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Conquering Temptation

October 21, 2009

Last night I was on my way home when my cell phone rang.  It was my wife and her first question to me was exactly this – “Do you feel like being autumndessert-main_Fullnaughty tonight?”  (Yes, this blog entry is Safe for Work, so get your minds out of the gutter!)

She was talking about being naughty by overlooking our meal plan by enjoying some pizza that she had purchased as part of a fundraiser.  The pizza was purchased before P90X came into our household and now we were stuck with having it as a temptation.  The conflict began in my mind – and I suspect in your mind, too, had you been me.  Having eaten clean for the past 50 days, I was of course salivating over the thought of a nice slice of pizza.  Or two.  Or three.  I also rationalized that my clean eating to that point in the day, not to mention my workout that evening, would certainly cause me no harm.  Let’s be totally honest – with where I’m at in my habits and cleaner living, the slice of pizza would have been a nice short term reward.

With that said, I had this inner voice.  The voice of character.  The voice of dedication.  I pictured how I would want my friends or family who are in need of losing weight – how would I want them to act if they were in my situation?  What kind of role model did I want to be?

I easily pushed aside the thought of the pizza away and stayed on track.  It was actually pretty easy to do.  When you’re 50 days into P90X, why allow a slight distraction or temptation to take hold?  I ate my Chicken Stir Fry with Brown Rice, added some Kikkoman Thai Chili Sauce to the mix and ate my meal with a smile on my face.  I was happy that my family was enjoying their pizza, especially Sophia, my 3-year old.  She actually had 2 slices and 2 sippy cups of kool-aid.  But I was happy that I ate my meal with them and felt good that I was not needing to eat the pizza to satisfy any craving.  A new realization kicked in.  I am no longer living to eat.  I eat to live; the food is not my master nor am I its servant.

temptationIf you are tempted by certain foods, be careful.  It’s only natural to be swayed by tasty choices when on a workout program.  We all have our weaknesses and sometimes those weaknesses can really play on your mind.  I have heard these weaknesses called Trigger Foods.  You eat something you shouldn’t and it triggers your mind into thinking that just one more or another after that won’t be too bad.  And before you know it, you’ve pulled your chair up to the buffet and all your hard work is down the drain.  Stick to your Meal Plan.  There is a reason it’s called a plan and it helps you stay on track to meet your goals.

Sweets are difficult for many folks, so here are a couple of ideas I would suggest.  Crystal Light makes wonderful flavor packets that you can add to water.  There are little to no calories and they all taste awesome.  A nice sweet hit without the calories makes me a happy guy.  Another item to serve as dessert is coffee.  The caffeine in the coffee can often make you feel full and curb the appetite.  If you’re like me, I enjoy Splenda with my coffee, so I get the sweet hit from it.  As an added bonus, I will often add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to my coffee as my plan allows.  One scoop is about 120 calories, so take note of that, but the result is a creamier flavor that provides 20 g of protein to boot!

What foods tempt you and how do you overcome your temptations?  Are there other ways you overlook these foods?  Please spill the beans in the comment section!  Or, tell me about how you caved in (as we have all done) and how you adjusted to get back on the wagon.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2009 3:41 pm

    Oh man. Since I started staying home with my kids, my diet has gone to hell. I make these awesome oatmeal raisin cookies which are so yummy to eat! Problem is that they have 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar in them! It’s divided over 48 cookies, but I still feel guilty when I eat them …. so far, I have been unable to overcome my temptation for these cookies.

    Then again, I have not committed 100% to a dietary regimen since mylast cycle of P90X ….

    • October 21, 2009 3:50 pm

      If you have reached your goals and are in “maintenance” mode, then I don’t think anyone should avoid all foods they enjoy. I choose and recommend others stick a plan until they hit those goals. The key is moderation – and that is where many of us fall flat. We weren’t able to moderate what we used to eat and that’s why we need help from programs like P90X. Totally depriving yourself is tempting disaster. A cookie here and there, once you’ve hit your goals, is not a problem in my book. But as you view advertising, packaging and marketing of the troubling foods – they make it all too easy to indulge. It’s time we as a nation took back that control.

      • October 21, 2009 5:10 pm

        Hey guys.

        Jeff…Loved your post. Soooo many people give in to their cravings or their perceived cravings, and then beat themselves up over it. I read so many journal entries (from Weightloss Wars) or Blogs, where they bust their butts during the week only to undo all their hard work on the weekends. It boggles my mind. I am on week 4, day 3 of P90X Classic, but I don’t follow the P90X meal plan, although I DO take ideas out of it. The reason I don’t follow the plan is simply because I am on my own self-imposed refined-sugar-free/gluten-free way of eating. I’ve been doing this for 126 days now, and I feel like a million bucks. Sure it can be challenging, but this kind of challenge I’m up for. I do find healthy snacks from the health food store that are gluen-free, refined-sugar-free, and I have those if I feel like I want a snack. I’ve learned to modify things, to have my ‘craving’ food, but a healthier version. For instance, my family still enjoys pizza. I toast my rice bread, use plain tomato paste, chicken, mushrooms, jalepeno pepper, and a little mozzerella cheese, and make myself some ‘pizza’ and it actually does the job for me. It’s all about what is important to you. For me….this journey is extremely important. I haven’t even licked my fingers when making my family stuff…this goes for any food…cake batter, soup, pizza sauce, things that my nose thinks is still delicious smelling…not a lick, barely a sniff…and I’m happy to say, it doesn’t bother me one little bit. My kids still eat their icecream, their cookies…and I don’t have the slightest temptation any longer. I’m in what I call ‘The Sweet Spot”…other people call it “the zone”. Whatever it is, it’s way more important than the temporary enjoyment that one taste of the ‘other’ food is worth. My goal is to gradually switch my family over to my side. Muah ha ha!

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