Way back in the day, when I was trying Weight Watchers for what seemed like the millionth time, I had a really great leader. Although I don’t remember her name, (probably because I only lasted about three weeks) I do vividly remember one illustration that she used to challenge the attendees.
She held up a Kit Kat bar, a few cookies, and a brownie. We all laughed nervously, maybe because many of us would have liked to eat one or all of them. I know I did.
The brownie was hard as a rock, the cookies appeared very dry, and the Kit Kat bar was a little bit grey.
She explained that these foods were her challenge foods. She had these foods in her house when she had first begun her quest to lose weight, and did not throw them away. Instead, she decided that she was going to put each of the foods in her refrigerator and see if she could not eat them.
Instead of these tempting foods being a temptation that drove her to eat, she decided to use them as a challenge to her willpower. I remember thinking, “Wow, I could never do that. Those treats would be gone before days end.”
As time went by for her, those foods became a symbol of her good choices, and she had kept them in her refrigerator for over a year.
I find this philosophy interesting, especially in the light of one of the challenges on The Biggest Loser, which is called a temptation challenge. The contestants are faced with tempting foods and they have to decide how to handle it.
The Weight Watchers leader won her temptation challenge every single time she looked in her refrigerator and said “no” to herself. She proved to herself that her desire for those particular foods were not stronger than her commitment to getting to a healthy weight. And she won.
What do you think about this technique? Would you find looking at a tempting food day in and day out a challenge meant to be won, or a frustration that causes you to grab whatever the food is and stuff it in your mouth?
For me, I don’t think I could have survived the challenge in the very beginning of my weight loss journey, but as time went on, I could have let those treats sit in the refrigerator and resisted the urge to eat them. (Of course after a while, they would have been inedible anyway, which is a whole separate issue!)
Do you believe that purposefully challenging yourself is a good strategy? Diane