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We all do it. We all eat things we shouldn’t. Or we fail to get the amount of exercise we should. Often, we chalk it up to a lack of self-control - or to our genetic make-up. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. As Tony Robbins says - “in an instant, you can change your life forever.” All it takes is changing your thoughts.

Try this tactic...when there’s something you want that you know you shouldn’t have - play what I call the “Then What?” game.  

For example, let’s say there’s a donut in front of you. Right now, you‘re probably having an internal dialogue that sounds something like this: “I shouldn’t have that, it’s bad for me. But I want it! It’ll taste good and it’ll make me happy...oh, what the hell! I don’t have any self-control...I’m such a loser.”  

Instead of chastising yourself or beating yourself up, change the internal dialogue. It will become something like this: “Oh, that looks good. But, you know really isn’t as good as I’m imagining it to be - I just want it because I know I shouldn’t have it. It’s loaded with bad stuff” (sugar, fat, empty carbs - whatever). “What will happen if I eat it? Then, I’ll feel guilty. Then I’ll be mad at myself. Then, it’ll probably make me crave other things with more bad stuff and I’ll feel even worse! Then I’ll gain more weight and have even less energy and feel like crap all the time. So it won’t really make me happy at all! You know what’ll really make me happy? If I do something good for myself - something that will give me energy and improve my health. If I do that, then I’ll probably do something ELSE that’s good for me and I’ll feel even better! THAT will make me happy!”

Then look at the food, make a face and stick your tongue out at it just like a defiant 2-year-old (seriously - it really does help).

I also make it a point to analyze the taste of “bad” foods. Because of this, I can no longer stand donuts. If I eat one, all I taste is grease (which I imagine clogging my arteries as I eat it). The nasty greasy taste lingers long after the last bite. Many of the things I once craved no longer interest me at all. Frankly, once I started looking for the negatives, I came to the realization that most foods don’t taste nearly as good as I imagine they will.

Similarly, I look for the “good” in healthy foods. Salads are wonderful for this - I load them with at least half a dozen vegetables and a lean protein (topped with salsa instead of salad dressing). With each bite, I am delighted by the variety of different tastes and how they taste combined with one another. Knowing that I’m strengthening my immune system, reducing the risk of life-threatening illnesses and keeping my weight in check is a particularly fun “Then What?” experience!

How about you? What does YOUR internal dialogue sound like?


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