The power of right now as a mantra for holding off

5 days ago, while visiting my son, I found myself digging at 11 PM digging into the tins of caramel candies and jellybeans stashed in his fiancee’s baking cabinet. That sugar craving was all over me, and I had to feed it–and I did.  A handful of jelly beans and 5 caramels later, I was sated–but I was also disgusted with myself for giving into what felt like a mini-binge.

When I got home the next day, I decided I had to get myself back on track. No more bad eating impulses. No more attacking food impulsively like some kind of starving dog.  I decided that, for a week, I’d have neither sugar or alcohol.  This time out would a) help clean out my system from the sweets and wine I had during my LA visit, and b) give me a chance to get back on track with healthy eating without trigger foods and alcohol getting in the way.

It’s day 5 of my seven days abstaining, and I am doing fine. Somehow, wanting to go a week without sugar and booze is a lot easier for me that saying I am quitting sugar (which I think I should) or quitting drinking (the idea of never enjoying wine again seems unneccessary).

My housemate has even bought a big honking coffee cake, presumably for breakfast tomorrow, and I know I can abstain because–wait–it’s just this one time, this couple of days.

My hope, of course, is that I am in the middle of learning a better way to manage my impulses–at least around food–to “quit” for an interval, then give myself permission for a day or two to have the thing I am avoiding, and then re-up on holding off.

I would love for this to turn out to be a super-effective tool for losing weight–cut back on sugar and more sugar(wine) and maintain the low fat, low meat diet I am practicing, and see pounds come off.

I’m heading out on vacation in less than a week, and I am going to be active and work out but NOT diet when I am away.  But when I come back, I am going to address my food as completely as I’ve started to address my exercise and my fitness.

In the past 7 months, I’ve made amazing changes in my body’s shape, strength, endurance, and agility, but I haven’t lost much weight–though I have lost inches.  I’m good with all that, but in the next year, I’d really like to lose that extra 30-50 pounds if I can. I’m getting myself ready to make that effort, and I am excited to see if I can make it happen.

What I know is that setting smaller goals, like no sugar for a week, works better for me than the big goals. I also know that I love to eat, reward myself with food, and am going to have to redirect some of that energy to get the pounds–the fat–off.