There are some times when I am very committed to more healthy behaviors. These are called “cold” times, because my passion to stuff myself is low:
- While brushing my teeth after breakfast
- After eating and drinking way too much and feeling sick to my stomach
And here are the “hot” times when my passion to consume calories is high and I am least committed to healthy behaviors:
- When I first get home from work
- When free lunch is served at a meeting, especially if there are chocolate chip cookies
- At about 9:00 p.m. when I get a craving for ice cream, or 10:00 when I get a craving for a glass of scotch or Bailey’s Irish Cream
So how do we make use of this? I try to take advantage of the cold times to manipulate my behavior in the hot times. Ask yourself, “if I were a controlling, manipulative taskmaster, how would I make sure someone in my house didn’t have a beer when they got home? How would I make sure they didn’t eat ice cream in the evening?” The easy answer—keep the treats out of the house.
So if I have an attack of conscience while brushing my teeth in the morning, because I had 2 beers when I got home from work yesterday and my weight went in the wrong direction, I can walk into the kitchen and take the rest of the beer out of the fridge. I hate warm beer, so I’m unlikely to have beer when I get home later that day. Even moving the beer to a fridge in the garage can help—anything to make it less desirable and less convenient during the “hot” times.
Fans can help too. My wife always knows if I’m on offense or defense. When I’m on offense, during a cold time, I ask her not to buy any ice cream that week. I’ve even been known to ask my wife and kid to eat my favorite ice cream before I get to it. When do I have the fortitude to make this request? During my cold times. I ask them while brushing my teeth in the morning. Or if I’ve just pigged out and eaten half of the ice cream and I’m feeling guilty and stuffed, I ask them to finish it off as soon as they can so there will be none left for me.