“Free cheese is always available in mousetraps.” – Unknown
Do you ever try to bargain with yourself? You know – “I’ll just have a small slice of this chocolate cake”, “I’ll just have one drink,” “I’ll go workout tomorrow.” We all have. Some of us are better bargainers than others. I’ve played that game with myself for years. Usually it’s where relationships are concerned. We all have our bargaining weak spots – relationships, food, working out, alcohol, etc. It’s a power play against our will and our weaknesses.
Recently I needed to stop at the grocery store to pickup 3 things: egg whites, tuna, and a sweet potato. I only had $3 in cash because I lost my debit card (more on that story coming another day – it involves running out of gas. Don’t ask.) so I was having to be very selective in my purchases. Somehow between the tuna and the egg whites my body found itself on this aisle:
I think they purposely put this type of stuff on the end of the aisle so you can’t help but see it and stop when you walk by. Let me preface all this to say I don’t think I have EVER bought a whole package of Oreos to keep at my house. I don’t keep sweets in my house, period. Maybe some chocolate but that’s it. I enjoy baking and cooking but I’m not someone who has a snack cabinet or anything like that. However, s’mores are one of my favorite little treats ever (I went through a phase where I had one every night before bed) and I am extremely intrigued by these s’mores Oreos. I’m more of a Reeses gal myself, but these days anything and everything hydrogenated and sugary is looking reeeeeeal good.
You see, when you dial certain things down or completely out of your life sometimes there is this thing that rears its ugly head. That little thing is called temptation. Ah, yes. Whether it’s my body tempting me to eat a whole package of Oreos or my mind tempting me to sabotage my sanity, temptation is rampant. And, even more so when you are trying to be “good.” Whatever that means to you. The temptation is always 1,000% stronger and harder to fight when you are on the straight and narrow. This could apply to hundreds of things – pick your personal poison.
If you read Gone Girl you know I am following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) lifestyle right now. Love it. Could I eat a few Oreos and stay on track? Absolutely. Could I eat a few Oreos and stop there? Eeehhh. Not on this particular night. I would probably have bargained with myself and eaten way more than a few and then told myself I’d make it up some other way. I know myself pretty well these days and weak PL was looking at those s’mores Oreos like she looks at a new pair of high heels on sale.
So – I walked away. I said no. I didn’t bargain. Because, bargaining often leads to losing. I’ve come too far to tempt myself. Do I eat sweets? Of course. But, I stay within my macros. Am I going to do this forever? Probably not, but I have some super specific goals right now and I have worked far too hard and far too long to bargain my way into a few moments of pleasure. Because, isn’t that really what temptation and bargaining with ourselves is about? A few moments of pleasure for something that won’t last? Something that feels good in the moment but ultimately leaves us feeling empty and more broken than before?
Cutting bad things out of your life is never easy. Sometimes we try to keep “a little” bit to hang on to – because it feels good, because it’s comfortable, because we’re having a bad day and a “little bit” of our old life makes a feel a little better. Temporarily.
Unfortunately, the real temptations in life for most of us aren’t food but are things that are more damaging to our mental and emotional well being than our physical well being. They hurt our hearts and impede our growth. We take ten steps forward only to look back in a moment of weakness and wake up to find ourselves five steps backwards. For most of my adult life when I have found myself in these types of situations it has taken me a long time to finally get to the cold turkey point. I waver, I struggle, I bargain, and I “what if” and “maybe if” in my mind until I’m physically exhausted.
Once I get to the point of never looking back something always clicks inside of me. Once I’m done, I’m done. Are there moments of temptation? Absolutely. Are there moments of struggle? Yes. But, they get so much easier. Promise. It’s worth it – to not look back, to not give in, to stand your ground, to be strong – to find out who you REALLY are, not who you think you’re supposed to be.
When you’re tempted to go back “just a little” to something that you know you are going to have a difficult time picking yourself up from – run the other way. Remember why you have moved on. Remember why you started. Remember why you are stronger than you were before.
There are no “do-overs” in this life – don’t waste your days on weakness. You are stronger than you could ever imagine if you just remember to not give up, give in, or give out.