It has been said that the flesh is weak. But your mind isn’t weak as long you remember you control your life.
When I was a boy of fourteen at Christmas vacation, my father and I were talking about all the holiday treats I was packing away. Right out of the blue, he said, “I bet you can’t go a year without eating any chocolate.”It caught me off guard, and so I said, “I bet I can,”Dad said, “Okay, I dare you.”So just before the tick of midnight on New Year’s Eve, I slammed down an insane amount of chocolate for the last time for a year, and began my challenge. I actually went through withdrawals, and was surprised at how many things I enjoyed had chocolate in them. But after a while, I got into my stride, and it became easier. A lot of my friends made fun and some even tried to sabotage me by hiding chocolate chips in my salad or milk. But I did it! I went an entire year and didn’t slip-up or cheat once. I gained confidence in my self-discipline, and was actually pretty proud of myself. By the way, the first time I ate chocolate the following year, I felt like I was sinning, I actually felt guilty.Several years later, I was living in New Zealand and was walking down the street with my best friend one day. As we passed one of their famous pastry shops, we noticed in the window some of the biggest, most beautiful cream puffs I’d ever seen, and they smelled so good. We stopped and stared for a moment and then I said, “Let’s get one.”After a little delay, my friend said, “No, I don’t think I will.”I really wanted one, so I said, “My treat; I’m buying.”After another delay, he said, “No thanks.”I was shocked. “Don’t you like cream puffs?” I asked.His response was simple. “They’re my favorite.”“Then why aren’t you going to have one?”“Because I just want to prove to myself that I am in control of my appetites.”I was confused and mad at first, but then I remembered being fourteen and the no-chocolate experience. My friend was just showing who’s in charge.Since that day forty-seven years ago, I committed myself to go without something I really like every year for the entire year. I’ve gone without chocolate many times, soda, ice cream, French fries, chips, and desserts. This year I’m off ice cream again, just me being in charge of me.I have a friend who’s a slim, trim, and athletic guy. Whenever we’d go out to eat, he would only eat half the portion, no matter what it was: half a burger, half a salad, half a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. When I asked him why, he explained that everyone in his family is morbidly obese: parents, siblings, everyone; lots of genetics. So he made a commitment to himself that it wasn’t going to be him.Just him being in charge of him, and it works.It’s like the old cartoon where you have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other trying to influence you. Which one of you is in charge when you have conflicting options? The “YOU” that wants instant gratification with sugar, grease, and salt? Or the “YOU” that makes healthy choices? With one, you’re a slave, and with the other, you’re the master. There’s always consequences. But this is your life.So which is it? The Twinkie or the apple; the soda or the green drink; the curly fries or the nuts?I guess it depends on who’s in charge.Learn about nutrition apps so you can stay in control!