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.)
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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.