Monday, June 11, 2012

"Not in my best interest"

Writing my first article about my struggle with food guilt left me emotional, drained, and hopeless. I didn't know where to go, what to do, or how to fix my problem. Although it's nowhere near fixed, I felt extremely grateful when my mom sent me this article titled "'It's not in my best interest!'", found from a coaching/counseling site.

There are so many times when I'm fully aware that I'm making a bad decision, but for some reason, that makes the decision all the more enticing. I know that eating two scoops of ice cream at 11pm isn't good for me, but sometimes I give in to the weakness because it's a guilty pleasure. However, thinking about situations in the way described in this article make it so much easier to make good decisions.

If every temptation is a path to 'short term pleasure,' while every healthy decision is a path to 'long term fulfillment,' it isn't hard to make a choice that will make you happier in the long run. This idea does not only apply to food: you can even apply it to dance. You could just barely scrape by and not work that hard or think in the studio today, or you could go full out, watch everyone intently, and make a few more baby steps to improvement as a dancer. Sure, one day doesn't seem that important, but if you cut yourself slack today, what will you do tomorrow when you got 2 hours less sleep than today? It's not only a waste of money, but it's a waste of your precious time if you make a decision not to work. Working hard at every chance is in your best interest.

There are some days when you're just willing to give up, and you know that you can't handle any more pressure. Save the decisions that aren't in your best interest for those times. Maybe on those days, you can treat yourself to skipping dance class, having dessert, or relaxing in a bubble bath. Sometimes, decisions that aren't normally in your best interest physically can be in your best interest emotionally and mentally. Sometimes you need a break.

But don't let yourself take a break every day. Push yourself to make decisions in your best interest. You can eat that delicious-looking pot roast, but put some broccoli or salad on your plate too. Set a goal at the beginning of class and make sure you stay focused on it throughout class. Have three bites of cake instead of a full slice. Moderation has become my key to lightening my food guilt. You can do it too - make decisions in your best interest 90% of the time, and choose your 10% not-so-perfect decisions wisely.

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