Make Just the One Choice
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
So when I was a teenager, my youth leaders would tell me to make a decision ahead of time--so that I wouldn't have to decide each time I was confronted with a temptation, especially because I would be confronted with a temptation that was .... well, tempting.
Following that advice kept me from drinking, smoking, drugs, and many of the other paths that teenagers sometimes wander but that I *knew* that I personally didn't want to go down.
I've been thinking about that little piece of advice lately. I was asked for advice on getting healthy--not that I'm an expert, by any means, but it did get me thinking.
You see, I think I've applied that little piece of advice to my healthy journey without really realizing it. Here's me getting ugly honest now--but bottom line is that I struggle with overeating. I don't know if I do it out of stress or what. But those patterns got me 60 pounds overweight and those habits got me 20+ pounds back on after I so proudly lost all of that weight.
So I had to decide once. And I had to decide ahead of time--not when I was faced with the chocolate or the apple fritters or whatever temptation happened along. Because if I hadn't decided by that point, it was way too late.
I had to decide to make some general rules which would neutralize those temptations. (And, yes, I know I've written about this before but it's really on my mind today.)
For me, the temptations to overindulge come at me the hardest when I'm hanging out with Hubs in the evenings (HELLO Maximum Extreme Moose Track ice cream!) and when I'm alone (REALLY not good).
So my fight-the-temptation-ahead-of-
time rules are 1) no eating after 6:30 and 2) no eating junk food alone. The second rule in particular (my new one) is valuable. I've always told my kids that if you feel like you have to sneak or hide something from people (besides a happy surprise), it's probably something they shouldn't do. So why in the world have I allowed myself to think it's ok to hide my food habits (whether if I eat when I'm alone or when I'm sneaking).
With those rules, now I don't have to decide to "be good" every time I'm faced with a temptation--my decision is made. So I have my decision already made when there's an array of junk food in front of me each time I teach my Bible study class--because I already decided I won't eat *anything* because the class starts at 8pm (yeah, horribly late time :P). Likewise, I don't have to try to resist the temptation to snarf down the chocolate sitting on my desk or the ice cream in my freezer--because I already decided I can't eat by myself.
Maybe that seems like a silly distinction and maybe it won't work for everybody... but it's made a world of difference for me.