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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Commitment--and "Cheating"

I want to talk about commitment today--specifically, cheating.  We've all posted that we've "cheated," but what does that really mean?  We don't cheat on a test in school.  I wouldn't cheat on my husband--no matter what he'd done to me.  Why do I cheat on myself, on my health, on my life-expectancy, and quality of life? 

Now I want to talk about commitment.  Have we actually made a commitment to ourselves?  It’s easy to cheat if you don’t feel committed.  Is our real problem cheating—or is it that we haven’t fully committed? 

What is commitment? says that commitment is “the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself” and “a pledge or promise; obligation” and “engagement; involvement.”  The examples given by are: 1) “We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time” and “They have a sincere commitment to religion.”

There are many types of commitment.  People commit to a person in marriage—or even in child-rearing.  People commit to a sports team—whether a professional team or an amateur one.  People commit to a lifestyle—whether it is a way of eating or a number of visits each week to a gym. 

Have we made a true commitment to this way of life?  Have we pledged ourselves to becoming healthy, to the Atkins Nutritional Approach (ANA)?  Maybe we have engaged ourselves, but not made a commitment. 

If we've made a commitment to ourselves, why are we cheating?  Are we afraid of success?  We can sabotage our relationship with health the same way we sabotage our relationships with others--or the way they sabotage their relationship with us.

We would never cheat on our boyfriend or ‘fall off the wagon’ with our religion, why do we cheat on ourselves?  Cheating on a diet is not the same as cheating on a boyfriend, but let’s make a comparison anyway.  We wouldn’t consider it cheating on a boyfriend to look at a man at a wedding, but it would be cheating to take him into the bushes and have it on with him.  By the same token, we wouldn’t consider it cheating to look at that wedding cake, but it would be cheating to eat it.   How strong is our commitment?   

Perhaps you think it is crazy to compare commitment to a diet/lifestyle with commitment to a relationship.  But, is it?  After all, our ability to commit is part of our character.  We’re lucky that, unlike other character traits, the ability to commit is one that can be nurtured and grown. Are we going to do this, or not?  

Are you afraid of commitment?  Take this test and see how your underlying fears might be sabotaging your success. Are you afraid of commitment?

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