I ate the chocolate.
And not just one piece, but the whole bag!
I knew I shouldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to. This was definitely not part of my meal plan.
Now I feel guilty, but dang did it taste good!
Can you relate?
Dieting is hard. No matter how you spin it, no matter what you are told by the “experts”, there is no easy diet, and you are going to have to say no to the chocolate if you want to succeed.
So, how do we say no when our mouth is watering, our stomach is growling, we nearly go into a frenzy and begin to think “I must have that (whatever food you are not allowed) now!”
How do we say no when our body and our primal brain say “YES!”?
The simple answer is discipline.
Did you just cringe?
We have become to hate the word discipline mostly because it makes us feel like a failure. I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, therefore I don’t have discipline, therefore I suck.
But discipline doesn’t have to be a four letter word.
Like having the body we want, the family we want, the job we want, the life we want, discipline is created. It is created from a set of habits, habits that were created by consistent action and effort or a long period of time.
I ate the chocolate, I don’t want to eat the chocolate next time, so what do I do?
Create and build my discipline.
Step 1: Look at the Evidence
The first step is to get super honest about your current health. But don’t rely on how you think you look/feel/are, you need to review the evidence and tell the truth.
The evidence is facts – your weight, your size, how easily you walk up stairs or play with your kids, and what you really eat.
Evidence and honesty is not our excuses or stories:
I only eat candy sometimes
I can’t eat properly, I have no time to prepare food
The facts are all human skeletons are similar sized – being big boned is a myth, if you eat candy sometimes you probably eat candy a lot of the time, and you do have time, but eating properly is not a priority.
To become disciplined, and get the body and health you want, you have to be honest about where you are.
Step 2: Know what you want, and want it bad
You must visualize your success to be successful.
But visualizing it is not enough, you then need to want it – bad!
What do you want? What health goal do you want to accomplish?
Now picture yourself having already succeeded. How does it feel? Are you happy, energized, confident, smiling? Do you feel powerful and strong?
Now picture yourself not accomplishing your goal. What is not succeeding going to cost you? Your relationships? Your confidence? Your job? Your life?
Make it real painful.
Visualizing your success will make you excited, it will help make the work easier. And visualizing your failure and defining your pain will give you the drive you need to succeed. It will make you want your success even more.
Step 3 – Create higher standards
Your standards, or level of acceptable outcome and behaviour, has gotten you to where you are today. If you are not where you want to be you are going to need to raise your standards.
How many times have you told yourself what you “should” do?
I should lose weight.
I should exercise more.
I should eat healthier.
I should love myself more.
We have an endless list of things we should do.
But what if your list of shoulds, becomes a list of musts? What happens when you give yourself no option but to succeed?
When you raise your standards, and your shoulds become musts, you are making a conscious decision to take control over your outcomes. You are taking responsibility for your success.
Step 4 – Create the habits that will get you there
A habit is simply an action you take repetitively over a long period of time. If you do it once or twice, it is not a habit.
A habit will define your outcome, and will determine whether you succeed at achieving your goals.
So, what habits do you need to get the body and health you want?
The Easy Nutrition Rules – no processed sugar, real food only, more vegetables – help create the foundation for the habits you need to get the body and health you want.
Meal planning, cooking your own food, and reading labels are also habits that will support your health goals.
Eating a piece of chocolate at a Easter is not a habit, and may have little impact on your outcome. Eating a piece of chocolate to relax at the end of each day is a habit and will not get you the body and health you want.
Step 5 – Do the Work
Habits are tactical, and typically easy to define. But they are not easy to build and take work.
Small steps, taken each day, doing the work each day, creates momentum, builds your stamina and character, and creates the habit. Once the habit is created, the work becomes easier. Once the work becomes easier, having discipline becomes easier.
“Having” discipline is not as simple as clicking and buying on Amazon. You have to work at it. You have to make a conscious effort to make your goal a priority, and to create the habits that will move you towards success.
Look at the evidence. Know what you want. Have higher standards. Create the habits.
And finally, do the work.