Okay, friends. Confession time.
I did something recently that I never, ever do. Or, well, that I haven’t done in a really long time.
I was in the snack aisle at Costco. (Mistake #1) And I spotted this bag of chocolate-covered pretzels and stopped. (Mistake #2) I’d tasted these pretzels before, so I knew just how wickedly good they were. And they were covered with dark chocolate, which means it’s the healthy kind of chocolate, right?
As you can see, the mistakes continued to pile up.
Next thing I knew, that bag of pretzels was in my cart. (And not just a teensy tiny bag either — a Costco-sized bag.) *gulp*
I justified the purchase by telling myself I would share them with friends who were coming to visit soon. I was doing my friends a service by having these amazing pretzels for snacks.
Of course, when I got home, those pretzels called my name. And then they called my name again. And again. And again.
Yes, even wellness coaches struggle once in a while. 🙂
A few days (and several pretzels) later, I got disgusted with myself. The Costco-sized bag still had plenty of treats left, and I was struggling more and more to walk away.
It finally got to a point where I was sitting in front of the TV at 10pm (Mistake #50), and all I could think about was eating another round of pretzels. And then, I got fed up with myself.
My “good voice” said, “Hold up. This is not how you want to live. Those pretzels might taste good now, but how will you feel in the morning when you go to your fitness class?”
And you know what? I thought, “Excellent point! I’m sick of letting these silly things control me.”
So, on a whim (and following my own advice), I went to the pantry, grabbed the bag of pretzels, and tossed them in the trash. I proceeded to toss some other yucky food remains on top of it so I wouldn’t be tempted to rescue the poor bag from the garbage can.
Now I know what you might be thinking right now. “You threw away a perfectly good bag of pretzels?! How much did you pay for them?!”
I hear what you’re saying. I really do.
But here’s the thing: That $5 or $6 I paid for the bag of pretzels is inconsequential compared to the value I place on my health. Yes, they weren’t as bad as many packaged foods I could’ve chosen. But they still contained ingredients I normally wouldn’t eat or recommend. And compared to the apples and oranges sitting in my fridge? They were a less-than-ideal choice.
Emotions can work for us or against us.
Yes, I bought that bag of pretzels on a whim. But what prompted me to throw it away when I’d had enough? Another whim.
We humans are intelligent creatures. We know which choices are good and which ones aren’t. And yes, sometimes we conscientiously choose the bad. But we also have the power to choose the good.
When those healthy whims come, roll with them! Let them move you to action. You just might find that your “whims” will soon turn into conscientious actions, which will turn into long-term habits.
One step at a time, you’ll get where you want to be.
ONE SIMPLE STEP: Think through the last week and pinpoint a bad diet choice you made on a whim. Now come up with one way you can reverse that choice. Maybe it’s throwing away a package of food or taking a 30-minute walk or choosing a healthy snack to eat in its place.
ONE STEP FURTHER: Did you do the action you brainstormed in the previous step? Now plan an intentional way to prevent the whim from happening again. Maybe it means avoiding a certain aisle at the grocery store or scheduling a walk with a friend at the time you would normally go home and binge on snacks. Put the plan in writing and commit to making it happen.