For the last few years, the kids who are in Holmdel schools choirs take a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure. Every year, it occurs after Memorial Day and I have never been able to "chaperone” because it coincided with a sports medicine conference I attend each year. However, this year – it did not overlap and my daughter asked me to please volunteer. Okay, I haven’t been there is over 20 years…but I know one thing didn’t change – the amount of junk food and high calorie options bombarding everyone in the park.
A colleague gave me his company’s S2H pedometer and I figured I could at track my physical activity and see if I could find something healthy to eat. I also brought a collapsible water bottle that kept getting filled up @ the water fountains – because at $3+ for bottled water, my usual consumption would’ve been quite expensive.
We were deluged with branding and messaging from Coca Cola and M&Ms – after all, even the sky ride cars were painted to resemble M&M candies. At one point, my daughter thought that since the vending machine was out of water, that I would say “yes” to a soda (after she had one for lunch), but I was firm on making sure it was water only.
I read on the map that some restaurants had salads – but where we ended up eating, the little menagerie of eateries didn’t have any greens. So, I walked a little distance to the Panda Express – ordered a plate of mixed vegetables and steamed rice and met up with girls who shared platters of fried delights from Johnny Rockets: chicken fingers, French fries and fried onion rings. Perhaps you think I should “live a little” and conceded to some fried lunch as well.
Here’s the secret mindset – I already spied the Dippin Dots around the park – which are among my favorite ice cream indulgences – so I committed to a healthier lunch option, so I could eat the ice cream without one ounce of guilt. At one point, there were announcements that due to approaching bad weather – some rides were temporarily shut down. This meant that in lieu of zig zagging across the park via the sky ride – we had to use our own two feet.
The great news is that my pedometer read 10,000 steps by the time we got back to the buses – which meant I walked ~ 5 miles. I had a wonderful time with my daughter and her friends and didn’t have to make any excuses the next day for poor food choices and lack of physical activity. This is what being healthy is all about – making choices.