If adherence is the principal player in the triumph of our goals; temptation is it’s villain. If fitness programs proceeded unimpeded, results would be the norm. New Year’s resolutions would become successes, and new promises would be made the following year. Sadly, they act more like Groundhog’s Day, with the same goals set on “repeat.” The seduction of power can crumble a kingdom and the lure of avarice can derail a career. Temptation is not some antiquated, cautionary tale confined to the Garden of Eden in the pages of Genesis, but a tragic fascination that follows us like a shadow; leaving behind broken resolutions and incomplete goals in its destructive path.
Every one of us has fallen to temptations that obstruct our fitness goals. All it takes is for one energetic young server with a killer smile to approach your table after dinner and ask, “Save some room for dessert?” If I had a nickel for every, “I probably shouldn’t, but yes,” response, I would be a wealthy person. Regardless if you spout platitudes like “a lack of discipline” or use complex descriptions of neural circuitry to describe what’s happening, it can be summarized perfectly in the word temptation. The impulsive reaction is to eliminate the sources of temptation entirely; akin to shutting your eyes and hoping the monster underneath the bed disappears. For most of us, this “cold-turkey” approach has mixed results. The outcomes are terrible when the abolition of such temptations are done from the outside. For example, the Eighteenth Amendment, imposing prohibition, was such a debacle, it was repealed thirteen years later; but not before giving us organized crime in its wake. Recall the last time you swore-off sweets. What was continually on your mind from that point forward? Sweets, of course. There must be some other way, where we can still savor life but not collapse under intemperance. temptation is a part of the human condition, but its power needs reduction to allow our goals to flourish.