Mentally you say, “No! I will not eat that cookie. I don’t need it and it’s not on my food plan. I refuse to be a weakling about food or anything else.” Though common, this type of negative reinforcement is rarely effective, simply because it moves you into a negative state of mind and it’s hard to make positive choices from a negative state of mind.
What you could do instead, however, is begin consciously affirming the positive habits that you are trying to adopt. For example, when you begin your daily workout say to yourself with feeling, “I really love the way working out makes me feel. I’m getting stronger and stronger every day, and soon my workouts will get much easier.” As you prepare a healthful meal for yourself say, “This food looks so delicious. I love nourishing my body with foods that are bursting with vitamins and goodness.”
And what should you do with the negative habits? Give them as little attention as possible. Simply switch your focus away from temptations and don’t make a big deal out of them. Remember, the more attention and focus you give them, the more power you give them.
Do the same thing if you have an off day and make a few unhealthy decisions. Rather than obsessing about the slip and beating yourself up over it, simply admit that you made some bad decisions and vow to do better beginning now. Pat yourself on the back for continuing to try improving your habits, and affirm that you will keep getting better. Over time as you continue to reinforce your positive habits and minimize your focus on the negative habits, you’ll find that you naturally gravitate toward the positive.