Staying on Track: Instant Gratification vs.Long-Term Goals

By , SparkPeople Blogger

This blog is dedicated to my team, The ~Indygirl Challenge, who told me they wanted to know how to get past the desire to satisfy that instant desire versus stay track for a long-term goal.  I’m not going to fib: This is a tough one!

I used to think I wanted to reach my goals more than I wanted anything, but obviously not.  I wanted to cope more, as an emotional eater.  The world is very full of emotion-causing events--some good, some bad. I needed to learn other ways to cope with my emotions.  (I blogged about Dealing with Emotional Eating last week.)

I also had to want to reach my goals more than I wanted to feel the food in my mouth, taste its deliciousness and feel overly full.  That last part is VERY important.  I’ve discovered I can have the food and all the wonderful sensations it brings, but with portion control and rules.  For me, certain foods can only be eaten when I'm away from home, such as candy bars, fast food, donuts, and anything else that would hinder my efforts and trigger a binge.  Then I allow myself ONE small or standard-sized item, and leave it at that.  Once I track it, it is added to my SparkPeople Food Tracker for the day and I move on.
Most of all, I had to want something worse than I wanted the food.  In my case it was freedom from my room/house.  I had been stuck in it for a few years and really wanted out and back to a life of going to movies with my husband, shopping with my girlfriends, and working again.  I was very lonely.  Sitting at home alone in pain is one of the biggest triggers for me to overeat.  I desperately wanted out of the situation.
As my journey started, I gained friends on SparkPeople.  They cheered me on as I wrote blogs and expressed exactly what I was going through.  I now NEED SparkPeople more than I NEED excess food.  The people on the site help me with my emotional eating by always being there and taking time to stop by my page, even when I don’t always have the time to reply back.  When I’m coping with heavy emotions, someone cares.  That makes a difference.
To fight my particular food issues, I found that I wanted to get out of my house and inspire others in my situation to do the same.  THIS need to inspire brought me around.  When I first heard that I motivated somebody or made them feel like they could do something better for themselves, I was hooked.  No longer was it just about me and my freedom to get out of my house, but it was about showing others that they could do the same thing.
Now when I want to feast on treats, I actually have something I really do want more.  Maybe all of the other horrible things about my 460-pound disabled body wouldn’t reach me and sustain my resolve, but SparkPeople- you reading this right now- reach me.
Here are 7 of my tips for instant gratification--within reason:

  1. Have a small portion.  One slice of pizza always has fewer calories than two.

  2. Have none at all if it is going to trigger a binge.  Run for the hills and get out of the danger zone where the temptation exists.

  3. Stay full on mini meals every 3-4 hours so you are not tempted.

  4. Drink water- a lot!

  5. Bulk up on fiber and protein to stay full.

  6. ALWAYS order small.

  7. Use small plates.

    I hope this helps you understand that you can have a treat.  It just needs to be counted into your Food Tracker and should not take the place of more nutritious foods.  Use caution not to eat things that will cause a binge cycle to start and avoid even being around them.  Find that “something” that you want more than food.  Dig deep.  That is what will sustain you through your journey.
    What do you do when you are faced with temptation?