How do we deal with temptation? When it comes to food how do you rationalise temptation? How much self control should we sustain at all times? And, should we let go from time to time?
In a world where there is so much emphasise on health and fitness can we give into occasional temptations without feeling guilty? And, if so, does obsessing over healthy choices and struggling with temptation mean you have a problem?
I’m of differing opinions. I don’t know which way to approach this, I have one idea for myself, and another for others.
There is so much judgement at the moment around these issues, with the obesity epidemic and on the flip side, eating disorders. So what do we consider to be balanced?
I am weak and I know it, I give into temptation weekly (at least). My partner and I have date night and it often ends in fast food of some sort, but I try as much as I can to go with the healthiest option, and I compensate during the day leading up to it. Usually I limit my calorie intake and go to the gym before hand, which works out as I pick it up on my way home from the gym. In our household it’s “date night”, no cooking, no cleaning, just food and a movie together for the night. I’ll admit sometimes I over eat that night, since I’ve come from the gym I’m usually starving, then I’ll try and fit some kind of exercise in afterwards to make me feel better, and my partner sometimes worries I’m obsessing. Now, if I never negotiated and ate whatever he wanted, I would clog my arteries in no time. He goes through phases of healthy and unhealthy choices. So what is the balance?
My partner has been asking for a chocolate treat for days now, tonight I finally gave in and made him…
Chocolate cake! I don’t make treats like this often, and sometimes I think if the craving persists it’s sometimes easier to get it over with before it becomes an obsession. I’d prefer to make it for him at home, at least we know what’s in it, I like cooking and he likes my cooking. I believe it’s ok to give into temptation and have a treat from time to time. But, we should look at ourselves before we judge someone else’s choices.
People who are over weight are judged immediately, even more so if they’re seen eating unhealthy food, yet we also judge those at the other end of the spectrum and we don’t consider that something similar might be at fault in both situations. We judge before we have facts, we judge blindly.
In my experience, you’re judged if you do exercise regularly, and you’re judged if you don’t. So what is ok? Where is our socially acceptable norm?
Back to my expectations. I think we should aspire to eat healthy most of the time, and there is a place for treats and “temptations”. I believe treats are just that, treats. If we had them all the time they wouldn’t be outside of normal. But, a treat doesn’t have to be a deep fried mars bar sprinkled in sugar, a treat could be coffee and cake with friends when catching up, but not coffee and cake regularly for lunch. Don’t kid yourself and talk yourself into “deserving” a treat, call it what it is, accept responsibility for it. Treat yourself with clothes, or a movie, not sugary or fatty food. Have a coffee because you like it, but not because you “deserve” it. While keeping some regard for the consequences to your body, especially if you’re inactive.
Is it time to take responsibility for our own actions? To stop looking at others and control our own choices? Lead by example.
Who sets our social expectations?