Temptation, you fickle bitch

Temptation you fickle bitch you got me again. I was just sitting here, minding my own damn business and you had to chasse that sexy ass over onto my lap. I didn’t even make eye contact with you but you knew it was me. It was probably the way I averted my gaze that made me so obvious.  You slink on over and wrap those hands around my neck and proceed to seduce me. It doesn’t take a lot once those hands take hold. Your breath on my cheek and the smallest hint of a possible kiss. I give in. You’ve done it again and bent my will to yours. When will I ever learn to keep my wits about me when I’m around you? Shit, when will I finally learn to not to even come to this damn club and stay the fuck at home.

So maybe it’s my fault. Either partly or fully. Either way I’m taking control today. Right now I am going to grab those hands that lay around my neck and unlace the fingers delicately. Ill rest them back on your lap where they belong and ask you kindly to move along. It’s not like it will take you long to find another sucker that will fall for your tricks. I know you’ll look over your shoulder as you walk away. And I know that your last turning wink will shoot that pang of regret right through me. I might even miss you for the first moment you’re gone.

Temptation, I beat you this time. See you again.

In the game of health, fitness and life – watch out for temptation. I’m here to tell you it sits around every corner and waits. Waiting for you as long as it takes. You’ll probably never see it coming, but once temptation has you – chances are you’re falling. Falling off your diet plan, away from your workout for the day and into a bucket of ice cream (or a six pack of beers). The worst part, its likely you’re keeping it to yourself. Our world holds a lot of biases and prejudgments on a person’s temptations after all.

Like how about the guy you see buying beer for the third time that week, on a Thursday. Did you stop him and ask if he’s ok? If his business is on track and if his wife and baby at home are happy and healthy? Did that thought even blink through your mind for a second? Or did you jump straight to the fact that ‘he’s a lush after a boozy sunset again’.  Maybe the girl buying another 4L tub of ice cream never learned to eat properly. Maybe her parents always used sweet foods to sooth her as a child and it’s the only way she feels any real joy. And lastly, what about the 10% body fat chick slaving away on the treadmill for another hour. You are sure you saw her there when you were warming up and her timer already showed an hour completed. Maybe she’s dealing with something too.

What I want to stress firstly with this article is that temptation is real. Sure, I’m going to give you some strategies to help the most common barriers that are halting you health and fitness progress. But first I want you to look deeper. Why are you reaching out for another beer? What was it about speaking with your mother that sent you to 7/11 for a cherry ripe? What’s making you pinch your ‘belly fat’ 10-20 times per hour?

To borrow a line from Tony Robins’ Awaken the Giant Within, you’re probably looking for one of two things:

  1. To get out of pain
  2. To move towards pleasure.

I’m the first to admit that when work is adding some stress to my life or issues pop up with family and friends, the first place I turn is the bottle. It’s so simple. I feel like this now, 3 drinks later I feel a lot better. Well I just feel a lot less if I’m perfectly honest! Stress is the number one cause (in my humble opinion) of humans doing what they didn’t intend or want to. The completely meta and totally defeating part. Trying to change habits that you know aren’t helping, causes stress! The same damn reason you have the habit in the first place.

I think we need to tackle the thing on two fronts if we’re ever going to get a good run at squashing it once and for all.

Part 1. See if we can’t sort out the originating problem.

I’m not going to promise this is going to be easy and I’m not going to tell you it’ll be pretty. This is going to take some digging and more than likely a tear or two. But what is really sending you back to the habit that’s hurting you? What pain, wound or writhing guilt is holding you back? Break that mother fucker down and you are not a step but a giant leap towards putting a nail in that habit’s coffin once and for all.

Part 2. Stress less

Shit is going to happen. Your wife is going to be mad at you, friends are going to disappoint you and work deadlines are going to pushed up endlessly until they tighten your chest. Be ready for it. And not with a beautifully aged Barossa shiraz either mind you. Prepare yourself for the trials and tribulations of modern day, bipedal existence and it won’t bite you in the ass (quite as hard). What I’m speaking about here is your ability to predict, counter and if at all possible avoid the things that are bumming you out. You really don’t need the conversation with your mother in law if it drives you crazy, but if you do call her, make sure you have a gym session booked afterward. Temped for a few beers on a Friday to ‘wind down’ why not grab a couple of buddies and book in a matinée workout instead? Sure, there is always a chance you might indulge in a brew or two after, but I’d say you probably won’t have 12.

Now that the pain part is solved, lets really drill down into the pleasure piece.

Part 3. Make the good – great

If you’re into wine, GREAT. Book in a tasting date with a few friends Saturday night. Knock up some appetizers you know will impress the people you care about and buy the best wine you can afford. Sniff, swirl and sip the stuff all the while discussing the nuance and overtones in your snootiest voice possible. Make a night of it and get everyone dressed up for the occasion. What were doing here is amplifying your pleasure experience and giving you something to remember. AND something worth waiting for. Pretty quickly a glass of rose by yourself on a Wednesday will seem bland and your mid week indulgence will drop off.

Guys I am promising you it is this simple, but not easy.

This is going to take practice and I need you to start today. Pick a few areas in your life that you want to change and start working on it now.