There's no such thing as willpower. At least there isn't for me. What works for me is a no-fail environment. In order to create that no-fail environment, I had to decide a few things in my head. Goals, resolves, absolutes, rules, aspirations, or whatever you want to call them, I had to decide them. I like to call them absolutes. Since I'm a bit of a freak it was easy for me to do this. (Remember I'm the person who sorts their laundry according to color, meaning one pile for purple, one pile for red, one pile for pink, one pile for orange, one pile for blue, one pile of brown, one pile for cold whites, one pile for hot whites, you get the idea). Anxiety was on my side in this instance. So here are my absolutes. You will notice there is always an exception to an absolute, lol.
Absolute number one. Absolutely no fast food.
Exceptions--when it is somebody's birthday and that's what they want. (See previous post for explanation). Also, if we are out of town, which is rare, and can't find a grocery store. Also if we are completely starving and going to die then it is okay. (You'd be surprised how many times you are actually not going to die, but will make it home alive and in one piece). So far every person knows where he or she want to eat out on their birthday and they're looking forward to it.
About this absolute--You will be tempted. Especially if you are anything like I was and stopped for fast food because it was calling you and it was so convenient and sometimes you are so hungry or thirsty. But I will guarantee you something, it will get easier. There were a few times I wanted to stop so badly. I was so hungry or so thirsty or so craving it, but because I had made it an absolute, I didn't. And you know what, I survived. And the next time I was tempted it was so much easier to just keep driving because I'd done it before. Now those temptations aren't as strong and my desire to eat there is less and less and my ability to overcome the temptation is greater. We really can adapt better than we think we can. And if I ever mess up, that's okay; I start again the next day. But I don't ever quit my absolutes.
Number 2. Absolutely no bad stuff in the grocery cart.
The exception--when it's someone's birthday, of course, and when John requests something that he will eat some place other than home. I'm not his boss or his mother so if he needs me to buy him some groceries for work or a tailgate party, I will. However, I'm to the point now where I refuse to buy him any diet cokes for work. They certainly aren't allowed in the house. No willpower, remember, and I'm a recovering DC addict. Not only that, but I’m learning how absolutely toxic that stuff is for you and I can't with good conscience knowingly let my husband drink that stuff. So he does it behind my back and that's fine. One day he'll die from it and I'll tell him I told you so.
About this absolute--Thanks to the reading I'd done, (see earlier post on education) Jillian and Tosca have taught me how to decipher between the good stuff and the bad stuff. It can be tricky at times. Usually I'm only buying products they recommend, like real, whole foods. If there's a question on something I do look for ingredients and if I see something in it that sounds like an "anti-food" I put it back. I don't bother with the calories and all that crap. It's what is in the food that counts the most. Otherwise you might be buying something that's not really food, just a bunch of chemicals that add up to empty calories and bad nutrition. Or you might be buying a "protein bar" that has high fructose corn syrup in it. (Don't even get me started). I have to laugh at the manufacturers sometimes. They will make an organic product that is completely not good for you. So don't be fooled. If organic sugar is one of the top ingredients than it's not good for you. Lately, I don't even bother with labels because I don't need to anymore. Everything I was curious about I've checked into so I know what to buy and what not to buy. It's very fun and exciting to look in my cart and only see good stuff and know that what I'm buying is perfectly good for my family and me. It's quite a thrill actually.
Number 3. Absolutely no popcorn and soda at the movies. Exception--birthday. Or birthday week in Bella's case. That's it.
About this absolute--This one was really hard the first time, especially at Overland Park Cinemas where everyone, and I'm not kidding you, every person there had a popcorn and soda in their lap. Just the smell of popcorn, the rustling of fingers going into bags, and our memories of previous times with their delicious, caramel popcorn was enough to drive us crazy. It definitely makes me not want to go there again. Some rich entrepreneur needs to start a movie theatre chain that sells only water and healthy snacks without the popcorn smell.......Eric?????
About this absolute. Chemical-laden popcorn is bad for you. So is soda pop. You can survive the movie with a cup of water in your lap.
Number 4. Absolutely must eat a breakfast that includes lean protein and complex carbs.
Exception--it's only okay to skip breakfast if I am fasting, which I'm trying to do once a month, and when I need extra help from the Lord, or when I am praying for someone who needs help.
About this absolute--Before I made this an absolute I used to dawdle around in the mornings. I never insisted my kids eat breakfast. I fed them breakfast most of the time (a disastrous breakfast consisting of frozen mini pancakes or frozen French toast sticks with sugar-free, aka, aspartame-poison syrup) but if someone missed it I really didn't care or notice. I figured they'd let me know when they were hungry. How bad is that? Terrible! Now I absolutely insist that every child and myself eat a hearty breakfast. It's more work for me, especially since the boxes of cereal that used to be in the lazy susan are long gone, but that's what my husband is for. He's in charge of making breakfast for everybody every morning. Hey, it's says "feminist" on this blog, doesn't it?
Number 5. Absolutely must drink lots and lots and lots and lots of water.
Exception--no exceptions for the kids and the only exception for me is when I'm trying to fast. The key word for me and fasting is "trying."
About this absolute--Tosca recommends drinking 16 oz as soon as you wake up. I had never paid attention to how much water I was drinking or how much my kids were drinking. Now I not only pay attention to how much they're drinking, I teach them the vital importance of it. I have felt a big difference in my health when I get plenty of water. Honestly, most days I don't, but when I do, I feel it, and it feels fantastic. Of course I have to pee all the time so that's not fun, but feeling good is. Now my kids are tired of hearing me say, "Everybody go get a drink of water. It's important to drink lots of water everyday."
Number 6. Absolutely must eat at least 3 meals a day consisting of protein and complex carbs and healthy fats.
More on that later.....