Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that horrible feeling of temptation. You know how it feels…you can roll along for several days with amazing will power. You are eating what you should, drinking lots of water and saying no to treats and temptations.
But then it hits you. You start wanting something that is definitely not on your list of healthy foods. The temptation is different for different people. Some people start having visions of chocolate cake. Others just want a big bowl of white pasta smothered in buttery Alfredo sauce, and someone else might just want a margarita.
No matter what your particular temptation is, the battle is the same. You start thinking about it, craving it and eventually nothing else will satisfy you. It is likely not even physical hunger that is driving you. It is more of a thought process. And in many ways, this pattern of thinking is even harder to fight than physical hunger. If you are just hungry, you couldeasily eat something else—something that you are not particularly in the mood for, but which will nonetheless satisfy you and allow you to go on with your day. But this temptation is different. It is more emotional.
When emotional temptation strikes, the simple act of eating something else probably will not help tame the beast. You must fight emotion with emotion. And the best way to do this is to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
Think through the reasons that you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. What are they? Did your mother die from a health related illness? Has your doctor told you that unless you change your eating habits you will soon develop a chronic illness? Are you tired of feeling the fatigue and depression that carrying excess weight can cause?
These are your “Whys.” Your whys are the driving motivations behind your weight loss efforts. And sometimes we need the emotion of those whys to give us the strength to say no to the temptation. It may help to visualize two scenarios. For example, if you are trying to lose weight because you are pre-diabetic, consider these two scenarios:
The first scenario is of you in several years, healthy, fit and strong. You are lean and have strong muscle mass, and you are just finishing running a half-marathon. You have lots of energy, you have a love of life and you are not pre-diabetic anymore.
Now the second scenario: you, but the picture is much different. You are more overweight, because in order to control your diabetes, you have to take insulin injections. Insulin causes your body to store more fat. You are tired, because you are inactive and sedentary. And you cannot leave your house without your glucose monitor, because you have to keep such close tabs on your blood sugar. You also can’t walk very far, because as is typical with diabetic patients, you have nerve damage in your feet and legs.
It only takes a few second to visualize these two realistic possibilities. But this visualization is very powerful, because the images stir up emotions. The idea is to produce an emotion as strong as the draw to your tempting food, and enable you to say no. Create whatever image in your mind that you need to; you will find it a great help.
You can do this. You can fight the temptation and win.
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