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Saying no to food was extremely difficult for me in the beginning. I was a guy that used to eat as many as three or four different kinds of chips and a solid row of cookies, all in one sitting after dinner. Everyone’s bodies are different but if you think about things in basic terms, as stated in part 1, our bodies only need so much to function properly. Everything else is excess. I hate to mention it, but there are also many things our bodies could go without – but you likely know what they are.
The thought of passing up a fresh, tasty donut every single Friday seemed impossible for me from the moment I started. However, I realized I could say no to just one donut; you know, just this once. While I lived in regret throughout the day, I resisted the urge to take one. There sat the box, a familiar sight, near and dear to my heart. Every time I walked by it; more were taken out. The tension mounted as the critical window of opportunity slowly closed. Finally, in passing, I saw the window had fully shut. The donut box was gone and with it, the opportunity for me to chomp down on one.
I also noticed the tension was gone. It was no longer possible to eat one, at least for the time being. Once the opportunity had passed, so did the temptation. Before, I had to eat the donut because I liked them. Plus, the opportunity was always there. But now I discovered for myself the power to say no. If you can say no, even one time, then you will experience the satisfaction that comes with overcoming temptation. It starts small and can easily be overlooked. But I held to the fact I once overcame, and it was possible to do it again!
In my journey to eating healthier, I find that what you see makes a world of difference. One of the reasons I binged on those junk foods was because they were always around. When I didn’t buy them on a trip to the grocery store, it was easier to resist the cookie! I started buying more fruits and vegetables to snack on. I totally agree, they aren’t as good. In fact, they come with their own sets of rules I am still trying to learn. At times, I failed and slipped back into my old ways. During these down moments, a new temptation arose, to quit this whole thing altogether. It is a difficult journey. Results aren’t always visible. It can feel as though I am trudging along receiving no benefit from my new actions. At night when I look in the mirror for any sign of improvement, it is sometimes hard to tell. From day to day, little seems to change. Some say it would have been wise to have taken a “before” photo. That may be good advice for some. But for me, the only image I want in front of me is the vision of me that I want to see. When I stare at what I don’t want to see, it makes me feel that my efforts are fruitless and that I should eat cake. But I chose to focus on the desired result; what I want to look like. I know if I stick to the path, in time it will take me to where I want to be.
I keep fighting and pushing forward. What is interesting is that it does get a little easier to say no, especially when I’ve said no repeatedly. In fact, I recently passed up on the cookies and chips altogether during my trip to the grocery store. Every temptation overcome is a victory. I’m not saying that I will never eat these things again. But at least now I realize that I do have the power to overcome the temptation to eat them daily. I realize that there are chemicals involved that elicit such reactions in my brain chemistry. However, I believe the human will was built to withstand temptation. By not exercising what little discipline I had over my body and its cravings, I just didn’t know it. After practicing, I see how it is possible to take control over oneself. It sent me down another path. Exercise and diet make up only one portion of the power to say no.