Lunch time. I walked into the kitchen and quickly assembled all the ingredients for a healthful meal – fresh mushrooms, zucchini, onions, a little olive oil, three egg whites (and, okay, one yolk), and seasonings of herbs garlic and pepper.
Ah! I could almost taste the yummy and good-for-you lunch. But then, I had to open my balcony door…
As soon a I slid the heavy glass door open, trouble wafted in. The glorious, cool breeze brought with it the unmistakable, mouth-watering scent of freshly fried spring rolls.
All thoughts of my plain, simple, scrumptious lunch disappeared. Poof! As if “gone with the wind.” And in those wholesome thoughts’ place was the bald-faced desire to track down the kitchen producing those delectable spring rolls. Yes, track it down and invite myself to that lunch!
I expect that this has happened to quite a few of you, too, fair readers. You think with the best of intentions, making all the right moves to do waht is healthful, and then that sly beast temptation comes right in and rattles, if not shatters, your resolve.
If you have a chronic illness, too, especially one that demands vigilance over ordinary things such as diet, you know the pull of temptation, those little voices inside or that proverbial wind that blows outside that say, “One little candy bar won’t hurt,” or “What’s one French fry going to matter?”
We bargain with those temptations. The candy bar? We can calculate the extra calories we expend to “work it off.” The French fry? We can try to shoe-horn it into our allotment of carbs or starch.
There are temptations all day, every day, all around us. What are we to do? Or, more to the point, how can we strengthen our resolve to overcome them?
I think one of the most important elements in overcoming unhealthful culinary temptations is to understand what our individual constraints are. That is, talking with our medical team and establishing guidelines based on our health conditions, medications, and health and wellness goals. This helps identify temptations, too, and thus arm ourselves against them.
Next, we can be honest and understand the consequences of following healthful paths versus not following them, especially for the long term. If weight management is important, we need to be aware that “just one” slice of cake can lead to “just one more,” and so on. SIgnificant weight loss doesn’t happen overnight (how we know!), but the steps we take each day toward goals add up to huge progress.
Sometimes, “falling not into temptation” can be as easy as avoiding the environment when and where that temptation lurks. Grocery store trips take on a very different urgency when we’re hungry, and putting off that hour for exercise too often an turn procrastination into a routine.
For many of us, having people around us who are supportive of our health goals is extremely important. Call it a personal cheering squad, if you will, these folks are precious and very deserving of our heartfelt appreciation!
When we avoid slipping from our diet or exercise even when we’d rather be sofa-sitting, a wonderful thing happens – we feel good about resisting temptation. We gather strength. We fit ourselves with better resolve for the next time, when we might be even more tempted. That strength is the stuff of a strong spirit, a health-filled will. And it’s what I try to dwell on when I might be thrown off track or reach for that extra truffle….(did I just type “extra?”!)
Yes, each step away from healthful leads us further down a less-than-beneficial road. But each step toward the healthful reaps benefits that are absolutely wonderful!
Now, how do you avoid temptation?
Blessings for your day!
(Image courtesy of SOMMAI/FreeDigitalPhoto.net)