(This was originally posted on my original blog, Aaroneous Findings, back when I first began my journey.  However, since it seemed to resonate with me when I read back over it, I thought I’d re-post it here.)

One of my in-shape, thoughtful friends and her husband are coming over for dinner Saturday. She was nice enough to make sure that bringing cookies for dessert wasn’t going to throw a monkey wrench in my weight loss plans.

I told her to bring the cookies. If I want one, I’ll eat it. If I don’t, I won’t. No problem.

I’ve told a few people that I could eat the way I am eating right now for the rest of my life, and I truly believe that. It’s simple: cutting back on sugar in general, no sugary drinks, stay away from white foods (white rice, white bread, white potatoes), and eat reasonable portions. That’s it.

It’s NOT a diet. I’ve dieted plenty of times. I know a diet when I’m on one. I’m not on a diet, but I am eating differently. The big mental shift I’ve made is that when I’m on a diet, the DIET is the boss. The DIET says, “Aaron, you can’t eat that. Aaron, you can’t have that.”

Now, I’m the boss. No diet is my boss, and food is not my boss. When I’m presented with a choice of what to eat, or how much, I just ask myself a couple of questions.

1) Am I truly hungry? (If the answer is “no”, I don’t even go to the other questions.)
2) Is there something just as good and convenient that would be better for me?
3) Does this move me closer to, or further from, my goal?

I know it sounds a little complicated. But now that I’ve been doing it for a month, it takes a half second. Here’s an example.

Someone brought Dunkin’ donuts to work for my office last week. They sat on the table about 15 feet from my cubicle all day. I’ll be honest. In the past, I would have eaten 2 or 3 when they arrived, and then ANOTHER 2 or 3 throughout the day. Hey, why not? Free donuts, right?

But now, I’m the boss. Not the food…and not a diet.

I walked by the donuts at least a half dozen times that day. The first time I walked by I opened the box and took a look. I thought to myself, “Huh! Look at that. Donuts…lots of sugar. Not worth it.”…and walked on by. The second time I walked by, I didn’t even slow down.

It’s not a situation of “I can’t eat that”, but simply “I don’t want to eat that”.

I recommend that if you are considering going on a “diet”…don’t. Make some positive changes in your eating habits, be healthy, but YOU be the boss, not a diet. If you want to lose a few pounds (or a lot, like me), before you pop that pop-tart in your mouth ask yourself question #1.

—–

What ONE thing can you do to help yourself (in regards to eating) TOMORROW? Drink an extra glass of water? Eat breakfast? Single meat burger instead of double meat? Let me know if you do something and I will most definitely cheer you on!