Delay Gratification? Nah… It’s The “Power of Procrastination”… Diet.
Procrastination gets a pretty bad rap. But take it from me, an expert procrastinator, the power of procrastination can be harnessed for good.
Now, just to be clear, I am NOT an advocate of “dieting”, but during the holiday season, when the flow of cookies, baked goods, and chocolates is constantly tempting us, it’s all about frame of mind. Let me explain.
Last Spring, I discovered a bakery that prepared home-made alfajores: a delicious treat that I had not eaten since my youth, in Argentina. I loved alfajores, and I started to overindulge. Not a little, but a lot. My well-meaning husband would surprise me with boxes of these wonderful treats. I loved it! Alas, it was too much of a good thing.
A pattern of over-indulgence was emerging, and I observed this thought process:
“I’ll have one more, and then I am not eating any more sweets for today…”
“Okay, I will just cut a little sliver, and then no more. Okay, one more little sliver…”
“Hmm, there is so little left, I might as well finish it. And then, no more…” I guess guilt is easier to take in small doses.
I could see this was not a good trend. I also realized that it was this feeling of anticipated deprivation that was motivating my moderate “binging”. What’s worse, this kind of thinking starts to transfer to all sweets. I wasn’t just feeling anxious about eating alfajores. I would think, “Well, I should cut out all sweets to compensate for my overindulgence.” So, I found myself wanting to overindulge on… well, everything.
My solution was simple: adopt the complete opposite mind-set, and totally remove the deprivation factor. I began to tell myself, “You don’t have to worry, you can eat alfajores (or other sweets) anytime you want. In fact, since you will be eating them often, you needn’t try to do it all at once.” Whenever I found myself thinking about sneaking another alfajor, I would just reassure myself, “Not right now… Wait a little while. You can have some later.”
I began to joke with my family and friends that this was “The Power of Procrastination Diet”. We would laugh, but the truth is, it worked for me! In no time flat, I was back to enjoying all good things in moderation.
Okay, I realize that this philosophy is NOT for everyone, but it was an interesting experience; the vilified “procrastination” came to the rescue! Admittedly, though, I have a fast metabolism, and that is a factor to consider. A funny frame of mind that worked for me.
As we head into the New Year, smile and enjoy the moment! That is one thing we should not put off!
The above image is by Stuart Miles, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
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