Build Willpower to Quit Smoking and lead a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s hard having the willpower to follow through when it feels like you are the only one. When you see others around you indulging in the one thing you have vowed to quit, self-denial feels like punishment. How do you get to the place where you are that person with the healthy lifestyle, and healthy eating is just second nature. You are the one passing by the box of doughnuts in the break room, with a smile on your face? And how do you do it without coming off the uptight kill joy?
Willpower Step 1 – Bargain With Yourself
In the beginning, building up power starts with learning to making very small sacrifices. In the scenario of a break room full of diet offending treats, you must give up the black or white thinking. We all need and deserve treats from time to time. But do you really need to scarf down 2 doughnuts in 5 minutes flat while standing? Is the alternative behavior simply to turn around, walk out the door and deny yourself completely? Bargain with yourself. This is your treat today, so make it count. Take the time to sit down, perhaps with a cup of tea or coffee and cut one of the doughnuts in half. Think about how great it tastes and how much you enjoy having this small pause in your day to treat yourself. Put the negative self condemning talk out of your head and just enjoy the moment.
Willpower Step 2 – Choose Your Poison
Now that you have been able to take control in a small way, let’s take it to the next level. What is it that you are really craving and desiring? Chances are, the sweet temptation that those around you are greedily digging into, is not even what you are wanting. If chocolate is your thing, can you have a bar of high quality chocolate on hand and treat yourself to one square? If you are a sucker for salty snacks, can you bring some chips or snack mix that you really enjoy and portion yourself out a small serving? While your substitution may still not be the healthiest option out there, you are exercising control in choosing what you put in your mouth and not simply eating as if it’s a reflex. And if what you desire is not at hand, hold out for what you really want. Therefore, when someone remarks on the fact that you are not indulging along with the rest of them, you can tell them that you are saving it for what you are really craving and will have that later. Of course, there is the chance that you will never get around to satisfying that craving and you would have saved yourself the needless empty and unsatisfying calories of that mindless eating
Willpower Step 3 – Half and Half
You now are able to discern between satisfying a real craving and mindlessly giving into poor substitutions of the real thing. Your standards are starting to get higher. Watching those around you dig into low-quality, sugary or salty stimulants may start to turn your stomach. You have allowed yourself tastes of the real thing and now you don’t want to settle for less. Start preparing and planning ahead. Try cutting your treat in half and add-on a healthy snack in addition such as a piece of fresh seasonal fruit, cup of veggie soup, sliced veggies and hummus dip etc. Now you have turned something ordinary into a real indulgence. While others around you are settling for whatever leftover sticky crumb they can scrape up, you will be satisfying your craving as well as giving your body something it needs.
As you acclimate to planning ahead and mindful eating, you may find that you have the power to cut out unhealthy items out of your life completely. And as this becomes a way of life and not simply a fad or a “diet”, your cravings will be for those nourishing foods that make you feel good, inside and out.