In order to heal my guts, and feel well enough to live life, I’ve committed myself to following the AIP lifestyle: eating a Paleo diet sans nightshades, chocolate, coffee, and seeds; going to bed early, listening to my body when it says “enough”. The rest of my family? They enjoy late nights and eat whatever they want -including highly processed snacks like toaster strudel…..I don’t want to eat them but I also really want to eat them….especially if they’re raspberry with frosting……So how do I live with temptation?
Some people empty their kitchen of all “no foods” and if everyone is on board “the purge” can be an easy way to avoid the temptation, after all if it’s not there you can’t eat it. At least while you’re home. I’ve decided not to ask that of my family. After all the decision to go Paleo is my decision. Do I harbor a little hope that they might decide to join me ? Yes, but it can only happen when they are ready. I also believe it is important for everybody to decide what feels right for their body. For me, nightshades will leave me with an aching stomach and heartburn so I don’t eat them but the rest of my family does just fine with nightshades so I have no problem canning a batch of salsa for them or serving them peppers- as long as I don’t join them!
So if we can’t avoid temptation how do we live with it? You could try storing temptations out of sight and handling them as little as possible. You could even try telling your self those cookies aren’t food. Just like your plate your not going to eat it. Maybe there are certain foods you just can’t be around. You could ask that those particular items aren’t brought home or maybe take a walk or go to another room while it’s out.
What about when you do give in to temptation? First, don’t give up. I know it feels like “well I already messed up so this whole day is a failure. Might as well enjoy it before I have to start again tomorrow “. But you haven’t failed. You made a decision in that moment. Why? Maybe you were really hungry, or felt deprived, feeling sad or _______. At first, you might find yourself asking the why after you already made the decision to eat x and you might have some difficulty identifying your why. Over time those “mistakes” are what will help you to succeed. The more I learn about myself the more I can work with myself. Now I know that I need to have something ready for me to eat on the nights I cook a non AIP meal so I don’t have some out of hunger; I also know that if I’m lingering over the pastry box I need to have something that feels like a treat or I will feel deprived, a little resentful, and very tempted.
I also know that having ” just a little” doesn’t work for me. If I have a little bite I can justify a little more…half of one…just this one….For me moderation is harder than having nothing. Plus, I’m avoiding these foods because of the way my body reacts to them. A small amount will still cause the same inflammatory reaction. And when I forget these things I’m reminded the hard way.
The other thing to remember is: what are you striving for? Why are you making this decision to change your diet and or lifestyle ? If I keep my goal of healing my guts and gaining energy in mind it’s easier to ask myself in the moment whether my decision will lead me in the direction I want to be heading. And if not, why do feel I want it? The more you know yourself the easier temptation will be to deal with.