Some people believe they don’t have the willpower to do something [and they’re right]. Other people think they have the motivation and willpower do achieve their goals and they are right too.
But the problem with motivation and willpower is that you’ll do great for a week or two. You’ll exercise, make good food choices, drink water etc., but the first time you have a bad day, your boss yells at you or you get into a fight with your husband or get into a fender bender on the road, what do people do? They say “Fuck.This.Shit! I’m going to eat whatever I want today. I’ve had a bad day and I deserve that gallon of ice cream.” Why? Because food gives us a momentary hit of “the feel goods”. Food is my drug of choice, and like any drug addict, it is the first place I go for a “hit”.
When the military plans an operation, they imagine what could go wrong and plan for it ahead of time. So, when something does not happen as intended, they adapt to the new situation quickly. This is called Adaptive Planning and Execution (APEX).
People who are driven to succeed do it despite what happened that day, that week, or that life. We need to use APEX in our battle plan to be fit and healthy. You know you are going to have some bad days, everyone has them. Prepare for them by developing a strategy to deal with it.
1. It is important to have [or create] a support network of friends and family who can talk you down from bad/self-destructive choices. Feel free to friend me if you believe I may be able to help.
2. Think about foods that are better choices than high fat or fatty foods. For me, a fresh cube or pineapple or mango is ecstasy.
3. I also love to journal. It helps me process my feelings and makes me feel better. You can check out my journal on my profile page. Once the emotions are on paper, I feel like they are out of my head. I usually start with a question:
a. What feelings am I having right now?
b. Why do I want to eat if I’m not hungry?
c. What’s making me depressed or angry?
d. What would I want my teenage self to know about my life?
e. 10 positive words that describe me and why
4. Journaling is great but sometimes you don’t want to deal with your emotions. When that happens, I do something mindless like surf the Internet, binge watch TV/movie. One of my favorite things to do on the Internet [besides the obvious] is to plan luxury vacations. I’m never going to be able to afford to go on a luxury vacation, but it is fun to think about it. I visit websites of hotels, museums, restaurants, etc.
5. In my younger days, I’d turn on something called the “car radio” [Google it] and go for 3-hour drives with no destination in mind. I’d try my hardest to get lost, which is impossible with today’s technology.
6. Getting outside is very important because, unless you live in New York City, food isn’t easily accessible walking along the sidewalk. So, go for a walk with an audiobook or podcast. Drive to a friend’s house without stopping at a fast food restaurant. Go to the park or anywhere that is far away from your kitchen.
Everyone is different, so you’ll need to see what works for you. Maybe you have a hobby you enjoy? Please feel free to comment and tell me what you do when you really want to eat.