Instant gratification is what sabotages long term goals. After emails, comments, in person and a couple of phone conversations regarding this week’s episode of Biggest Loser, this is the conclusion I have come to. I have tried to condense my thoughts into a single sentence and that is the sentence I have come up with. Instant gratification is what sabotages long term goals.
It seems like we wake up in the morning with great clarity. We are strong in our convictions and we know how to get there. If its weight loss we are looking for, we plan our meals, count our calories, do the required exercise and then something (anything) comes along that tempts us and in our fleeting moment of weakness, we succumb to immediate gratification and lose sight of our long term goal.
The more I think about it, the more it is true of many situations, certainly not just weight loss. As an example, I know that once I started going through “the changes” of life, red wine became a big trigger for night sweats. I actually stopped drinking it for about a year. Along the way I started eating a completely plant-based diet, and my night sweats completely disappeared. I thought I would re-introduce a glass of red wine into my life. I would consider the calories in my daily intake and hope that the night sweats were behind me, but they started again. No, they are not bad, but sometimes all it takes is a sip or two of the wine and already I am warmer. The answer, of course, is simple right? I know it every time I wake up, and all day long as well. But then, then the work day ends and that one glass of wine seems to just call “Bonni, Bonni…., ” and before I know it, instant gratification has sabotaged my long term goal of a peaceful night’s sleep.
At one time, I might have thought this was addiction. I am clear that it is not. It is just a case of wanting something more at that very moment in time, than down the road. As for my glass of wine, I am dealing with it. It seems if I drink it slowly enough and make it last long enough and don’t go back for seconds, I can actually sleep OK. This has taken some trial and error as I realize the importance of BALANCE and DO think the time I get to sit with Mitch and unwind over that glass is a bit more than just instant gratification.
Sorting out what is addiction and what is just a case of instant gratification is probably really important for all of us. Be it food, alcohol, gambling, drugs, sex, texting, video gaming, we all need to define what it is that’s going on with our use, over-use or abuse. Then we need to get some clear long term goals and start to “obsess” about them!
When it comes to food, I think we need to put up pictures of a lean us or a role model, we need to recite affirmations or mantras –I love the one from weight watchers which says, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels. “ I find that one a really good one when something I know I shouldn’t be eating “calls” me. We need to write down our goals, and if we have to write them 100 times a day to believe them, than that’s what we should do. We need to find things we can do with ourselves in the evenings when most of us are at our weakest, emotionally. I have been doing some stretching, body rolling and meditating in my garage for a few minutes each night when I am at my weakest with regard to snacking. This not only distracts me from the kitchen, but it has definitely helped my back which has been bothering me this year and given me ME time to just be.
A few people have asked me if it is a daily struggle to not eat animal products. The answer is a very definite NO. There is not one thing I miss eating because for me, nothing tastes as good as something that had a mother. I have never been happier about my eating than I am now. Here in South Florida, we are bracing ourselves for the aftermath of the largest oil “spill” ever (I think). I feel for the people affected by this and I feel just as much for the fish and wildlife that will be hurt and destroyed because of this unthinkable accident. I mean, you are BP, all you do is oil–how can’t you know how to fix this? Didn’t it ever occur to these people that oil can leak? HELLO?
Selfishly speaking, it couldn’t be a better time to NOT be eating fish and seafood! Tonight is VFT and in keeping with the summer theme of EASY, I will be making a large salad, 2 homemade pizzas, one traditional and one without the cheese, just veggies. Thanks to Tol Ronnen, a vegan chef, for introducing me (and much of the world, on Oprah) to Gardein products, I will also be serving Gardein “chicken” wings. Gardein is not an animal or a mineral, its not soy, it is a vegetable protein that is low in calories and has been made into various different “faux” items, like the wings, chicken tenders, beef tips, ribs and more. It only takes a few minutes to make and has become a staple in my home. Sold in Publix and probably most grocery stores, if you decide to try it, don’t overcook it. I like the plain chicken cutlets that I spray with some olive oil and cook on the grill for a few minutes each side. The wings that I am making tonight are easy as they go in a baking dish in the oven and require no preparation.
I have rambled far more than I expected this morning. My annual gynecological appointment awaits me now. Thanks so much for some really great feedback about BL this week. I value all of your opinions and insight. Keep it coming! You have no idea how much your input helps me make sense of my life, my work and my passion. I think together we can get through some instants, and achieve our long terms!