat a healthy meal a day, so I was entitled to a few Dunkin’ Donuts during my stay in Philadelphia.

You see, Denver is stupid, because we let the savory flavor of Dunkin’ Donut coffee and donut get away from us. So, during east coast trips, it is my favorite thing to do.

Discipline. That is what I was faced with this weekend while in Philly. Between hot sandwiches and Dunkin’ Donuts, I had a plethora of bad choices to try and avoid.

So, being a person who both loves hot sandwiches, and loves donuts, what did I do? Well, simply put, I cheated. I ate my donuts, and I ate my hot sandwiches, and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. Not only because I lack discipline, but also because my trek to this healthy lifestyle is at a perfect point where I’m able to find ways to eat whatever I want as long I as eat healthy during other parts of the day. That was my logic, and why with thoughts like that, it is sometimes hard to find discipline.

During my journey, I stumbled upon “Dicnic’s Diner,” which just so happens to have the sandwich that recently gained the “Best Sandwich In America” award.

Dicnics is only a block from the convention center in downtown Philly, so throughout the week, during my lunch break, I would go down and check to see how long the line is. The entire week, the line was at least 100 people deep, leaving me to have to go and find healthy options instead.

At my last opportunity to eat dinner at Dicnics, and after having an assortment of nuts and greens for lunch, I found no line at the famous diner.

I sat, ordered the roasted pork and broccoli sandwich, and my hard work for the week I thought was about to be rewarded.

Juices flowed from the sandwich like there was no end, and everyone around me also had on their plate “America’s Best Sandwich.” As my teeth sank into the bread and through the meat, and bit off a chunk of that sub, my tongue had its chance to finally taste the flavor.

At that moment, my feeling of being rewarded immediately went to a feeling of regret. Regret that I had wasted $10 on such a crappy sandwich. How Travel Channel got the crackpot idea that this was the country’s best sandwich I have no idea, but I do know that they were dead wrong.

So, that sandwich taught me that cheating isn’t always what its cracked up to be, and discipline is a creature worth catching. The next day it was back to roasted rosemary almonds and a side salad, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m sure my days of hot subs aren’t over, but I do know it’ll make me think twice next time before cheating with something I don’t even know.

Image Credit: Nayashkova Olga / Shutterstock

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