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The Devil in Your Living Room

The Devil, representing lazy and unhealthy habits

Do you have one? That invisible presence who beckons you to the couch and convinces you that you don’t need to move. You don’t need to get dressed. “Grab some snacks and sit down, my pretty.” I have one. He smiles and tells me it’s okay not to care, to be lazy, and depressed. He talks me into staying home when I’ve been invited out; he sometimes even makes me lie. But he is not alone. His little demon companions live in my kitchen and constantly entice me with sugar, spice, and everything naughty. They are relentless. They’ve allied with fast food delivery and streaming services. I appreciate Netflix checking on me after hours of mindlessly watching television; it asks, “Are you still watching?” I don’t even have to answer; my devil answers for me. “Yes, my pretty.”

Life Without My Devil

I imagine what life would be like without my devil. I picture myself as fit and energetic, airing up the tires on my bicycle and mounting the bike on my car. The vision includes a short battle with spiders and webs who have decided to live on my bicycle (oh, wait, that is the devil again trying to tell me it’s not worth it.) I see myself laughing with friends, drinking lots of water (they always tell you to drink more water, blah blah blah – shut up, demons!), feeling good in my clothes, breathing normally, etc.

This one thought always comes to me: “Let’s Start on Monday!” It’s a jovial sound from my devil and his demons. They try to negotiate with me. They tell me, “Let’s start on Monday. But, before Monday, you should eat all the junk food because you won’t have anymore once you start.” They laugh and laugh because they know this little trick will tack on another 5 pounds and steal my energy for the Monday that never comes.

Battle Plan

Okay, it is time to fight this demon. I have to find a way to get away from him and his lovely comfortable couch, warm blanky, large bowl of yummy buttered popcorn, and…..damn! He’s in my head again.

Breathe. Just breathe.

Step One

The first thing I will do is battle the smaller demons in the kitchen. They are attached to the junk food in there. I will get rid of the junk food and be mindful of what I eat. I remember someone once told me to treat food like fuel, “Don’t take in more than you burn,” they said. It seems so simple. But the devil will lose some of his power if I can eliminate the demons. I may concentrate on this for a while because it won’t be easy. The devil will try extra hard to get his minions back. He will likely manipulate the T.V. with Snicker commercials.

Step Two

Once I’ve gotten ahold of my eating habits, I’ll incorporate an activity. I’ll pick one day a week that I block out for myself to go for a walk, a bike ride, or even to the gym. Whatever day I pick, I’m sure my devil will think of something clever, like thunderstorms or back pain. I might need some help with this one. Maybe I can find a friend who will meet me once a week and help me fight Mr. Devil.

Step Three

By step three, my new healthy diet and the joyful weekly meetups with friends will have diminished the devil somewhat. I cannot lose sight of his power. He is one “I deserve chocolate cake and a marathon of Lord of the Rings movies” away. It is true what they say: when you stop eating sugar and other junk, you begin to crave it no longer. That’s cool. I have defeated the pantry demons once and for all!

Oh, no. It’s Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Why are all holidays centered around food?

Back to step three. I’ll add another activity to my schedule (“You don’t have time, my pretty.” – says you know who). Maybe I can add a second and third day to the workout schedule. I’ve heard that 30 minutes daily, three times a week, is good. I can do that!

Step Four

Step Four. I’ve had my eye on step four for a long time. This is the reward step. This is where I pack up those giant jeans and super-size t-shirts. I may even buy a couple of new outfits. It’s time to get a haircut, a facial, and a massage! By step four, it will become clear that the devil in my living room was a liar. He was a manipulator. Truth is, there is so much out here in the world to enjoy! I can be active with friends or alone if I feel like it.

I have control.

The devil is gone.

You can do this.

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