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Simple Ways to Deny Your Flesh and Become Self-Disciplined

Updated on March 14, 2015
Developing self-discipline can be viewed as a fun challenge, instead of something to be dreaded
Developing self-discipline can be viewed as a fun challenge, instead of something to be dreaded

For overeaters, learning self-discipline can be seriously hard, but should be viewed as a fun challenge to conquer

Let's begin with the motivation for developing self-discipline: if we were self-controlled with our eating habits, we would probably not be overweight in the first place, but somewhere down the line, we either lost our self-discipline, or we never learned it to begin with (there are many, many people who have never learned self-discipline and wouldn't even know how it would look if we were to apply it to food - I was one of them). In fact, I was taught, as many of us are, that I needed to finish everything on my plate, especially if dessert was on the menu. I also learned that if food was free, I needed to stuff myself with as much of it as was humanly possible. And when I ate at a restaurant, I must not leave a thing on my plate. In fact, I should select the foods on the menu which gave the most value for money - in other words, whatever came piled highest was best.

As a child, I never learned self-discipline and I was way into my adulthood before I did. I was also obese as a result of my lack of self-discipline, amongst other issues, but that's another story altogether.

Now please understand that weight loss for overeaters or food addicts (I was both) is never just about self-discipline, but it certainly is one of the most important aspects to permanent weight loss.

So how can developing self-discipline help towards our goal of changing the way we eat? If you suffer from overeating or addiction to food, you will know that food holds a very strong pull over you, and to say no any nice tasting food is sometimes not an option at all, or perhaps is only denied by ourselves when in public. Overeaters and food addicts like to eat whatever they want, whenever they want. And herein lies the problem. But if we were to develop our self-discipline, we could start learning when we are satisfied, and stop eating before we feel stuffed, and when we are not hungry, we would learn how that feels and say no to food when we are full-up.

And now we come to the crux of the article: how do we start developing self-discipline? It's really quite simple, once we know how. Not easy, but simple. And the more we make it a habit to practice self-control, the more we can reign in our fleshly desires and deny them.

Start small. It doesn't just have to be about food. Challenge yourself to practice self-discipline in as many ways as possible. For instance, if your usual habit is to plonk yourself on the couch in front of the television the moment you arrive home from work, make yourself walk around the couch first. That's a really small step, but it's a step in the right direction. If you would usually make yourself coffee first thing in the morning, grab a glass of water first. What are you doing? You are denying your flesh.

And the more you develop this new habit, the more you can get tougher on yourself.

What I suggest you do is sit down and have a serious think about the habits you would like to change, and then think of small ways you can start doing that.

Once you find it easier to start denying your fleshly desires, you can move on to stricter ways. Nothing should be cast in stone, and it i has to work for you. As far as eating habits go, you can try waiting for a tummy grumble before you eat a meal. Or consider these:

  • fasting intermittently (see resources below)
  • start having a juice day once or twice a week
  • halve your food portions for a day
  • drink a shake instead of eating a meal

Very importantly, keep a journal and jot down all your small victories. In time, you will see how far you progress without feeling as if you have this huge mountain to conquer first before you get to your reward; the reward of feeling slim and healthy and in control.

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    • Get Thin for Good profile image

      Claire Carradice 4 years ago from Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. It's the small ways of disciplining the flesh that count, and they can be quite simple for anyone, even a food addict who wants to change.

      It's great to hear that you practice this!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I think you are so right about denying to flesh to build discipline. I've been practicing it some. Making myself have a piece of fruit before giving into something else, like a second serving of food, is something I've been doing, for instance. Having water in first, too, is something you mentioned that I've been doing. I'm working on it, trying to become more disciplined! Nice hub--thanks!