Last night I was coming home from an event and all I wanted to do was stop and get a pint of ice cream: Haagen Dazs’s Deep Chocolate Peanut Butter to be precise.
The problem was I gave up sweets three months ago and so I haven’t had any ice cream, cake, cookies, or candy since then. It’s part of an effort to get healthier. All through this event, I was convincing myself that it was OK to get the ice cream. I’d had a tough day and I’d earned it and it didn’t matter if I broke this promise that I’d made to myself.
As I got in my car, I still wasn’t sure what I would do and then a voice in my head said “Just go home.” And I followed that voice. Past the grocery store, past the 7/11, past many many pints of Deep Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.
For most people, having ice cream in their freezer is perfectly fine, but for someone like me, it’s not. Or to be honest, I seldom have it in my freezer because if I have it in my house, it’s eaten before it can get into the freezer. I’m not a “I’ll have a scoop now and put the rest away” kind of gal, as much as I wish I were. For me, it’s much easier to do away with the temptation since I’ve proven that I can’t enjoy it in moderation, and just ban it. And letting myself slip, like I wanted to last night, could have led to a slippery slope where I told myself I’d give up ice cream again next weekend, so I might as well have as much as I can now. Or, since I’d had ice cream, why not go ahead and have all the other sweets I’ve given up.
I thought about “Just drive home” and how it can be a useful phrase to avoid so many things that tempt us — whether it’s to have a drink that we shouldn’t, stop at someone’s house that we really shouldn’t, make a phone call that we shouldn’t.... “Just drive home” is a friendly reminder to stay on the path you’re on if it’s working. Put on your blinders to the temptation and just drive. You’ll be glad you did. I know for sure that I woke up this morning very happy that I didn’t have to mentally beat myself up having the ice cream last night. Nothing would have tasted as good as that felt.
Oct. 8: Betty Ford Center
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