It was 6 pm and she was standing in a queue, waiting for her turn to order sprouts salad. Cafeteria was as usual crowded at this hour and she was in a hurry to get home since it was Friday evening and she was very much looking forward to the weekend. Just one more person ahead of her and she saw another person walk away with yummy red pasta topped with cheese. “Oh god, I wish I could eat this! Just 6 more kgs to go – once I am my ideal weight, I will eat it”. But her mind kept going back to that beautifully decorated dish of red pasta with a portion of garlic bread.
Her turn came to place order and determined to have that sprouts salad she said “How much is the red pasta for?” The waiter replied something that did not really matter to her. “Ok, I will have a red pasta with topped cheese – TO GO please”.
As soon as she turned her face away, she said almost aloud “What the hell is wrong with me?” Then there was an inner voice telling her “It’s ok, it is Friday anyways. I can restart my dieting on Monday again. Monday is always a good day to start such things. And I had a tough week with those crazy deadlines, I do deserve a treat. Or maybe I should make it a deal to have something good every Friday evening.”
Well, this is my story. I struggle with my cravings for fried junk food. I have found myself in this situation innumerable times. No matter how determined I am to have something healthy – I change my mind as soon as my eyes fall upon that yummy cheesy burger, doughnut, maggi, kurkure or potato chips.
I have read books on controlling your diet. In the past, I have even hired a dietician. But what really happened was that I ended up paying her every month only to avoid talking to her. She would ask me for updates on my diet chart and I really cannot put pasta in there – she will kill me. And I cannot lie to her, right? I am paying her for this and then if I lie to her – what’s the point? So, the only way was to find some excuse to not update the diet chart and to not take her calls.
I am about 13 kgs overweight as per my BMI and it bothers me. I don’t mind working out in gym in fact working out is the best stress buster for me, but all my sweating out in gym goes down the drain because of my eating habits. Almost every morning I go on a diet and by evening I am off it and cycle repeats it over and over again. It just leaves me frustrated and unhappy. “You just need determination to do this” people say. Yeah, well – it isn’t simple to have this demon named determination.
Recently, I was reading a book and that had nothing at all to do with diet or food – but somehow it inspired me a lot because it said “It is all in the brain. Your mind has power to make this world change”. Well, how difficult can it be to control your mind? Mind if let loose is like a monkey that keeps jumping around aimlessly. It doesn’t stay still. It keeps thinking and it keeps getting attracted to all the temptations around. It takes immense practice and patience to control this monkey. Even a bit of carelessness – this monkey will jump onto the next temptation it sees around and will get stuck to it.
My practice is on and my patience has been tested a million times. But am I here to give up on my monkey? No, not definitely.
The same books and same dietician is helping me now. The knowledge is the same and it is coming from the same sources. Balanced diets, eat regularly every 2-3 hours, keep food with you all the time, do not step into cafeteria at 6 pm – these some of the best practices that I am now following to keep my cravings in control.
I learnt an important lesson in life. It is not just about food, it could be anything – alcohol, drugs, sex, smoking, shopping, gambling etc. It doesn’t matter what you are struggling with is, knowledge is all there in the world, people have written books and have multiple research on resisting temptations. There are a plenty of rehabs for people who are addicts. But none of this will work unless you learn to tame this monkey in your head. YOU and only YOU can have control over YOUR monkey.