The Sweet, Slippery Slope

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Remember how we talked about falling off the bandwagon once in a while? Well for me, “once in a while” soon became “once a day” which quickly turned into “after every meal and sometimes in-between”. I couldn’t contain my snacks, and my breakfast was growing faster than I could control. That’s when I came to the shocking conclusion that I didn’t like my system, that I didn’t want to stay on the straight and narrow path. I wanted to snack and stuff and gorge until I felt sick. I had no drive to fight the battle because I’d lost interest in winning the war. This isn’t about falling off the bandwagon. It’s about sliding down the sweet, slippery slope. It’s about falling in love with the enemy.

So I asked myself one very simple question: Why? Why was I rejecting everything I’d fought so hard to obtain?

1. I Didn’t Want to Feel Deprived
-I was sick and tired of limiting my portions, of passing up what I really wanted, then stopping before I was full. Because do you know how that feels? Not full! And I was not happy.
-I didn’t want to give up the nice things that I had—A.K.A never-ending meals and snacks, both nutritious and not. I wanted it. I wanted it all.

2. I Didn’t Want to Work to Establish new Habits
-You know it takes twenty-one days to make a new habit? Not a very helpful thought when I was struggling on day two.  And who really wants to put all that work into it anyways? Is it even worth it, to be unhappy for so long to achieve something that might not even work? Not a chance! That’s about the time I headed to the front closet for some peanut butter.

3. I Thought I was Fighting a Losing Battle
-I figured it was only a matter of time until I slipped up. I couldn’t keep it up for ever, and if I was going to crack eventually, why not now, with the aroma of freshly baked cookies seeping through the air? Failure was inevitable, wasn’t it? Because nobody actually eats the way I was eating. And I was pretty crazy to think I could do it in the first place.

And then I realized I was sabotaging myself. I was believing my own, hand-crafted lies, and they were killing me. I wasn’t struggling because the goal was unattainable. I was struggling because my mindset was out of line with my objective, and in order to avoid being gipped by my own brain, I had to make several key, mental adjustments.

#1 Change Your Mindset
-It’s not about building unbreakable willpower and self-control. It’s about understanding why you’re fighting, and supporting that cause to the extent that you’re willing to make the appropriate changes.
-Next time you walk past Mamma’s Pizza, instead of envisioning those brief, taunting seconds when that cheesy, triple-meat pizza would be on your tongue, think about how good you feel right now, how light and healthy and agile. Remind yourself of the ever-craving cycle of addiction that junk food (or extra food) triggers, the heavy, full feeling it causes, the sense of frustration and discouragement, and the helplessness. Understand that you don’t have to feel that way.

#2 Love Yourself Enough to Say “No”
-You’re not depriving yourself of nice things—because these things are not actually “nice”. These habits are dangerous, manipulative, and self-destructive, and every time you tell yourself that constant snacking or stuffing will satisfy you, you’re believing a lie.
-So replace the lies with the truth, and teach yourself to love it. Revel in caring for yourself so that you feel happy and positive about yourself, not because you’re forcing yourself to comply to a strict set of rules, but because you’re giving your body everything it needs. And as a result, it’s loving you back.
-I reached a point where I looked down at a bowl full of chocolate covered coffee beans, one of my many kryptonites, and my first thought was: I don’t want that in my body. Yes, it would taste good—more than good, but I could see past that. I wanted to treat myself right, to give my body only the best. And when I turned away from the bowl, I didn’t feel deprived at all.

#3 Think with Your Stomach, Not your Tongue
-Your tongue is your “Little Brain”, and it is not to be trusted at any cost. When the little brat is howling for more and you’re tempted to give in, close your eyes and think about how you actually feel. Because after you’ve passed that First Gate, anything else you put into your stomach will only make you feel worse.
-Proverbs 23:7 says: For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.  We’ve all heard the saying: “You are what you eat”, but it goes deeper than that. We are what we think. If you tell yourself you need that extra food to be happy, you’ll believe it. On the other hand, if your tell yourself you’re most satisfied when you’ve had just enough, you’ll believe that, too.
-Remember, the choice is always up to you.

These last few days have been monumental for me. The simple act of changing my mindset so that my brain is working with me rather than against me has resulted in a 180 degree turn-around. Muting my tongue has caused food to sink into the background, and I don’t feel controlled by it like I did a week ago. Listening to my stomach has helped me understand what I really need, and it’s beginning to change what I want. I’m much more content to stop when I’m full, and sweets are easier to bypass, which is astounding to me.

Is the battle over? No. Will I struggle in the future? Probably. But am I making progress? Hell yes. And so can you. So get ready to revolutionize your mind. Because this war is back on.

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