It’s looking at you. All dark, chocolate-y, and irresistible. This cake is crying out to be loved, to make you happy, to coat your tongue with delicious, rich texture and the lightness of cream on the side.

And you’re listening. You know that it knows that you know just how much you deserve to have a big, gooey slice. Nevermind that you’ve already had a slice today. After all; you’re entitled. You work hard. You need to treat yourself.

I know that voice. I’ve eaten that cake. But now, half-way through a herbal cleanse, I’m learning how amazingly freeing restraint can be.

My portion sizes have shrunk. Why? I suddenly realised just how much extra I was eating – needlessly! I had a ‘if it’s there, it should be eaten’ policy, which doesn’t really make all that much sense. Who was I eating it for? Not my body, which couldn’t do anything useful with it. Not my tastebuds, who will enjoy it for a second and forget instantly after swallowing.

Nope, I was just eating it for the same reason that most of us do most of the things we don’t need to do … because I could.

There’s a strange joy in saying no. In knowing you can trust yourself, and honour your own body. Whether it’s with alcohol, relationships, food, television, trashy books – you know the areas in your life where restraint seems to conveniently go on holiday.

Invite it home. Ask it to move in, unpack its bags, and stay for the long haul.

Say to that piece of cake: Why don’t you just go sweet-talk someone else. I know how to …

Be Restrained.