The best way to handle a temptation.

"I'll have some later."

This is what I say when tempted by my favorite treat.  Rather than denying myself the temptation entirely, I am saying, “I can have that, but I’ll wait until just the right time to enjoy it”.  It takes substantially less willpower when I have the opportunity to “reward” myself in the future.

I had a perfect opportunity to try this out the other day at work.  During our morning meeting, I noticed one of my coworkers with a lovely slice of carrot cake.  I was mesmerized by the 3 thick layers of creamy smooth frosting.  I could imagine how moist the cake was, and how it would taste.

After the meeting, I saw a piece of half eaten cake on another coworker’s desk.  The temptation began to mount as I began to consider  where the source of this cake may be.  Then, when I walked through the narrow hallway I spotted the remaining 3/4’s of cake sitting in a sultry pose.  “Maybe later” I thought to myself with some effort.

The thought of the cake continued to enter my mind as I worked, but because I didn’t have much down time, I knew I wouldn’t be able to truly enjoy it.  An indulgence like this deserved my full attention, and that just wasn’t going to happen.

I knew that the experience of “later” would be worth it.  With that fact in mind, it was no problem to wait. 

Remembering how sugar seemed to be affecting my complexion, and not wanting to undo the improvements that had already begun also made the experience much easier as well.

When you find yourself in a similarly tempting experience, here are the lessons I learned that day.

1.  Remember your why.  Make sure to know why it is important to you to maintain healthy habits.  Skin health may not seem like enough of a motivator to some, but I have battled perioral dermatitis for over 6 months now.  Its not healed, but it is not "flared up” and I want to keep it that way.

2.  Recall how far you’ve come.  When the rash was at its worst, it was red and covered 1/4 of my face, and I couldn’t wear make up at all.  It caused me to feel very self conscious in public.  I was certainly going to avoid going back to that state.

3.  Imagine a better, more enjoyable time to indulge.  It may be later that day, that week, or even that month.

When I got home that evening, I was able to enjoy a slightly less indulgent treat while I relax on my back patio.  It was so much more gratifying than a piece of cake eaten hurriedly at work would have been.

How do you handle temptations?