Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Defeating Temptation

My backyard for the next two weeks!
December 21, 2010

I've gone back and forth for the last five minutes trying to determine whether to title this post "Defeating Temptation" or "Ahhh, Sweet Warmth!"  As you can see, temptation won.   And yes, that's a play on words.   Because yesterday temptation won, but today it has been banished to the bottom of that pool.   But I'm getting way ahead of myself.....................

We arrived in Venice, Florida yesterday afternoon following a long drive from Macon, GA where we had spent Sunday night.  We do not have a huge car and although we have our travel routine down to a science, adding a third person to the mix was interesting.  There wasn't a inch of room to spare and let's just say that your turn in the back seat wasn't something you got real excited about.  But we made it and all was forgotten the moment we walked into our beautiful rental home for the next 12 days.  It is in a gorgeous section of Venice Beach and we are thrilled with the layout of the home and it's amenities.  Right now, Mr. B is napping in the bedroom, I'm in the den that has huge picture windows overlooking the pool and lanai, MIL is in the living room pretending to be reading, but I suspect, she's examining the inside of her eyelids!  

We took a walk early this morning before heading to Pioneer Farm Stand and Publix Grocery Store.  BTW, Publix, PLEASE come to East Tennessee.   I need you SOOOOOOOO badly!   Pioneer Farm Stand has been serving the Venice area for more than 30 years and I truly thought I was going to weep with pleasure the moment I got out of the car.   I was like a kid in a candy store and their selection was amazing.  I now have in my arsenal fresh sugar snap peas, a giant red pepper that is so fresh the dirt is still on it, sugary grape tomatoes, ruby red grapefruits picked yesterday, fresh green beans and broccoli!  Oh, and a head of butter lettuce just picked.  Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the STRAWBERRIES - fresh Florida strawberries!   I truly didn't realize how much I have missed freshly picked fruit and produce from a true farm stand.  

Grocery shopping at Publix was just as enjoyable and I'll have to say, we'll not be suffering in the food department while here!   There is a Whole Foods in Sarasota that I'll be visiting in the next day or so.  I think my MIL is a bit bumfuzzled by my fascination with grocery stores.   She just isn't able to see the difference in quality and/or quantity of healthy eating selections.

I have been on one quite lengthy walk, then Mr. B and I took a long bike ride after lunch.  The weather looks perfect for our entire stay with only a couple of cloudy/rainy days.  That is perfectly o.k. as half of the lanai is covered, we've got lots of reading material and a great selection of movies.  

I had not realized how much difficulty I was having with the extreme cold weather, ice and snow we were experiencing in Tennessee.  Normal December and January temps I can deal with because they are actually good hiking conditions, but I'd been cooped up for over a week and that was playing havoc with exercise and in turn, messing with my mental state of mind.  

Where does the defeating temptation come in you might be asking?   Well, please permit me a bit of a vent with the understanding that this part of today's post may be deleted at some point.  Mr. B does read the blog every once in awhile and my putting these complaints in would not please him.  He knows I haven't been posting as frequently, so he hasn't been reading much!  On the other hand, it might do him good to read what I'm about to write.

He and I had a lengthy discussion prior to our starting this trip.   I begged for some compassion and help with respect to continuing my healthy eating plan while we were here.  His mother doesn't even begin to comprehend the concept of healthy eating (she thinks fruit is fruit cocktail from a can!) and although neither of them have ever had a weight problem, both are sugar addicts if I've ever seen one.  Mr. B promised to "help."  I first knew I might as well forget it when we got back into the car after a rest stop at Adcock's Pecans in Tifton, GA.  We stop there often as they have a wonderful selection of pecans plus nice clean restrooms.  Once we got back on the road, Mr. B pulls out a bag of Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle thingies which he had purchased while I was in the restroom and his mom pulls out a huge box of peanut butter fudge.  They both thought this was oh so funny - me, not so much!   If there is any one single "sweet" that I simply cannot pass up, it is "turtles."   That is a lethal combination of my favorite ingredients and I knew I couldn't (wouldn't) resist.  And I didn't!

Do I expect either of them to refrain from treats that they can handle?  No, I don't - I really don't!  But I would've appreciated some more consideration from Mr. B in what he chose to buy.  He could've gotten something a little easier for me to resist especially after our having that conversation and his agreeing to "help." 

Fast forward to this morning and my daily lesson in the Bible Study I am working through with my friend.  I had to laugh out loud when I turned to Day 27 and the title of the lesson was, "Defeating Temptation."  I know not all of you have the same belief system I do and I respect that, but my gosh, could GOD speak (yell) any louder??   

Here are the four suggestions from the lesson that were a reminder and huge source of encouragement for me.  There is no new groundbreaking material here, but I thought they might be helpful reminder to all of us as we approach these final days leading up to Christmas and the New Year.  Most everyone is struggling to some degree and along with me, let's grab these suggestions and resist the temptations!

1)   Refocus your attention on something else.  Did you know that every time you try to block a thought out of your mind, you drive it deeper into your memory?  By resisting it, you actually reinforce it.   To avoid being stung, stay away from the bees!!!  Do whatever is necessary to turn your attention to something else.  When the chocolate comes out, I'm going for a walk!

2)  Reveal your struggle to a godly friend or support group.  No explanation needed.   I have you - you have me.  Let's hang on to each other!

3)  Resist the Devil  Yes, I believe with all my heart, that the devil is real and he is much better at arguing than I am.  You may not believe in THE devil as I do, but I bet every one of you can name your own personal "devils" and those are the ones that need to be resisted in whatever strategy works for you.

4)  Realize Your Vulnerability  I'm not sure that any of us would consider ourselves cocky or overconfident right now.  We all know how vulnerable we are to getting off-track and how dangerous that can be.   I, for one, have been amazed at the cookie baking fests and other baking extravaganzas you've been participating in and posting about.  How you can do it and NOT lose control is beyond me.  I realized my vulnerability when I saw that I was cooped up in an enclosed vehicle with Chocolate Turtles and no escape.  It didn't work yesterday and probably never will.   I will always be vulnerable and need to make every conscious effort to stay out of tempting situations.

Yes, there is still lots of fudge and several turtles way back in the pantry.   And I refrained from even mentioning the trip to the Ice Cream Parlor last night.  But I have my own arsenal now, and quite frankly, are no longer interested in anything except my "candy" from the market.   It, you and sunshine are all I need to get by!!

Are you coping?   Please don't give up!   Can I help encourage you in any way? 


  1. I'm so jealous of your back yard as I look out into the snowy yard!

    Great post. I appreciate that you can share your heart without pushing your beliefs on others. I loved how you commented that everyone has a "devil" in their lives to deal with.

    Your comment on my post this week REALLY helped me to get my resolve back. God used you and I thank you.

    Husbands...grr! It's a tough one, consideration vs. him not having to held to our eating ideals. Overall, it seems like he does indeed support you and maybe the healthy vent will put things into perspective for you.

    Enjoy the sun!

  2. Enjoy the sun and fresh fruit & veggies. That sounds like just the ticket.

    BTW, I love Publix. I think their produce is the best grocery store produce around.

  3. I really needed your post today-- I've been struggling A LOT with temptation, and I've been trying not to beat myself up over it. The Devil is a very powerful being, and he does try his best to get us down on ourselves! It sounds like you're having a nice time, especially with the stores and the weather. It's been freezing here in Nebraska, and they're predicting a bad storm on Thursday, just in time for Christmas traveling!

  4. I *love* Adcock's Pecans! There's another great pecan shop north of Tifton. Ellis or Ellison Brothers near Vienna, Ga.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns!

  5. Was your post written especially for me, because it was as though you were certainly talking to me, Sharon :) I've been having one heck of a time and am on a rocky road right now. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  6. So I struggle with the husband dilemma myself. Both the "what can I say about him since he reads my blog" and the "balancing what he wants to eat with my flailing willpower." I really wish my husband did not bring any crap into the house. Period. He doesn't need it anymore than I do. But I know that is not fair of me. He is pretty good at making an attempt to sometimes hide stuff. I hope that when our son leaves next year I can get my husband on board to make our house a "crap-free" zone!

    Enjoy Florida:)

  7. Okay, now I am officially envious. lol But, the photo DOES bring a little warmth this way, so I'm content with that!

    We've stopped at Adcock's, I know it well. I do NOT go there while I'm on this diet - just too tempting - despite the clean restrooms! LOL

    It doesn't sound like your husband understands the seriousness of your conviction and need for support. You've never indicated he is a cruel man, so I am guessing he just doesn't (yet) get what you are trying so hard to relate to him. Perhaps another one-on-one is necessary, Sharon.

    You've supported him and his mom, through a tough, tough summer/fall. You continue to do so. You all suffered a big loss this year. It is unkind of them to not support you in turn, over something so simple.

    The temptation suggestions are excellent, and right on target (of course)!!

    I hope your resolve isn't further tested, Sharon. Enjoy the holiday, swim and have a nice time for the rest of us stuck up here in cold country!!

    Mostly, have a blessed and merry Christmas, celebrating Christ's birth with those you love!!

    I see dolphins in the pool ... but NO TURTLES.

  8. What an AWESOME post Sharon!!! I love this so much I'm printing it off to take with me. I'm sure I'll be pulling this out to read in my moments of temptation. Thank you my friend!

    I wish you could see me when I read your posts...I'm either laughing my head off or shaking my head "yes" because we really do have so much in common. I also can't resist turtles. Oh my, chocolate AND nuts. Not good. And as for Publix, I love it and used to work there...my first job as a teenager, oh so many years ago.

    Now, for your question. I'll be in Tallahassee and Tampa. I'm not sure where that is in relation to Venice, but one things for certain. We'll both be enjoying the Florida Sunshine!!!

    Have a blessed holiday and keep a day open for me in the New Year...I can't wait to do our hike!!!

  9. Not much help here. Nuts + chocolate = love. My only trick (that only works sometimes) is to take a treat, but to save it for the very very end of the day. Then I won't keep going back for more all during the day.

  10. Yes, I am coping. Is it easy? No. Will it ever be easy? I doubt it. BUT...we will get stronger. Can you encourage me? You encourage me every day and for that I am thankful. Have a great trip and enjoy the Vitamin D rays.

  11. Excellent post and VERY well written! I was doing well last night until son's girlfriend brought me a gluten-free pumpkin pie (a whole pie to myself)...warm still, mmmmm...sweetheart but hey, I have my WI this morning AND I want the weight off. So I will share! And get some extra walking in. Enjoy the sun & warmth there. I'm missing it here - even just sun makes me happy!