Jennifer recently shared with me her struggle over whether to eat certain foods, particularly during evenings. Jennifer would finish dinner, and then, it was as if treats and desserts would start calling out to her from her refrigerator. She would engage in the classic struggle:
“Should I have that piece of cake? But it’s not on my plan. Oh, but it looks so good. But then I’ll be strengthening my giving-in muscle. But it’s just a little bit. It’s not about the calories it’s about the habit. But I’ve been good all day…” and so on, and so on.
I asked Jennifer if she ever engaged in this struggle when it came to healthier foods she should eat, food that was on her plan and was part of her diet. Jennifer answered, “no.” She only ever had this problem when it involved unplanned foods. Jennifer realized that although she was experiencing the “should I have this/shouldn’t I have this struggle” – the answer was clearly, every single time – NO, I shouldn’t have this! I then helped Jennifer reframe the question in her mind. Instead of asking herself if she should or shouldn’t have that food, she should ask herself the real question, which is “should I cheat on my diet OR shouldn’t I cheat on my diet?” And the answer to that question is obviously, “No, I shouldn’t cheat on my diet.” With this new mindset, Jennifer was able to stop the struggle in the evenings, because she knew that, absolutely, she did not want to cheat on her diet.