Deliver us from temptation

It was closer to 11am than noon and I was already (for whatever reason I don’t know) thinking of eating, and I was thinking of eating a candy bar from the vending machine on the 4th floor, or maybe (I bargained) part of one (which would inevitably be  a whole one).

Decided that wouldn’t be a good idea, so I ate my Tupperware lunch early, but it seemed small.  Then about 1pm I went to get a McDouble sandwich, probably not much healthier than a candy bar (although it did have some protein and will last a bit longer).

Anyway a lesson of that is that if you swamp the bad alternatives with good alternatives, it’s probably easier to avoid temptation.  If I’d had another healthy Tupperware, I probably would have eaten it instead.

Fluorescent lights on vinegar

Fluorescent lights on vinegar

So the most important time for avoiding temptation is arranging things so that you have many good alternatives and fewer bad alternatives.   An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  An ounce of preventitive self-discipline is worth a pound of tempation-in-your-face self-discipline. You’re not always in control of your environment.  You can have the self-discipline not to bring junk food from the store into your house, but you probably can’t get your employer to get rid of the junk food vending machine.  (You could try.)  You could ideally get rid of the vending machine, but failing that you could bring healthy snacks for your cube, which is better than bringing nothing and hoping you can resist the vending machine or a nearby fast-food joint, which is better than bringing bulk bags of junk food into your cube to save money on the vending machine.

There’s some very fundamental principles of living well going on in the above, and they deserve to be brought out more.

“Resist the beginnings”, but have a backup plan for when the beginnings win.

 

Postscript — later in the day, I went up to the vending machine for a candy bar and was saved by a lack of dollar bills.

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