Today I’m answering a question from Linda.
Linda has tried many times to lose weight and get control over her health but is always derailed by her environment. She’s got 3 growing teenage boys and a husband who have no interest at all in changing their diet and are not supportive of her own efforts. Linda does all the shopping and cooking for her family and finds it really hard to get past these obstacles.
My wife was very happy for me to do what I wanted to do to improve my health, but she didn’t do it with me, she had no need and I didn’t ask her to. She’s one of those strange aliens who can eat a tiny bit of chocolate and leave the rest of the block in the top shelf of the fridge door for a week until she has another nibble. The top shelf of the fridge door has always been our chocolate spot and that has never changed, even throughout my year of potatoes. The only thing that changed was my attitude to the chocolate.
If I want to become an elite athlete, I need to train every day. If I want to become a concert pianist, I need to practice the piano every day. If I want to become a famous artist, I need to paint every day. In all of these cases, practicing once a week or once a month won’t get the job done. When the time comes to perform under pressure, we won’t have what it takes if we are not ‘match fit’.
It’s nice to have the luxury of removing all temptation from our environment, but in the end I’m not sure that’s necessarily the best thing to do in the long run. If I want to become great at resisting cravings, I need to practice every day. Ultimately we can’t always control our environment so we need to get better at dealing with it.
Rather than viewing the chocolate shelf as my nemesis, I decided to view it as an opportunity. Every time I opened the fridge door and saw the stash of chocolate there, begging to be eaten, it became my cravings gym. Every time I went to my cravings gym and did the work I was supposed to do, I came away a little bit stronger. I used this opportunity to work on my weakness multiple times per day and as a result, I got strong very quickly.
Throughout the year I still made food for my son, I cut his birthday cake without even a taste and I still have not had chocolate since the end of 2015.
My point is that you can let your family be your excuse if you want to. You can blame your environment and think about how things would all be better for you “if only”. Or you can change your approach and start looking for opportunities to train and strengthen your cravings resistance muscle.
When you start viewing obstacles as opportunities for growth, your whole world will change.
Pretty soon you’ll be an elite cravings resistance athlete!