December 05, 2009 · Comments (6)
You made it through the day without candy. You didn’t have soda at lunch. You said no to sharing a chocolate bar with your friend. You get home from work and you’re tired from a long day.
Even though you’re not hungry, you still open the kitchen cupboard. There, on the shelf is a box of sweets. You don’t need them and you don’t want them but you know they’ll make a great end-of-the-day relaxation device.
“I made it through the whole day, I can have one thing at the end of the night,” you tell yourself.
Two hours later the whole box is gone, you’re about to go to bed and you feel awful.
The answer? Don’t keep sweets at home. The reason is because sweets are available to you all day every day. Everywhere you go sugar is there. Waiting. It’s there when you’re strong and it’s there when you’re weak. Not everyone is born strong. Some of us have to work at it.
Your willpower is like a muscle. You need to flex it. You start small and increase over time. Doing so makes you stronger.
With sugar, you have to remove the hardest stuff from your diet. So let’s say you remove all of the candy from your house. When you’re hungry you either have to go out to get candy or figure out something else to eat or do.
Next you go to work, or to wherever, and there’s candy. They have it in a bowl at the office. You can purchase it next to the cash register at nearly any large retail chain. Everywhere you go you are tempted to want to buy and eat candy. With each successfully refused temptation your are basically doing a repetition, just like curling a barbell. The more successful repetitions you do the stronger your willpower gets. But you must be careful!
You can overdo it when lifting weights. Go to any gym or read any fitness book and they’ll tell you to workout and then give your muscles a rest. That’s just what you’re doing when you take all of the junk food out of your house. You’re giving your willpower a rest. You’re allowing yourself to reflect on a day of no sweets. You’re not tempting yourself in your own home. And, most of all, you’re giving yourself a break form the relentlessly constant workout that is saying no to sweets.