I always thought I was naturally gifted to have a lean body. But pregnancy changed everything. Two back to back C-section deliveries took a toll on my health. Thanks to the abnormal hormonal changes for letting me know my deep love for junk foods.
I developed unusual addictions to pizzas and coke. End result I started to become plump. Only then, I realized that my natural gift to remain fit was robbed off by pregnancy. With so much of hesitation, I turned my attention towards exercise.
However, all my exercise routine turned dismal because of my lack of control over the food that I ate. It dawned on me that if I need to see results I need to control myself from foraying food each time like the one who didn’t eye it for weeks.
That’s when I realized the importance of self-control.
What is Self-Control?
Self-control is the ability to control your emotions, feelings, and actions against your will. It is the control you exercise upon yourself from giving in to the momentary temptations and satisfactions by keeping in your mind about long term benefits.
To me personally, self-control is the ability to control my impulse to eat the big cheese dripping pizza at a party keeping in mind about the weight I want to reduce before the end of the month!
How to Improve Self-Control?
In the course of my weight loss journey, I learned few techniques on how to control myself from getting back to the old eating habits. These techniques can be used in any area of life if you wish to improve your self-control.
Before learning the techniques, it is essential to understand that why do you want to exercise self-control over something and what are your goals.
For instance, in my case, I want to reduce my weight. So, I need to control myself from eating junk foods. My goal was to reduce 2 kg for each month.
Hence, before you practice self-control, try to understand your intentions and goals.
Also, prepare a plan to achieve your goals. This will help you to understand where you should control yourself.
In my case, I need to reduce 2 kg. To achieve that, I should stop eating junk. Hence, I prepared myself to avoid unhealthy foods.
However, it is not possible to control all the external factors. Sometimes I had to attend parties, I need to travel,…etc. In those vulnerable moments, I need to be in control and learn to eat properly. That’s when my self-control techniques saved me.
Five Self-Control Techniques:
Remind your Inspiration:
In order to motivate myself in my weight loss journey, I follow plenty of inspiring people on Instagram and other social media profiles, who have done that before and shining now.
Whenever an evil thought strikes me and wants me to let go of my body goals, I take a moment to browse through the profile of those inspiring people who has made me embark my own journey in the first place.
If you feel that you lack motivation and want to break your self-control, take a moment to go back to your inspiration. If you don’t have an inspiration, follow people who have undergone the same journey before you.
Find them on social media profiles and follow them. Go to online forums and listen to their words. At least print out their picture and stick it into your room.
So when your feel you are losing control on yourself you can take a glance at them. If they can do it, then most definitely you can also do.
This is the next technique I used to remind myself of why I started my journey and why should I restrict myself on eating.
To use this technique it is essential to have detailed goals.
Your goals will tell you what you want to be. Losing your sight over your end result will obviously make you give in to temptations.
Make sure you can see your goals all the time. I have a dedicated goal book which I go through each day. I also write monthly goal post here. All these are my constant reminders on where I want to see myself after a certain period.
If possible, review your goals every day to prevent yourself from indulging on temporary satisfactions. Keep your eye on long term goals.
This is another technique which you can use when you are on the verge of committing the crime…i.e. the moment you are about to give up your self-restraint.
Take a minute and picture yourself on what will happen if you let go off your control this moment. In my case, I would imagine an unhealthy fat person staring back at me.
Also, picture yourself if you control yourself now. In that case, I will look into a healthy fit person like the person who inspired me.
This is a great way to keep you in check. It has helped me to stay in track plenty of times.
This is another interesting technique that I use if nothing else works.
It is sort of bribing me to think straight.
Let’s go back to the same pizza example. If I am not able to rely on my self-control anymore, I will tell myself that, if I let go of the pizza now, I can get the mobile pouch [Tempting rewards] that I have been eyeing for a long time.
In case, if I eat the pizza now, then I need to do 50 more push-ups [hard punishments] on tomorrow workout. Obviously, If I tempt myself with a rewarding gift, I will give up the evil pizza.
This technique I will use when I know for sure that I can’t control myself anymore. To prevent the damage, or, to create a less damage, I use this method.
For instance, if the rewards can’t get rid of my desire to gobble pizza and if my will power is about to break anytime, then I bargain to myself to reduce the damage.
Instead of jumping into the whole pizza, I make a promise that I will just eat only one piece to get the taste.
Mostly this technique will work for me. By this method, I get to eat the pizza finally, and also, I can reduce the impact by not letting in the whole XL size pizza into me.
Self-control is essential to keep your eyes glued on the results and not get derailed by momentary weakness. Willpower alone cannot make you stay in control. You need proper techniques to make you stop indulging in little crimes because one day these little sacrifices will sum up your extraordinary success.