The box of chocolate is trouble.
Given to me by a thoughtful friend, it sits on the counter calling to me. I know it won’t help me lose weight. It contains ingredients that cause me to itch, but not really get sick. One little piece of chocolate today isn’t going to make much difference in my body. And that’s the problem.
- If chocolate candy was forbidden, if it would really cause me harm, I wouldn’t be tempted to eat it. My husband isn’t tempted to eat these chocolates because they contain gluten which can make him really sick and cause his body lasting harm. But one piece won’t hurt me.
- If I had to peel, slice and cook every chocolate I ate, that would slow me down. That would require thought, work, delayed gratification. But the chocolates are sitting on the counter, convenient, a few steps away.
- If the piece of chocolate that’s staring me in the face right now would make a huge difference in my weight and health, I could certainly resist it.
But one little piece, now, won’t make a difference. It’s all the little pieces of chocolate added together that make the difference.
So I have a solution. Eat all of the chocolates today and get rid of them so I won’t be tempted by them tomorrow.
Laugh if you want, but it’s the path I usually choose. And if another box of chocolates doesn’t appear in our house soon, it works. For chocolate. What, then, about the other foods that call to me? Maybe it’s not about what foods I eat, but how much of them I eat. Or the ratio of chocolate and potato chips that are a quick grab between meals to the more nutritious basic food I eat for meals. Each sugary, more processed, less nutritious food I eat is not a problem on its own. It’s the many tiny choices added together that bring me down.
I’ve been thinking about the new year ahead, wondering how it will be different than the year that is past. One thought keeps coming back to me
Today is the only day I can make a life change.
Yesterday is gone. I might be able to learn from it, but I can’t change it.
Setting goals and making plans for tomorrow may help me make life changes. They give me a course of action. But if all my plans are always for tomorrow, my life will never change.
Change happens today when I think about the piece of chocolate within my reach. The encouraging phone call or email I can begin right now. The sin I need to recognize at this moment and end for good. The disparaging thought I can replace immediately with a better one. The habit I refuse to do one more time. The relationship I need to mend, starting today.
Because a whole life is simply a solid line of todays, one after another. If I’m going to get victory over a problem, it needs to begin now, with the choice that is within my reach.