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Self-Discipline Requires Energy

By Joey Havens

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Earlier this year (in a pre-COVID time of travel), I was casually walking down the airport terminal in Austin, TX, on my way to Gate 23 as I glance to my right and see Amy’s Ice Cream. Positive, disciplined thoughts are flooding my mind as I try to focus. “Don’t slow down, don’t look at the menu board, don’t look back.” Ice cream is one of my weaknesses and I need to stay disciplined so I can reach my weight loss goal.

Gosh, it feels good as I’m putting distance between me and a tempting hot fudge sundae with pecans. Walking a little taller and arriving at my gate, this place is overloaded with people as they are still boarding a flight to L.A. Hmmm, my flight is not leaving for another 50 minutes.

Standing here, I realize how low my energy is. I’ve been traveling and presenting for several weeks, and as an introvert, my energy is gone! I need something to help boost my energy. I worked out this morning for 45 minutes. Last night, I ate very healthy and today’s lunch was primarily a salad and small bowl of soup. The truth is, I have been very disciplined on this trip.  

Looking at my schedule, I have a connecting flight in Dallas tonight and will not get home to CeCe until after 9 p.m. I really do deserve a treat. I’ve earned a treat. Amy’s Ice Cream is right there. One ice cream sundae will not ruin all of the work I have put in towards my goal, and I know that ice cream will help pick up my energy, right?  

The funny thing is that now I realize I’m tearing down my resolve. Slowly but surely, I’m justifying. And I already know I’ve lost this battle. Heck, I’m already walking back towards Amy’s before I can even finish this iron-clad justification.  

How often do we do this? It’s so easy to fall into the trap that we “deserve” a treat, a break, a whatever. It starts with just this once and turns into just one more time. Today, starting with just one scoop turned into just one more bite. As I reflect on it, this is at least the third time in two weeks I have justified a treat that was completely off my diet.

What I’m not doing is reflecting on why I set my goal of losing 12 pounds. Why is this goal important to me? I’m not thinking about how good I will feel when the scale says 12 pounds lighter. I‘m not even considering what might be a healthier snack as a compromise.

I certainly failed today, yet, we have the power to be more disciplined if we remember our why, the benefits of our sacrifice or hard work and the positive energy we will experience when we hit our goal. I’m trying to get better at this. I am hopeful this confession helps me next time, hopeful that it helps you and desperately hoping CeCe skips this week’s blog.  

This hot fudge ice cream sundae with pecans rocked my taste buds in the moment. But we are better than this. #beEvenBetter