Bath & Body Works Candles are my daily pleasure. You'd think these two 3-wicks would make me salivate and crave goodies; they don't. It allows me to extend the lovely experience as long as I like, without any repercussions.
Who said you can't have a little bit of heaven for more than a few moments? One of the joys of eating, is obviously the moment of heaven as you gobble up whatever is your favorite vice. However, I think about how long that pleasure truly lasts. A few seconds? A few moments? The joy of consumption is so fleeting, when you step back and think of the feelings of regret someone may have after eating something, or a quantity they should not have, you realize how in terms of economics, it makes no sense.
When I say "economics," I'd like to refer to one of my favorite terms from academia: "utility." In economist speak, utility is a measure of relative satisfaction. For example, I get high utility out of getting a 1-hour massage. I get lower utility out of watching a game of golf on TV. Therefore, you can say that economically, I should spend more time getting a 1-hour massage, and less time watching golf on TV.
However, with everything we do, there is a cost. I'd love to get 1-hour massages 4 times a day, but it is cost prohibitive. I pay virtually nothing to watch a game of golf on TV, but the utility gained from that action is so low, I would opt to not partake.
So when it comes to splurging, or regularly enjoying something that may not really be nutritiously sound, or within my physique goals, I would say this has a relatively small amount of utility. Sure, the chemicals in my brain go nutty with excitement when I grab a vegan cupcake or Double Stuff Oreos and mash them into my mouth, but the guilt and lack of satisfaction after I have swallowed the food, is a huge cost to pay.
When I struggle with temptation, I truly look at it this way. It isn't always easy, and doesn't always work, but it very often does. The satisfaction is so momentary, so brief. My stomach, like those of many, could be a bottomless pit. I could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until the cows come home, but I want to do it again in a few hours. This is why a restrictive diet has been a life-changer for me. Moderation does nothing for me. I don't want 1 cookie. In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to remember a time where I've had 1 cookie. For me, it's simpler and less anxiety to abstain entirely. It is easier to have zero cookies.
On the subject of change, I certainly notice a difference in my performance in step class. I have been taking this class regularly for almost 4 years now, every Monday. Up until my training, I've always struggled to complete the class without stopping to cool off for 45 seconds, or to keep the energy strong from start to finish. But now, I handle the class with an ability that is new to me, due to my lifestyle changes.
Awesome, positive changes I notice:
- I no longer overheat. Sure, I'm hot and sweaty and look like I just jumped into a swimming pool, but my body is better able to self-regulate my temperature. No more "brain fry," which is when my brain feels so hot that it can't continue without a brief respite.
- I no longer "jiggle" where I used to. Step class is very jumpy. Doing a fast-feet/speed-drill (you see this in football practice, legs shoulder-width apart, and shift weight back and forth very rapidly between the right and left foot, keeping your core relatively stable), used to yield a little bit of booty-junk movement and tummy McJiggles. It sort of hurt a little bit, and I can only imagine what it feels like for those with more "excess" than I have ever had. It's not comfortable. But I am so proud and excited to say that I am seeing my "jiggly bits" lean out so I feel very aerodynamic at this point. I've never felt this before!
- My breathing during step class, is far more in control. In fact, I no longer feel the intense "labored breathing" that I used to experience. It is steady and my body does not feel nearly as taxed as it has in the past. I don't have to revert to that super deep lung inhalations I once did, to get that last drop of oxygen. This all allows me to get so much more from the class. I can start strong and finish strong, and I can even maximize the moves by taking it up a notch and making the moves "bigger" and more effective.
So, as I sit here, listening to my custom "Enya Station" on Pandora over my Roku, enjoying the never-ending scent of baked goods from my candles, I am in heaven.