The Holiday Effect Part 2

Yesterday I described the Holiday Effect, how this time of year tends to really mess with self discipline.

Specifically, a last minute trip to my personal kryptonite, Tex-Mex food.

What I did was use mental contrasting and implementation intention. I also took my phone along and, a la my No Bread Challenge and the Flash Diet, took pictures of the bread, tortillas, etc, that I would have problems with.


This went well, and the picture taking really underscored and boosted my willpower. I even, in the last picture, took an appetizer - a breaded and fried stuffed jalapeño, and took it out of it’s breading and ate it. That’s a lot of willpower for the problems I had and described before we went.

Here’s where I can improve:
-Make the implementation more detailed. I didn’t describe how I would treat getting a Margarita, so I ended up getting one and drinking the rest of my dad’s when he couldn’t finish it.
-Ask for more food. I was hungry after sharing fajitas for one, so I ended up eating a little bit of the breading after I ate the de-breaded stuffed jalapeños. After that I was still hungry, and I could have very well just asked for something more in order to be full. The key is eating enough - or at least having enough options - you can always take the rest home, which makes it easier for the next few days. In that way you can think of it as an opportunity in addition to being a challenge.

Again great job - I didn’t eat ANY chips, no tortillas, no rice, maybe half a spoon full of the beans, and none of the sopapilla that they ordered. More than anything implementation intention and the “flash diet” of taking pictures helped. Did mental contrasting really help? I don’t know, but it really helped with underscoring the situation before I went out.

Let’s see how it works the next time - AND it may very well be a great protocol to put into motion when I’m home or visiting friends for the holidays in general.