You’d expect to find food in the kitchen or at a restaurant or at a party. That makes it a lot easier to plan ahead to manage tasty temptations. But how are you supposed to stay in control when you get blindsided by encounters with unexpected food and drink? Discover how in this episode of WLS delight. A few weekends ago I went to the gym early on a Saturday morning for a mat Pilates class. I walked out of that studio feeling real proud of myself. As I was walking through the gym, on my way down the stairs to the lobby level, I came across something I would never expect to encounter at my gym … a table filled with fancy, yummy smelling cookies to announce the gym’s upcoming 10-year anniversary party. Cookies! At the gym! I stopped and I took a good look. I mean, I freaking love cookies. They rank at the top of my guilty pleasures list. In the past, I would have never passed up a cookie. No way! But, after staring at the cookies a few seconds, thrown off by the unexpected temptation, I did a quick reset and I walked away. How is that possible? Me, who never missed a chance to eat a cookie, walked away from a face-to-cookie encounter. It was because I made a rule that helped me reshape a bad habit I had. Until a couple years ago, I never passed up free treats. I didn’t pass up free cookies … not at the gym, not at my bank, not at a party. I never passed up free samples either … at restaurants, bakeries the grocery store. Uh-uh! I never passed up complimentary mints or candy jars … the ones you find at most offices, stores, restaurants, even the dry cleaners. Shoot! Even my pharmacy has a candy dish — one that I used to dive into right after picking up a prescription for high blood pressure! Yeah, that makes sense, right? But, then I realized how rarely a day passed that I didn’t indulge and at least one food freebie. Sometimes, it was many. Now, they were often bite-sized treats, but those calories add up fast … especially if you’re indulging every day. You know what I’m talking about, right? How many temptations have you faced today or this week? What were they? Share with us in the comments below. Anyway, I had to make a decision. Was I in control or was the food? So I made a rule that I live by. Now, before you roll your eyes at the word rule, hold on! This isn’t the type of rule where someone else is forcing you to do something that you really don’t want to do. Uh-uh. Rules … they take on a whole different meaning when it’s you who puts them in place. Those are the types of rules that give you power. I am the queen of my castle, ruler of my body. My rule that helped me be successful in passing up those cookies at the gym is this: I do not partake in unplanned indulgences. Any time I encounter a temptation, I say that rule in my mind. “I do not eat unplanned indulgences.” I’ve said it so many times that I believe it with every ounce of my being. I own that rule and I live by it! Now, that does not mean that I never enjoy cookies, muffins, pasta, ice cream chocolate, wine, a burger, bread or other goodies. I do, but it’s never unplanned. If I’m gonna go out to dinner, I know before I go if there’s an item on the menu in which I’m gonna indulge. If I’m going to a bridal shower, I decide ahead of time whether or not I will have some of whatever dessert they’re serving. If I’m going to purchase an indulgence at the grocery store, I know ahead of time because it’s on my list. I indulge plenty, but I never, ever, ever eat an unplanned indulgence. Am I ever tempted? Sure! I’m human after all! But, passing up temptations has gotten easier and easier over time. So, if your succumbing to unplanned temptations think about making your own rule. It doesn’t have to be anything like mine. You’re the boss! You get to decide. But, if you have guidelines that you’ve created in place, and you live by them, you won’t get sidetracked by the unexpected again. Until next time … live with purpose, live with courage, and live with delight!