FIghting off Temptation - the power of visualization
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The very hardest thing I had to do today was come straight home from work. I had an excuse to go into town - a prescription I needed to pick up - and the entire evening to myself, and suddenly the only thing in the world I wanted was Taco Bell.
I kept arguing with myself about it for the entire hour-long commute. It's not really good for me - not healthy, not nutritious. I always order the same thing with sour cream and nacho cheese, never the "fresco" tacos with pico de gallo and veggies instead. I reminded myself that I really didn't enjoy the food as much as I thought the last time I went. I told myself that since I'd already made so many good choices today, it would be a shame to follow them up with such a bad choice.
And then I realized that the whole time, I was still fixated on the food I shouldn't be eating. What it smells like. What it tastes like. The look of the dining room. Because I've done the same thing so many times, I could perfectly visualize myself walking in, ordering, filling my soda, and sitting down with my book. All of my attention was exactly where it didn't need to be, imagining what I shouldn't be doing in an attempt to not do it. How much sense does that make? It's like repeating to yourself over and over "don't think about the blue elephant. Don't think about the blue elephant. Don't think about the blue elephant."
It was a nice breakthrough when I had the realization that I could focus all that energy on thinking about what I SHOULD be cooking when I got home. Picture the brown rice with pepper on it. Smell the steaming peppers and brocolli in a stir-fry. Imagine myself at my own kitchen table with a plate and fork, not a paper wrapper. When I stopped concentrating on what not to do and started focusing on what to do instead, it became a whole lot easier to convince myself not to buy fast food.
It helps that my DH agreed to get my prescription on his way home from work later. No more excuse to go into town!