Wednesday, October 14, 2009

15 Minutes to Eternity

Most cravings last no longer than 10 - 12 minutes, or so says Dr. Oz. Explain that to those folks with the 24/7 cravings - you know chocoholics, alcoholics, drug addicts, sexoholics, etc.

That aside, this Dr. Oz revelation means that in order to eat healthy, remain sober, be chaste or live honorably, we need to master ourselves for 15 minutes (max) at a time, with 3 minutes leeway at least. Really?

Wow, this is doable!!!

I am not saying that it's fool proof and I am not minimizing the real challenge of severe addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, and other behaviors, but I am saying that this knowledge can be huge if we use it! It's one step in the right direction.

Often we try to take on everything at once, we want to swallow the whole thing, not take manageable bites, we want to run the entire race flat out, not pace ourselves or even take baby steps.

Would we try to run a 5K after not running for months or even years? Well, if we did we might collapse of cardiac arrest, but it's just as likely that we would give up. We would simply step out of the race, catch our breath and go out for a burger.

Cravings need to be approached like a 5K race. We need to work up to them slowly, methodically and with a plan for a long term goal that consists of smaller daily (or hourly or 15 minute long) attainable goals.

We may have a seemingly unmanageable craving for something on a regular basis, but instead of thinking - I cannot EVER have that again, we need to adjust our thinking to the next 15 minutes, for example, I can live without chocolate for 15 minutes.

Funny thing, once the 15 minutes are over, your craving should have long since disappeared. And while you are getting through those 15 minutes, do something positive - walk, get some fresh air, drink a glass of water, call a friends, send a long overdue email or letter.

The good news is that within 15 minutes after a craving has hit, it's long gone without being satisfied. The bad news is that 15 minute cravings can hit several times in a day, so be prepared.

The application of this simple process to more serious decisions than whether or not to have a Hershey bar is just as important, if not more. Temptations in life extend beyond food, which  affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health, but carnal temptations affect your eternal well-being.

15 minutes can make or break a diet, but they can also determine your eternity.

15 minutes to say no.

15 minutes to say yes.

15 minutes to do something else.

15 minutes to admit a mistake.

15 minutes to say you're sorry.

15 minutes to pray.

15 minutes - they can seem like an eternity. Maybe they are.

Make them count for good.

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