Today I had one of the biggest victories so far in my year-long goal to change my life before my 50th birthday.
As I had shared in The Escape Hatch, I am great with personal goals when the sun is shining and the bills are paid, but bring me a few trials or tribulations and I really have a hard time staying on track. This is especially true with my weight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown it, just as I’m starting to make progress. Thankfully today was not one of those days! As lunchtime was approaching, so were the invitations to join others at every glorious food-trap from Golden Corral to a local Mexican favorite. Luckily, I had a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A meal, so I declined the invitations as quickly as I could and headed straight for the drive-thru at chicken nugget heaven.
The line which greeted me was so long. I waited and waited. I could feel my hunger growing while my patience was shrinking. Finally, I got to the window and was handed my bag of tantalizing golden goodness. I just love Chick-fil-A. My favorite item is their famous Chicken Sandwich. Served on a wheat bun with no butter, this sandwich is a wonderful low-calorie option. As I pulled out of the drive through I could smell—and almost taste—the sandwich. I decide to go ahead eat my sandwich as I drove back to work. As I reached into the bag I did not find my sandwich, but instead a hot container of waffle fries! I had forgotten to ask them to substitute the fruit cup for fries, a practice which Chick-fil-A will always do for a small upcharge. I was so hungry, and everything in me wanted to eat the 500-plus calorie container of delicious fries. It’s at this point that I made a decision; one which was the opposite of my natural feelings or desires. I took the fries out of the bag, and before I could talk myself out of it, I dumped them into the garbage can at the corner. I might have been wasting food, but better to waste the food then my life. My quick decision made it impossible for my willpower to battle my desire. Once you lose willpower, you find yourself giving in to your desires on a grander scale. Have you ever thought, “I’ve already blown it, might as well get dessert too?” Here are some helpful points to ponder while pursuing your goals.
“Before I could talk myself out of it, I dumped them into the garbage can at the corner.”
1. When you know something isn’t going to get you where you want to go, make a quick decision to remove it or remove yourself from its influence or presence. Don’t give yourself the chance to slip; do it quickly. If I would have taken those fries back to work with me to give to a hungry co-worker, I would have been that hungry co-worker and enjoyed the hot fries for myself.
2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Think of how Eve fell to the serpents plan in the Garden of Eden: “When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:6). Are there things within your sight that aren’t helping you to achieve your goals? Are you looking at or listening to negative talk which discourage you about life or the future? If they’re not helping you, don’t look at them or listen to them! I was not tempted by the hot fries because I could not see them. If I could still see them later on, especially as the day wore on, I would have dived into them.
3. Plan to Succeed, Not to Fail. You’ve heard it before: failing to plan is planning to fail. I had a plan to get fruit instead of fries at Chick-fil-A, but forgot to follow through on that plan when I ordered. There have been many times that I have forgotten to pack a healthy lunch or light snack, only to find myself giving into a bad lunch invitation later. If I would have planned and prepared, I would not have failed.