I used to eat a chocolate bar every day. Often several times a day.
Whilst a Mars bar a day might help you “work, sleep and play” – I’m pretty sure three a day just puts you on the road to hypoglycaemia…
Plus, I really wasn’t happy with my chocolate habit. So I had a brilliant idea that would keep track of how much I was eating. I created a poster divided into each day of the week, and I would paste up the wrapper of every single chocolate bar I ate. I called it “The Wall of Shame”.
There were two conflicting messages at work here.
Accountability was good. It was important and helped me see exactly how much I ate. I couldn’t lie to myself.
Shame? Not so good. It just made me feel awful that I was so addicted to candy and I couldn’t seem to stop. I was driven to eat by cravings that felt far, far stronger than I. And ironically, the worse I felt the more I was driven to slam down a Snickers.
I quickly realised that shame wasn’t a sustainable motivator, but I recognised that accountability was still good for me. So I changed the name to “The Wall of Truth”.
Once again, I encountered resistance to the process. By collecting wrappers and posting them publicly, I was focused. But I was focused on what I didn’t want. I wanted to be free from my chocolate habit, not reminded of it. I was facing fear not joy.
We often beat ourselves up for not making the best eating choice or not exercising when we could, and we forget about all the times we did make choices that were truly best for us.
So here’s a really simple tool for giving you accountability + joy.
It’s called the “Flash Diet“. And all you have to do is take a photo of your food before you eat it.
It gives you accountability because it gives you the pause before the behaviour, so it creates a level of mindfulness (ie – the opposite of wondering what happened to all the chips when you hit the bottom of the packet you just inhaled in front of the TV).
Plus, you have a record that reminds you of all the good choices you can make for yourself and reinforces the positive!
What other ways do you remind yourself of good choices? What about good choices that aren’t necessarily related to food?