Wish you thought about food less? Stop the tug-of-war!


“When you resist you are giving what you don’t want power. When you persist you are empowering your choices.” ~Laura Day

I will not have that ____.  (Fill in the blank with any food you obsess about.)  I WILL NOT HAVE THAT _____!  I WILL NOT HAVE THAT _____!!

Can you feel the tension grow as you try to resist something?  We tend to focus lots of attention on those things we don’t want to do (or eat).  You know the feeling . . . the way you feel when a half eaten chocolate bar calls to you until you finally eat it just to stop thinking about the blasted thing.

Resisting takes a lot of mental energy!  Willpower is a great asset, but it is not usually available in abundance when called into action too often or too intensely.  I also believe that boundaries are necessary for a feeling of security in any area of life, but realistic boundaries we set for ourselves always work best.

So, how do we avoid eating everything that could potentially tempt us?  Here are some key guidelines:

  • Set reasonable expectations, so you will not be expecting your willpower to be constantly called into battle with one  powerful temptation after another.
  • Move on quickly if your choices disappoint you.  Trying to “make up the damage” is a setup for a lot of resistance.
  • Let go of the rope!  Just stop playing tug-of-war with yourself.  Instead, think about trying to meet your needs (your REAL needs, for food as well as emotional stability and calm).
  • It’s always ok to eat when you are physically hungry!  Never try to resist the hunger monster.  It will win.
  • Compromise with yourself on decisions about pleasure foods.  Allowing treats sometimes will help to keep desires in line and free your mind from constant food obsessions.

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