Discipline- How to Stay In Control When Your Motivation Wears Off

How do you stay disciplined when working out or in a fitness routine? How do you get your self-control back when you are on a diet?

Willpower is defined as, “control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control. “ We have all struggled (and continue to struggle) with self-control at some point in our lives. Why do we fall off the discipline wagon and lose all self-control?

I know that sometimes I lose control because I forget the big picture. I become so focused on instant gratification. What will make me happy right now? Maybe it is the pizza place that I happen to be passing and I’m starving because it’s way past my lunch time or it is the fast food place that I happen to be right near on my way back to the office. It becomes easy to just have that slice of pizza or that fast food snack because I’m starving and I have failed to plan. “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” This is why so much emphasis is placed on planning meals ahead of time and figuring in snacks to have on hand at all times. We are human and when we get hungry or tired, our defenses start to break down and at that moment, looking fab at the beach doesn’t seem as important.

Those of us who do not work all day in an office environment or work somewhere where it is difficult to eat regular meals at regular times, have an extra burden. During the day, not all of of us have access to a refrigerator and microwave to heat up healthy foods. Some days I leave the house at 7 a.m. and I am on the run until 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., whereby the only thing I can eat during that time is a protein bar or nuts. I recognize this and I have to plan accordingly on those days. When I do not have healthy snacks with me, it takes all of my will power not to grab the readily available candy bar or hot dog and fries. It all comes down to- how bad do you want it? Are you willing to forgo instant gratification today for results that you want tomorrow?

Staying disciplined builds consistency. Try reiterating a phrase that keeps you going- “No pain, no gain”- “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”- “Bathing suit- soon!” Make the time to stick with your plan- free time does not materialize. Make an effort to do one thing a day that moves you closer to your goal- no matter how big or small. Cook a healthy dish, change-up your work out routine or research your dream job or dream vacation. Take baby steps- taking action in the direction of your goal will lead you to it one step at a time.

Years ago I was desperate to stay on the healthy eating track. I wore a rubber band on my wrist and whenever I was faced with eating something that was very unhealthy, I would snap the rubber band to snap me back to reality.

Remember these four tips for helping you to achieve your goal: responsibility: do what you say that you are going to do; accountability: do it when you say that you are going to do it; effort: do it to the best of your ability and consistency: do it all the time. Stay focused and always keep your eye on the ultimate goal. “”Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal”- Vince Lombardi

This easy, healthy deviled egg recipe will keep you on track. Deviled eggs last for days in the refrigerator and can be an anytime snack or a supplement to any meal.

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Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs (can be bought in the supermarket)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (regular or Paleo mayonnaise can be bought at Whole Foods)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of paprika (optional)

1) If home boiled, first take the shells off the eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks and place in a small bowl.
2) Finely mash the yolks with a fork. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to the mashed yolks. Mix together until smooth.
3) Spoon yolk mixture into egg white centers. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Cover eggs and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For an easy to make, delicious, festive, semi-healthy treat:

Dark Chocolate and Pomegranate Bark

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5 ounces (140 grams) of dark chocolate
2 tablespoons (20 grams) of minced crystallized ginger (can be found at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
1 cup (140 grams) fresh pomegranate seeds (can be found at Trader Joes)
1 teaspoon (6 grams) sea salt (can use less salt if desired)

1) Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave but be careful not to burn the chocolate- keep stirring until it fully melts.
3) Stir in the crystallized ginger and half of the pomegranate seeds into the melted chocolate.
4) Pour the melted chocolate mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the chocolate into one even layer about 1/4 inch thick. It does not need to fill the entire sheet.
5) Sprinkle the chocolate with the remaining pomegranate seeds and sea salt. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm. Break or cut into pieces and store in an airtight container, separating the layers with wax paper. It is best served the day it’s made or else condensation may form on the surface of the chocolate.