March 1980

“Self-control—Self-respect—Self-control,” Ensign, Mar. 1980, 29


I had been trying to diet for several weeks but kept putting it off. Besides, the cookie jar was still half full of gooey chocolate chip cookies. “I’ll diet after these cookies are gone,” I said to myself.

But when I finally did reach for a cookie I changed my mind and closed the cupboard door. At that moment I made a conscious choice to eat an apple instead—a small decision, but a decision nevertheless. The apple was crisp and delicious. And my small decision to eat that apple gave me the self-esteem I needed to again use self-control: at lunch I ate a salad. For the rest of the day I ate vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins and low in calories. By the end of the day I felt elated: I had actually done it—I had dieted for one full day!

Goals can be reached one small step or one small choice at a time. Each step becomes easier because of the self-esteem and faith gained at the last step. Improvement can be as simple as eating an apple instead of a cookie. Anya Bateman, Salt Lake City, Utah

Illustrated by Scott Snow