Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Intention and Determination

I personally don't think it should be "hard" to eat healthy foods and to not overeat on holidays. In fact, in my own life, I expect everything to be easy. The issue is that it doesn't always turn out that way. It's not just the temptation of large quantities of food you want to eat, but it's also the company you celebrate with, the expectations of others, and the issues you bring to the table. We've learned psychological and physical habits throughout our lives, and deciding to change all at once is not as simple as just making the decision.

When I was a kid, I hated Thanksgiving food---all except the green bean casserole and pie. I used to eat all the stuff I didn’t like first as fast as I could, so I could save things I did like for last. I think a lot of people have this mindset, or at least just feel obligated to eat food because it’s there. I got to a certain age when I decided I’d no longer eat the food I didn’t want at Thanksgiving---but then when the day rolled around, I'd end up eating more than I intended anyway. This happened especially when I was at someone else's house or out with other people. I had made the decision, but practiced my old undesired habits anyway and this was frustrating. Year after year (and not just on Thanksgiving), I kept making these decisions and not following through. Finally, it dawned on me that (duh!) it takes more than just making the decision.

Intention is the first step---that's the decision part. What is your plan? For instance, this year, my plan is to eat only what I want (even if I'm worried about being rude!).

The second step is to be determined to stick to the plan. That's the part I was missing in the past-----determination! You can't be successful at your plan unless you are determined to stick to it. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a secret to becoming determined, but thinking about it seems to be the first step. Think about what has worked for you in the past, and what the pros and cons are of sticking to your plan. It might seem like hard work to be determined, and maybe it really is, but after you do it once it is easier the next time.

I'm really looking forward to having macaroni and cheese on Thanksgiving this year! What about you?

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