Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Purpose of Affirmations

About a month ago, I read an article about how written affirmations can help you achieve your fitness goals.  I figured, hey, it can't hurt, right? So I took five minutes and scribbled some things down, stuff like "I weigh 150 pounds" and "I have the energy to accomplish everything I want to do every day".

I taped it to the wall, so I glance at it every day. Theoretically, it works best if you recite them out loud to yourself in the mirror, but that feels too hokey to me.  I haven't gained any weight since (though the scale fluctuates too much for me to positively state that I've lost weight. The wedding road trip didn't help, either), so I know my no-harm judgement was correct.

Well, I figured out how to use them properly when I walked into a grocery store hungry after a Zumba class. Grocery shopping while hungry never works out well, and the first temptation appeared as soon as I walked through the door.

"Buy one box of chocolate chip cookies, get two free!" said a sign next to a display.  For this particular brand, two cookies are 140 calories, and there are approximately 14 servings per box. That adds up to 1,960 calories per box, which would be less of a problem if it weren't so easy to accidentally eat all the cookies once you open the box.  You can eat a cookie in about a bite and a half, so they just kind of disappear. They're soft, yummy, and the only store-bought cookie I want to eat-- and I shouldn't eat them, either.

"I weigh 150 pounds," I told the display.  "I can do a split on both sides. I have lots of energy."

The display looked at me, disbelieving: I weigh quite a bit more than 150 pounds at the moment.

"I weigh 150 pounds," I told the display again, more emphatically. Then, I walked away from the cookies and purchased egg whites, spinach, and unsweetened cocoa powder, all on my list.* I did not purchase any cookies, chips, or fish-shaped crackers.

I guess the affirmations work-- for some things-- after all.

________
*After which I went home and ate a healthy dinner, thereby preventing further hunger-inspired conversations with inanimate objects, at least for the foreseeable future.

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