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How to Strengthen Self-Control

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Or should I say your will power? Did you ever think about how many times during the day you are resisting an urge to do something. This urge can be about food or an activity. I often have urges (i.e. cravings) for some sweet treat, especially when I am doing yard work. It is so much easier to grab a candy bar rather than come inside and prepare a meal, quicker also.

It has been stated that if you have a craving for a particular not-so-good for you snack that it is often best to just give in to the craving because you may find yourself eating more calories trying to satisfy the craving with other options.

Well, that does not work for me because I often end up enjoying that treat way too much. Instead of giving in to that craving, how about if I work on strengthening my self control and train myself to resist those urges. I think I can accomplish this if I do these three things:

1. PLAN AHEAD and be prepared for those moments when I get the urge to have that DQ Peanut Buster Parfait (or whatever it may be). I can be proactive in my resisting that urge by being able to tell myself how bad that choice is for me and that there are other things I can eat that will nourish my body with the nutrients it needs and have an alternative readily available, like homemade ice cream where I control the ingredients that goes into it.

2. COMMIT TO A GOAL. Sometimes I think that I find it impossible to stick to a goal I set for myself, but in reality, I am selective in my goals that I focus on. For example, I committed to being able to run a 5k and I accomplished that goal even though before I could do it I encountered many ups and downs. Some days, I did not feel like running; other days I had to take a lot of walk breaks. However, I did not let those times deter me from achieving that goal. This past summer I also made a challenge out of a goal to stop eating candy bars. Turning that goal into a challenge helped me say "no" many times when faced with the urge to buy a candy bar.

3. KEEP A JOURNAL. This helps to see what I have accomplished and where I might need to make improvements. Just the other day, I reviewed how far and fast I was running when I first started and I am amazed at the progress I made. This also helped me see that there are good days as well as bad days but the important thing is to never let the bad days dominate my thoughts. I need to focus on what I have accomplished and my ability to keep moving forward. If I fall, I need to get back up right way, brush myself off and take that first step forward.

As of today, I am going to commit to running a 10k this spring. This is going to take some planning (step 1), commitment to both training and eating (step 2) and to see how I am progressing, I'll need to keep a journal (step 3).

Hmmm, let's see how this works for me....(to be continued)
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