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posted: 4/7/2014 5:01 AM

Temptations don't manage to take her off track

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  • A picture saves a thousand calories.

    A picture saves a thousand calories.

  • Walk away from the snack table!

    Walk away from the snack table!

By Lisa Jones Townsel
Daily Herald Correspondent

Staying on task during the Fittest Loser Challenge is doable, but it sure takes lots of gumption, especially in the face of everyday temptations.

While I have resolved that I will not creep off my nutritional plan, no matter what, it doesn't mean that I don't still salivate when I smell some of my favorite foods or simply walk through the cereal aisles of my favorite grocery stores. (Boxed cereal has long been a weakness.)

It tells me that I am human, and that what I am doing right now is an active choice, and not a prison. But sometimes, I do wish the people around me would help me out a bit.

The week I started Weight Watchers two years ago, I came home to a custard-filled, strawberry topped coffee cake on my kitchen countertop. I was aghast! I definitely wanted a piece, but knew it was strictly prohibited. I did the very best I could: I took a picture of it.

On a recent trip north, my family decided to check out a new frozen yogurt joint. Not bad. I didn't even go in. But take a look at the attached picture; this is what my husband came out with: frozen cookie-dough yogurt sunken under a mound of chocolate shavings, pretzel pieces, nuts, coconut flakes and … I stared at it intently, and then did the best that I could: I snapped a picture of it. (And every once in a while, I still look at it to enjoy its decadence.)

An unknowing friend brought salty and sweet goodies to a meeting recently. I could tell that she was disappointed that I didn't have any, but I wasn't ready to tell her that I was following a strict nutrition plan; but eventually I did. To honor her efforts, and appreciate the spread of snacks, I took another picture.

That's been my coping mechanism. If I can't eat it, and find it hard to resist it, well, I'll just stare at it a little and then move on. I just wish the temptations were not all around.

But they are and always will be, right? Even after this incredible journey. I will have to figure out how I will always deal with such offerings. I may have thousands of downloaded pictures before long.

Push Fitness trainer Joshua Steckler once told me that eventually I will have to decide why I am doing this, and if it's to learn a healthy lifestyle then I need to understand that this is what it takes: eating clean, staying hydrated and working out. He's right, and I'm determined to do just that, even in the face of a lifetime of coffee cakes, ice cream, and snacks.

• Freelance writer and substitute teacher Lisa Jones Townsel is learning to put temptations in their rightful place: in her control.

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