It is a quiet spring morning that began with a bowl of sugar frosted flakes. As I sat on the patio earlier today and enjoyed the fresh air, I was calm, mellow even. The day ahead loomed bright and productive. Nothing could break my positive mood.
Unless that nothing snuck up on my subconscience mind and caught me by surprise. My ohm moment was broken with a quiet whisper. There was a moment when the image of Tony the Tiger tickling my ear with his cold nose flashed across my mind, and then all I heard was a whisper in my head, “You are NOTHING without me.”
I set down the bowl of sugar frosted flakes. I checked behind me and carefully rubbed my forefinger along the curve of my ear, inspecting for the damp residue of a cold nose. Nothing.
“What?!?, ” I thought very loudly in my head.
A different whisper this time, “You should eat NOTHING but healthy food.”
This time I blinked, shook my head and glared at the bowl in front of me. It was me, talking to me.
Dammitohell. It’s April 1st! This is the day I am starting my healthy food and daily exercise lifestyle. How could I forget, especially with Tony the Tiger himself whispering sweet nothings inside my head.
I grabbed the bowl and downed the remaining sugary flakes, now a little soggy.
My own thoughts battled the whispers, “Fine. April Fools. The joke’s on you. I had sugar for breakfast. So there. What are you going to do about it?”
And then all I heard was the same whisper in my head, “You are NOTHING without me.”
My mind danced around that whisper for a full minute until it hit me: that wasn’t just me talking to me, that was a warning cry.
I am an addict. A sugar addict. It wasn’t Tony in my head, it was my own body reminding me that I had set a goal and was already failing. Day One. Hour One. The joke was on me.
I took a deep breath and refocused. I could already feel the sugar blues descending, but I jumped out of my chair, tossed the
evidence bowl and spoon in the dishwasher, and did a little jig… Happy April Fool’s, it’s still Day One, but it’s Hour Two and I am winning!
It’s important to set goals, build in self-monitoring reminders (I can’t guarantee Tony the Tiger in your head, but reciting positive affirmations, writing down your goals, setting small goals that will lead to the end goal, etc. will make a big difference), and never forget that small failures may happen along the way, but they are only speed bumps.
What I Learned Today (WILT): The important thing is to not let temporary setbacks knock you off your path to success. Shake it off, and move forward.
I’m a professional speaker. If I can do that, I can do this.
And even more to the point, I work with addicts and recovering addicts every day. If they can do that, I can do this.
There are so many things I’ve accomplished in my life that are so much more difficult that giving up sugar. Why is this so hard?
And then I remembered that whisper, “You are NOTHING without me.” Addiction sucks. And this is the message it delivers, every day, all day.
I am going to turn the joke around and stop listening.