You start each morning with the promise to be “good” today.
You’ll refuse the baked goods at the office. You’ll speed past that fast food place at lunch. You’ll turn a blind eye to the vending machine in the mid-afternoon. And you’ll pass on the ice cream after dinner.
But… you hadn’t counted on the fact that a box of your favorite donuts would be sitting in the break room. Or that co-workers would invite you to join them for fast food place at lunch. Or that Girl Scouts would come through the office after school with boxes of thin mints. Or that your special someone would come home with a pint of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
And as you get into bed each night you tell yourself that tomorrow will be different.
Tomorrow you will conquer temptation.
But tomorrow comes with its own set of special circumstances and temptation gets the best of you once again.
Why Does Temptation Always Win?
We live in society where food temptations are everywhere.
Walk through a store and you’ll see the unhealthy food items displayed front and center. Ever notice how sugary “kids” cereals are down low so kids can grab them?
Turn on the TV and you’ll be assaulted with commercials for fattening foods.
Open a magazine and you’ll notice glossy pin-ups of sugary snacks.
Go down the street and you’ll have restaurant signs clamoring for your attention.
In addition to the abundance of tempting edibles, you also have deeply ingrained positive associations with indulging.
You treat tempting food as a reward.
You turn to tempting food for comfort.
You rely on tempting food as stress relief.
You allow tempting food to become a habit.
It’s Your Turn to Win
Temptation doesn’t need to have the upper hand on you anymore. It’s time to fight back using your most powerful asset: your brain.
Your mind is an amazing thing. Once it is made up about something it is nearly impossible to change it.
A Matter of Perspective
Imagine for a moment that you’re peacefully floating down a river in an inner tube. The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and you are having a wonderful time. You feel great about the river because it is making you feel good.
Now imagine that you are in a plane flying over the river. Your eye is immediately drawn to an enormous rocky waterfall. You look up the river and just around the bend is a person floating in an inner tube, having a wonderful time, headed straight for the treacherous falls.
Do you think that after your plane ride you’d be happy to get an inner tube and float down the river? Of course you wouldn’t. You’ve seen that the river spells disaster.
You now have a negative association (watery death) with the river rather than your initial positive association (relaxing fun).
Overcoming temptation is all about building negative associations in place of existing positive ones. Use the 2 steps below to harness the power of your mind to become stronger than any temptation.
Step One: Create a Strong Negative Association with all the BAD STUFF
If cookies and chips and burgers are put on a pedestal in your mind as your favorite things to eat, then you will always eat unhealthy and will continue to gain weight.
What do you dislike about tempting food?
It makes you unhealthy.
It causes weight gain.
It drains your energy.
It kills your confidence.
It degrades your quality of life.
It hurts your love life.
Every time that you encounter tempting food items focus on your list of negatives. It’s time to kick those cookies off the pedestal and to put something healthy in its place.
Step Two: Create a Strong Positive Association with all the GOOD STUFF
Now that your mental pedestal has been cleared, put healthy food items on it. Juicy fresh fruit, crispy vegetables and savory lean meats are a great place to start.
What do you love about healthy food?
It makes you healthy.
It causes weight loss.
It boosts your energy.
It builds your confidence.
It improves your quality of life.
It enhances your love life.
Immerse yourself into the world of healthy food. Browse the aisles of a natural food store. Walk through a farmer’s market. Bring healthy snacks to work. Clear your kitchen of anything unhealthy.
Using the technique above, you will soon find that healthy food is your favorite food and temptation will become a thing of your past.
This post was written by Life FX Director, Certified Personal Trainer and Reiki Master Chris Keseling.
With an extensive background in health and fitness including years of experience in personal training, massage therapy and Reiki, Chris is an expert in helping people from all walks of life create a holistic approach to getting their body and their health in optimal condition.
To set up a consultation with Chris regarding either personal training or Reiki, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.