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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KIMJ01
    Hoping you are doing well! I think of you often. Hoping things are better and getting less hectic now that Easter is over.
    1127 days ago
    Great ideas! You are a strong woman and Young Women's got you off on the right track. Keep up the good work. emoticon
    1132 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    Great Plan❤️ I know you can do it!! Funny my Visiting Teacher stopped by yesterday with a Basket full of baked goodies. She apologized for the sweets, but we busted it open & had our chat on the porch!! Finding balance is hard, yur doing tho😀
    1136 days ago
    Wishing you good luck!
    1136 days ago
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    1136 days ago
  • KIMJ01
    Yes. A coworker suggested that we do best if we understand our choices have already been made before we get to the point of "deciding" whether or not to do something, like eating food that is off our list. And that list can be health related, as it is for me. I've also made the choice not to say I will never eat "something" that is so-called bad. But I will eat it mindfully and think about whether or not I am enjoying what I am eating. Have picked up a cooky that was not that great, and thought after one bite, "I don't enjoy this at all" and spat it out. Have eaten other good cookies, but was able to eat just one, because it was mindful. Seems to help to have that mindset and to have made the decision beforehand.
    1136 days ago
  • PAIGE2017
    I find that planning out my day in the morning helps as well. I choose the foods I'm going to allow myself for that day and I stick to it. Then when someone offers a piece of cake or sausage biscuit or whatever it may be I just say no thanks because I know if doesn't fit in the plan for the day. It's a one day at a time journey and I think you are figuring out what works best for you. Way to go!
    1137 days ago
    I like it!! Came at the perfect time too. My daughter gave me 4 bags of candy to stuff into plastic eggs for a family egg hunt on Sunday. They are just sitting on my table!! I will just tell myself they are not for me and try to stuff and hide those eggs quickly!
    1137 days ago
    Excellent advice, Laura. I appreciated hearing your story. I can deeply relate to your tendency to eat uncontrollably when alone. That's my absolute most dangerous time--when I have the house all to myself. It's become a habit to reward myself with food (which I barely taste as I consume it, as I also distract myself by watching TV or reading), and the only way out of this is just to recommit to the kind of wise decision you've made. Your rules are rock-solid, and I am over here on the other side of the world cheering you on!
    1137 days ago
    I think it's great. LIke ONEKIDSMOM says, we are all an experiment of one. You've had great success before and you can do it again! Thanks for blogging, always look forward to them!
    1137 days ago
    Do what works for you your ideas are great & thank you for posting
    1137 days ago
    1137 days ago
  • no profile photo HOTPINKCAMARO49
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    1137 days ago
  • JOANN25
    Hey...if it works, follow the pattern. You are right. If you decide ahead of time that you won't do certain things, that makes you accountable.

    Keep up the good work.
    1137 days ago
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