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fighting the urge

as my weight-loss goal date approaches (scary!!!!), i've learned a lot of valuable tips and tools when it comes to dieting.

the hardest thing for me is that i can be my own worst enemy. those 'i'd rather sleep than work out' days or when i text randy to bring home an oreo cookie shake. in this article, heather hawkins shares some pretty interesting ways to save you from yourself:

-make it immediate-
focus on the immediate benefits of making good health decisions. stop thinking about how good you're going to look in that new 2-piece on the shore this summer. think about how much better you'll feel after finishing a 5k on the treadmill.
you can also create awards for yourself. like when a toddler remembers to use the bathroom and gets a gold star. hawkins has a sticker chart; you can do things like 'if i work out 4 times this week, i get to go to starbucks on friday.' there are tons of different things that can help motivate you to eat better or get healthy!

-negative reinforcement-
the article mentions a website called where you put your money where your mouth is. you set a goal, put some money towards it, and if a third party confirms you've reached it, the money you've put towards it goes to a charity of your choice. however, if you don't meet the goal you've set, the money goes to a charity you dislike. i'm talking people that have to donate to the KKK because they can't stop smoking.
if you think this is a little much, you can set your own non-monetary stakes. if your goal is to not eat ice cream for a week but you can't avoid stopping by baskin robins, make yourself call your mother-in-law for a 45-minute chat. or if you vowed to work out 4 days last week but only made it to the gym 3 days, take a double shift at the job you hate (even though you're making more money, if your job is miserable enough, it will hardly be worth it). if the consequence is terrible enough, you'll start meeting your goals more consistently.

-practice avoidance-
this tip is about setting yourself up for failure - don't do it! if you suck at self-control, this one might be hard, but the advice is really sound. if you can't help but eat a whole tub of ice cream in one sitting, don't buy it when you go grocery shopping. i love snacking, so instead of buying boxes of fruit-by-the-foot or cheetos, i get fruit or other healthy snacks. this tip doesn't only apply to health-related goals. if you do too much online shopping, block the websites where you spend the most money.

-tie your hands-
once you decide to avoid something, make sure you can't go back on it. if you go to the same cashier when you check out at the grocery store, tell him or her that you're not allowed to buy ice cream for a month so that they refuse to ring you up for it. hawkins suggests telling your regular bartender that you're only allowed club soda for a month, or to cut off cable if reruns of real housewives of orange county is keeping you from exercising.

changing your lifestyle to become more healthy is not easy, especially if you have a lot to change. the more tools and tricks you have up your sleeve, the easier it is to start living the life you want to be living. let me know if these little tricks work for you!

until next time..
<3 alaina

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