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Do You Rationalize Your Behaviors?

How do you define rationalize? 

You're not going to believe me when I tell you this story. 

So sometimes after a cold morning at boot camp, we head over to our favorite coffee shop in town, Highland Coffee.

It’s kind of like Cheers – where everyone knows your name – great place, great atmosphere, and great coffee, tea, etc.

Well yesterday morning we’re in there and behind a woman in line.  I was getting a bag of my favorite Persian Nectar Black Tea.

And the woman in front of us was ordering for her daughter, who looked to be about 7-9ish years old.

“Can she have a piece of the coconut cream cake and a medium hot chocolate, chocolate for weight 
lossextra chocolate and extra whip cream.  But can you make the drink with soy milk; her tummy hurt yesterday when we got this, so I think she might be lactose intolerant.”

Carly, at the coffee shop, said “well the cake has milk in it too.”

And her mom said “yeah, that’s OK, I think it was just the dairy in the hot chocolate.” 

There was a quick look of confusion across Carly's face, but this woman is the customer after all, so she was happy to oblige.

There are many things wrong on a variety of levels.

For starters, her daughter was starting her day with the equivalent amount of sugar as a 2 L bottle of soda (I wonder if she was offered the soda instead how she would feel?)

But then she also was taught that you can easily rationalize your behaviors to get what you want.

So do you want to know how WE define rationalize?

We think it should be two words:

Rationalize = Rational Lies that you tell yourself.

What behaviors do you rationalize?

I exercised this morning, so I “earned” this donut.
The kids are stressing me out, I NEED dessert.
I am way too busy to exercise, but I walked a lot at work, so I’m fine.

The list can go on and on.  And unfortunately it does – all too often.

And the more behaviors we continue to rationalize, the harder the struggle to reach our weight loss goals.   

So back to the woman at the coffee shop and her poor daughter … I have a feeling this girls “tummy was aching” from the extra chocolate and extra whip cream, in addition to the cake.  She wasn’t lactose intolerant … she was pour sugar down my throat intolerant!

Bottom Line: Think about ways you may rationalize your behaviors during the day.  Change them.  Just when you have the rationalizing thought to make yourself feel better for a second (like I don't really want to workout, so I'll make an excuse), make the more difficult choice of being honest with yourself and NOT telling yourself “rational lies.” 

Success will come that much more quickly and it will be that much sweeter!

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2 Responses to Do You Rationalize Your Behaviors?

  1. Julia Pike April 27, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Great story!  There were a few "rational lies" running through my mind this morning about whether to go to boot camp or not (in the rain).  I'm glad I was able to squelch them and make the "difficult choice".  I'm certainly much better off for having done that today.

  2. Shannon Strulson April 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    I am 100 percent guilty of all of those excuses, plus a couple more:  "I'm on vacation so I get to treat myself" and "I'm too busy to cook so I will just go to the drive thru". The truth is I've been on "vacation" for about 2 years now, and my life just isn't that hectic….

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