Maybe you identify with Oscar Wilde’s famous quote: “I can resist anything but temptation”!
This is certainly a common problem, and his witticism captures the feeling many of you may have from time to time. However, this bon vivant also offers his personal brand of wisdom that can help you stick to your life style resolutions. When asked if he enjoys writing, Mr. Wilde cleverly and insightfully replied, “I like having written”.
So if you’re “waiting” to get the urge to chow down on veggies and tofu, or leap out of bed with a smile onto the treadmill, you may be expecting too much. To improve health and enhance weight loss, Nike was right: “Just do it”. Your reward may be waiting for you AFTER the Pritikin meal or work-out session in the form of self-respect for “having exercised” or eaten well.
When I lived in Manhattan, my gym was multi-leveled. The locker rooms were on the lowest floor. On cold dark days when the thought of breaking a sweat didn’t hold half the appeal of lounging at home with a good book, I’d remember how good I felt when I finished exercising, and was walking up the stairs to exit, while watching newcomers walking down the stairs to begin their program!
In other words, if you’re going to wait to want to exercise or to prefer fish to steak, you may be waiting a long time, and while you’re waiting you’ll be back to your old habits. So don’t wait to “want” to make healthy choices. Make them, and reap the benefits of self-respect, increased energy, and weight loss.
Thinking like this is a form of mind over mood. In previous action plans you’ve been introduced to the concepts of motivation, identifying emotional over-eating, and tracking your exercise/eating plans in a journal. Changing our thoughts to realistic, rational thoughts is another important tool to change your attitudes and attitudes affect our moods and behavior.
Next time you plan a meal or have a scheduled work-out and feel tempted to go off program, think about Oscar Wilde’s quotes. You’ll be able to resist temptation much more effectively, if you have realistic expectations.
At first you may just enjoy the results of a healthy life-style. With time, your improved health, fitness, and quality of life will boost your desire to work-out and make smart food choices. So listen to your negative self-talk (e.g. “I’m too tired to exercise; “I deserve a steak; I’ve had a hard day), and replace it with rational thoughts (e.g. “After I exercise I feel less stressed and more energetic; “Why add fat and calories when I already feel badly”).
Use your notebook to identify the negative thoughts that keep you from making the healthiest choices you can. Replace these dangerous ideas with encouraging, realistic self-talk. And remember, don’t wait to “want” to make changes! When you make positive changes and see results, you’ll be motivated to keep up your healthy habits.
Have a good weekend,
Susan E. Grober&