Discipline re Eating and Drinking
(Los Angeles, CA)
I'm 41 and I have been running off and on for 20 years. How can I discipline myself from eating too much or drinking too much?
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your question about changing your eating and drinking habits.
It's a tough one.
If I had the magic answer to that one I'd be a weight loss guru and would be raking in the millions I think.
What I find works for me in many different parts in life is to consider what I want to get out of it long-term.
Why would I want to eat moderately and drink moderately today?
Because I don't want to die of heart disease at age 50, because I want to be able to travel the world and go on multi-day hikes with my wife when the kids have left home, because I want to see my grand children grow up, etc.
Some of them might be universal (I don't want to die at young age), but some of them are highly personal. Certain things you want to get out of life, your big objectives, hopes and dreams. use those as they are much stronger motivators than any generic objective.
These are your long-term objectives. In order to reach those I need short-term goals and promises to myself, i.e. I will run 3 times this week, I will limit my calorie intake to x calories/day, I will not drink more than 3 alcoholic drinks this week, I will eat according to my pre-set meal plan, etc.
Included in this should be some consequences if you don't keep to your promises. I know a guy who had worked out that one bottle of beer cost him 17 minutes on the treadmill at a certain speed. So, every time he drank a beer, he had to spend that amount of time on the treadmill!
Hope this works. A book that goes beyond just the normal diet and exercise stuff and focuses quite a bit on the emotional side of overeating is Get with the Program! Guide to Good Eating from Bob Greene. A general self-help book that makes you think about what you want to get out of life and what you can do about it is Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
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