Have you been told you can’t have something? It probably happened often when you were a kid.
“Can I have a candy?”, “No.” (grumble)
“Can I go to a friend’s house?”, “No.” (grumble)
“Can I watch tv?”, “No.” (grumble)
And usually after you were told “No”, you just wanted it more.
Wanting it more after you were told “No” didn’t stop when you became an adult. We are told “No” all the time. We even say it to ourselves. “Can I have another donut?”, “No” (grumble).
Have you made a choice between two options? It happens all the time.
“Should I go to the movie with my friends or should I do homework?”
“Should I sleep in this Saturday morning or go for a jog?”
“Do I want one scoop of ice cream or two?”
And usually you feel good or you feel guilty. If you gave the choice honest thought, weighing the pros and cons, you more than likely feel good with your choice.
Now let’s apply this to something relevant to a lot of people today: weight loss.
What happens when you tell yourself that you can’t have that can of Coke? or that bowl of popcorn? or that bag of chips? You just want it more. The craving intensifies! You may give in to the temptation and then hate yourself for doing it or you fight and fight and fight the battle, leaving you exhausted and/or emotionally upset.
What if you gave yourself an option and weighed the pros and cons of each? Do I want that second helping of dessert or do I want to fit into those pants? Do I want to go to the gym or do I want to have a chocolate bar? There is nothing "wrong" with choosing one or the other. The choice is yours!
Sherrie is trying to lose weight. She gives herself the options: stay in bed for another hour or go for a jog. She thinks for a moment, “Today is Friday, so I can sleep in tomorrow. It’s early, but I am wide awake right now. It is a beautiful morning. I’m going for a jog.”
John is trying to lose weight. He gives himself the same options as Sherrie: stay in bed for another hour or go for a jog. He thinks for a moment, “I have been working so hard at work. The kids are still sleeping. I have an hour before I have to get out of bed to go to work. I will treat myself and stay in bed.”
Here’s the tip: If you are struggling to lose weight, don’t tell yourself you can’t have what you want. Instead give yourself an option, then think about the choices honestly. Pick the one you honestly want and forget about the guilt. If you made your choice honestly, there is no guilt.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want more.” -unknown
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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