Friday, February 24, 2012

When Willpower Isn't Enough

Last week while I was at work, my dog turned on her old friend, the chaise lounge.  I came home to this scene of upholstered carnage:

I couldn't get too mad at the dog.  She's a dog. Somewhere in the course of the day, she realized that the couch was filled with delightful stuffing, and decided to have some fun.  It wasn't a piece of furniture I was particularly attached to - it was an old IKEA one that I kept in the room where I keep the dog during the day.

But the point is, she did what was in her nature. And my job is to set her up for success.  She will do what's in her nature, and I have to make sure that's she's in an environment where she doesn't get into trouble.  So I started crating her during the day. Not something I ever wanted to do, but she clearly wasn't able to handle being in her own room all day.  She's been doing much better.

How does this relate to my journey?  I made a mistake this week. I overestimated my own willpower. I thought I could train myself to overcome what's in my nature.  And my nature is to binge on certain foods, especially salty, crunchy foods.

It happened at Costco. A company was giving out samples of these insanely good chips called Chip'ins - made of pressed popcorn and a shitload of flavor in such things as buffalo wings and jalapeno ranch.  Because they were for a limited time only, I picked up two ENORMOUS bags (20 servings each). Now, they are healthier than normal chips, but not when you eat half your body weight in them.  In 24 hours I consumed the better part of both bags.

I finally had a reality check and tossed the remainder (and took the trash out as well).  They were good, but I clearly am not in a position to exercise good portion control with these evil little temptations.

I'm not going to beat myself up about it though.  I was down to about 197 last week (after a long walk). I'm doing well, and this is for life.  I will slip and falter. And I'll recover.  I know my own weaknesses and need to make sure to set myself up for success, just like I do with my dog.

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