The association with food and days is apparent. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the obvious days, but the summer holidays or Super Bowl Sunday also have the tie-in.
For a lot of people, yours truly included, the birthday is one of those days as well.
The tradition growing up on birthdays was getting to choose whatever food would be on that day. The childhood tradition was Long John Silver's (LJS). The story is a bit complicated — the nearest one was about 25 miles away, so it might have been about power as opposed to the quality of chicken strips.
But I did enjoy the food. And when I ate poorly, LJS was really good and cheap.
Now that I eat better, I still tried to keep the LJS tradition going. Why? Because it was tradition.
And that was good — and bad. Traditions are fun and have so many great memories. But adjusting traditions, especially for health, has merit, too.
So this year, on my birthday, which if you haven't guessed already, the tradition will be a little different. I did get a LJS visit out of the way over the weekend because it was on my mind. And it's not like I'll be eating really healthy. However, eating on my birthday will be healthier than usual.
The overall tradition — food that I want and that tastes good — still has to remain. But the new tradition is incorporating my birthday into my new eating life, but still fun.
If you are someone who struggles with changing tradition, adapting a tradition to your comfort level can work, even if it takes you three steps to change instead of one. Food is something we take personally, and so how we change has to be personal.