Overcoming Desire

Those little chocolate covered donuts from the vending machine were my weakness. The days that I thought I was working hard and needed a reward were the days when I dropped the change in the slot. In time, every day was deserving a reward regardless of the work I did.

It has been over six months since I had one. If I close my eyes, I can still remember the taste. The sugar, the chocolate, and all the other ingredients I had no business eating. One time I read the label on the package. I looked in horror at the numbers. Was it really that bad? I was shocked only for a brief period before I tossed back another donut.

My fitness regime of the past was mostly misses than hits. Strong desire, mediocre effort, and poor nutritional choices was my recipe for inconsistent results. For some reason, I always believed my diet wasn’t that bad. Of course I would not eat the best, but I told myself that my workouts would make up for it. Boy was I wrong.

It wasn’t until I changed two things in my lifestyle that I began to notice real results in my body composition. Making a serious daily commitment to increase my physical activity was the first change I made. I stopped making excuses for not working out. I didn’t have the energy levels to exercise consistently after work, so I started doing it first thing in the morning. If for some reason I missed in the morning, then I knew I had to make it up later.

The second change was focusing on my diet. Losing weight is not rocket science. You have to burn more calories than you take in. By limiting my caloric intake, I became very conscious of the types of food I was consuming. Those oh-so yummy chocolate donuts are over 300 calories. On a 1500 calorie diet, that is over 20% of the daily allotment. It is not worth it. It is not the fuel that is going to power those increased activity levels. If I am only going to take in so much food, I need it to be the best it can be to do the job. Wasting my allotment on empty calories is not doing me any good. Doing it every day is foolish.

If your dog was suffering from stomach problems, what would be the first thing you would do? You would look at what he eats. Was there a change in his diet? Did he eat something he wasn’t supposed to? What if your dog was overweight? Would you walk him more? Would you give him less food? We would do anything for our pets, but would we do the same for ourselves? If you are not getting optimal results out of your diet, then maybe it is time for a change.

Change is difficult. The desire for that donut is strong. The sugar memories are etched in your mind. You know the taste, the texture, even the smell. Maybe once every blue moon, you indulge because you like it and you earned it. But if you are like me and that pack of cheap donuts becomes a regular part of the day, then overcoming that desire is a priority. Those donuts are at war with the fit body you imagine. They are the enemy to all your hard work.

The man who overcomes his desires is braver than he who overcomes his enemies. -Aristotle