Sometimes It’s Okay to Enjoy Cupcake
By Zac Woodruff, RN BS
Over the last six months, my wife and I have made many lifestyle changes and we have been living much healthier lives. We are regularly working out, utilizing portion control techniques, and focusing on meal plans and preparation ahead of time.
The other day we had a hangout with some friends and one of our pals said to us, “I can’t believe you guys are eating a cupcake, I thought you guys were all about health now.”
I was like, “WWWWHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAA. Who said I would never eat a cupcake?” It’s true that cupcakes are not on my approved 21 Day Fix food list, but every now and again, I think it’s important to enjoy a small treat.
Here’s the thing… For me, there is power in moderation. When I’m able to occasionally enjoy a treat and then jump right back on my health kick, I feel an empowering sense of self-discipline.
Some may argue that it’s important to completely abstain from cupcakes (and any other “unhealthy” treat) when you are on a focused health mission, but I argue that it’s just as important to learn how to master the skill of self-discipline.
I’ve read a ton of articles that rip apart the “everything in moderation” idea. They argue that many people are addicted to unhealthy foods and other vices, and the only way to kick the addiction habit is to completely abstain. Yes. I hear that. I think we all can agree that for many it makes sense.
If you can learn to practice the art of self-discipline, you, not your addictions, are in control.
Self-discipline requires practice and repetition in your day-to-day life. To improve your own self-discipline, here are 4 proven methods you can implement for gaining better control. This regimen will help you to establish good habits, break bad ones, and improve your control by making simple changes to your everyday routine (Forbes, 2014).
1. Remove temptations. Self control is often easiest when abiding by the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve your self-discipline.
2. Eat regularly and healthily. Studies have shown that low blood sugar often weakens a person’s resolve. In order to stay on track, make sure that you are well fueled throughout the day with healthy snacks and meals every few hours.
3. Schedule breaks, treats, and rewards for yourself. Self-discipline does not mean your new regimen needs to be entirely cold turkey, hard core, or drill sergeant-like in execution. In fact, giving yourself zero wiggle room often results in failures, disappointments, and giving into your old ways. Self-discipline can be hard. Reward your effort.
4. Forgive yourself and move forward. Instituting a new way of thinking won’t always go according to plan. You will have ups and downs, fabulous successes, and flat out failures. Forgive yourself, and get back in the saddle ASAP. The longer you’re off your game, the harder it is to keep going in a positive direction.
When you feel that you are in control of your own self-discipline, you get to truly enjoy that cupcake every now and then. And that’s a good thing.