Last month, I heard a radio DJ ask the question, “Why can’t we stick to our resolutions, people?” Immediately, a faint memory came back to me…
I have a penchant for gummy bears. Black Forest Gummy Worms are my favorite. I also have a weakness for Publix brand yeast-rise glazed doughnuts. They come in a half-dozen box with a little cellophane window showing the crust of the glaze reflecting the lights from Publix’s 20-foot ceiling. Mm. Typically, when I crave gummies or a box of doughnuts, I make a quick trip to the store and pick up a bag or box and eat most of the contents on the way home. Once I get home, I let the kids or Hubby finish of the bag or box, because I’m satisfied. As a matter of fact, I might not even think about gummies or doughnuts for another 2-3 weeks until the craving hits me again.
One day, I had the bright idea to abstain from eating these sweet, high calorie, unhealthy items, because I’m a fitness professional and I should be setting a good example, right? Right! So - in all my infinite fitness consultant wisdom – I decided to simply stop eating them. Period. I was proud of myself and held my head high as I drove past Publix on my way to a meeting. But something interesting started to happen. All through the meeting, my mind kept wandering to thoughts of green and red striped gummy bears. I actually thought I could smell their fruity sweetness at one point during our discussion. Weird.
As I drove home, I couldn’t stop thinking that I needed to pick something up from Publix. Maybe some milk or bread for the kids’ breakfast. I swerved into a space, walked boldly into the store, and purposely strode past the bakery section – which is on the opposite end of the bread and milk - to show myself how strong I was in my conviction to stop eating the perfectly glazed yeasty treats. I made it home that day without the doughnuts or the gummies, but I couldn’t stop thinking about them! I stood in the refrigerator and pantry looking for something to snack on, but nothing would suffice. I shut the door in frustration and pushed myself to do something – anything – to get my mind off the two objects I wanted more than anything at that precise moment.
Two days later, my desire to taste the flavor of Black Forest gummies and Publix doughnuts was so overwhelming that I caved. I got into my car at 8:45 p.m. with the sole purpose of purchasing and consuming gummies and doughnuts. I bought 3 bags of worms and a box of doughnuts. I ate 2 full bags and the whole box of doughnuts that night.
Why am I telling you this? Because I think someone reading this blog at this very moment is wildly craving something no longer allowed as a New Years resolution. Unfortunately, I think our minds are wired to crave what we can’t have. So instead of telling yourself “no,” enjoy in moderation and make eensie, teensie little changes that your mind and body can tolerate. Cold turkey changes may work for a few, but definitely not for most. Enjoy the start to 2010 and allow yourself the time and patience to make realistic and subtle changes that will last a lifetime… Happy New Year everyone!