Temptation Strikes

By Shani Petroff

I had some time to kill between two meetings, so I decided to get in some extra steps. As I did, I walked by so many temptations. Baked goods, cheap drinks, an ice cream store, and an ice cream truck. I told myself to keep walking, the point of being outside was to get in a little exercise, not to dig into my SmartPoints® budget. Yet as I circled the street again, my willpower was diminishing. I saw a couple eating waffle cones, and I caved. I wanted one too. I decided to head back to the ice cream truck. Right as I was approaching, it drove away. I took it as a sign. Now I’ve come up with some alternatives for when temptation strikes during different situations.

Taking a walk. It’s hard to walk and eat, but I’ve done it — even with food that requires a fork. It gets harder when your hands are full. So, I’m making sure to take a water bottle with me on my walks. If I find myself still wanting to stop and grab something to munch on, there are fruit stands on practically every corner in New York City, so I’m making myself grab an apple or banana if I really want something.

Ordering in. I do a lot of takeout and delivery. Often with co-workers and friends. Usually I start off with great intentions — the salad, the salmon sushi, the grilled chicken wrap. But as I’m on the phone placing the order, and the restaurant employee asks if I want anything else, I often find myself tacking on a dessert, or a fried tempura appetizer, or something I hadn’t meant to get. So now, when I’m ordering with others, I let them make the phone call. They know I’m trying to watch my SmartPoints values, and being a somewhat closet eater, I’m less likely to tell them to order me the dessert.

Watching TV. I have what my family calls “big eyes.” I see something, and I want it. So, when I’m watching TV, and a character is eating something decadent or a commercial for something yummy comes on, I start thinking about how I’d like it too. I wasn’t even craving it 10 minutes prior but all of a sudden it’s what I want. In situations like this, I’m making myself drink a huge glass of water. Then, after I finish it, if I still want the snack, I reevaluate. The water helps fill me up, and after thinking about it for a bit, I often realize I didn’t really want the junk food I saw—I was just “eye” hungry.

Work treats. People bring things in to work all the time. It’s hard to say no, especially when they are encouraging you try. For this I remind myself of “the hair cookie.” Years ago, a co-worker brought in baked treats she had made. I took one, broke it open, and there was a hair baked in, connecting the two sides. I instantly threw it out (and lost my appetite). Now any time I’m tempted to try a home-cooked treat, I remind myself I have no idea what their kitchen is like, how clean it is, or if they put the spoon in the batter, licked it, and then put it back in. Chances are they didn’t, but the thought (and the memory of “the hair cookie”) is enough to make this temptation not very tempting at all.

How do you deal with temptations? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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