Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays! Hope you all are having a wonderful Friday. Tonight, I want to talk about the challenges most of us have in exercising self-control especially as it relates to our eating habits.
Let me first start off by saying that this is an area I personally struggle with. I know all the right foods to eat and all the unhealthy foods to avoid and yet in spite of all of this knowledge and wisdom – it can be really tough to walk away sometimes. I know for a fact that I’m not the only person with this issue but let’s keep the focus on me. I don’t want you guys feeling bad or guilty. So just hear me out. 🙂
Self-control means that not only do we have the POWER to control ourselves, our choices and our decisions but that we actually USE that power in our best interest.
I believe we all have self-control the challenge is applying it to the areas of our lives that we have relinquished control – for some it is their finances, others their relationships, and so many other areas but mine is junk food. 🙁
Do I have self-control? Yes! Is it effectively applied to every area of my life? No. Food is one of the most challenging areas for me. Sure, I have the good stuff like my fruits, veggies, nuts, multivitamins, and so on but I also have occasional fries, fried chicken, pizza, and Chinese food from time to time. I know what I have to do and yet there are times when I decide to just throw it out the door and just have what I want and not necessarily what I need.
Do I love myself enough to do better? Yes! So what’s holding me back from committing fully to the process? Let’s find out.
- Cravings – old habits where you can’t help but want what you want even after you’ve implemented new habits.
- Enablers – the people around me who love the same stuff I love so it’s easy to fall back into it.
- Self talk – where I convince myself I’m in control and I walk into an establishment leaving self-control at the door as the aroma of food fills the air. He better not watch me crossed eyed when I’m walking back out with my fast food in tow he can pout all he wants. 🙂
- Emotional eating – if I am feeling stressed out you could believe that I am going in search of my comfort food KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) or a good BBQ. It does help to be honest but I do feel guilty after so all I end up doing is transitioning from one emotion to another.
- Not eating on time. This is a major factor in me making poor food choices as I let my sense of smell and sight along with my hunger pains determine what I eat and how much.
- The belief that because I make healthy food choices most times that I can have occasional ‘feel good food’. Life is just too short for diet rigidity.
All of the above factors make self-control over eating habits more challenging. How do we overcome them?
- Eating on time. I try to add little snacks like yogurt, fruit or even nuts to help me not feel so hungry as I’m often stuck behind a desk.
- Try to monitor my stress levels and try to distract myself with music to take my mind off of whatever is attempting to throw me off.
- Monitor the self talk. If I feel like convincing myself to go through the drive thru I would try to give myself reasons why I probably shouldn’t go – the line is just too long, the chicken might not even be fresh or the fries might be hot. It works most times.
- As for the enablers, I just started saying NO especially if I already indulged once or twice for the week then anything after that is a no. I end up talking down their cravings as well. Of course, they’ll be a little disappointed and I’ll probably have to provide an alternative but at least we saved ourselves from overindulging.
- Cravings – I try not to stifle my urges entirely because food makes me happy. I have made an effort to regulate how often I would indulge for the week and month and try to stay within or under that goal making sure not to exceed it. Example, I might have KFC 2 -3 times for the month rather than 2-3 times for the week.
- Being honest with myself about what my weaknesses are and trying to put things in place to improve them for the betterment of ME.
Self-control is inside of each of us we just have to tap into it meaningfully. We all stumble from time to time and that’s okay. We need to support and encourage each other especially in areas of weakness – so let’s pick ourselves up and keep pushing forward. When we give up on ourselves self-control walks out the door.
Our health and wellness is just as important as those other areas of our lives that we apply self-control to if not more so. It is there to protect us but it can’t work if we don’t use it.
Have a wonderful night and an amazing weekend. Thank you for stopping by.