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Outside Sports Park

Outside Streatham Sports Park

Self-discipline – Friend or Foe?

Don’t eat yellow snow. Eat your five-a-day. Leave your microwave meal to stand for at least 2 minutes after cooking (if you want to have a roof of your mouth left that is). Just a few examples of pieces of advice that we’re given about food which are boring but, nevertheless, true or helpful. 

Another example of a boring food truth is that no one else is going to make good dietary choices for you and, therefore, self-discipline is the cornerstone of long-term better health and fitness. There’s just no way around it.

However, as most of us don’t really like being told what to do (or what not to do), ruly only we as individuals can make good sustainable choices about our lifestyle and health.

So, here are three significant factors which can make or break your journey towards making better food choices:

  1. COST

It is a bit of a misnomer that eating well (and healthily) has to cost the earth. For example, if you tally up the total cost of the ‘cheat day’ treats, pints at the pub or cheeky weekend takeaways, they probably far surpass any additional cost incurred by making healthier choices in your weekly shop.

Also, when thinking of other health-related costs such as gym membership or paying to join a team/club of your preferred sport, it’s important to see this as an investment in your own health and wellbeing. As with any investment, you’d hope to see a healthy return over time (no pun intended!), so it is in your interest to make sure it is money well spent.


If we’re all honest with ourselves, one of the hurdles to making long-term positive decisions about our health is whether we truly value ourselves or not. After all, why would you invest in your future and betterment if you didn’t believe that this was a worthwhile venture?

So, from a holistic standpoint, part of making better long-term physical health choices is investing in your mental health and building your confidence and resilience over time. Perhaps a personal trainer could help with this for example?


Arguably, one of the most underrated skills that a human can develop is the ability to delay their own gratification. In a culture which promises so much but often disappoints or falls short, a more certain path to choose is to resist the empty promises and make small and regular good decisions each day which, over time, add up to significant gains. 

Often, the easier decision to make is not the most beneficial one. But, if you can alter your mindset and develop some willpower to resist the many well-marketed temptations that exist out there, it will surely pay off over time.


To find out about the range of physical health facilities, teams and opportunities which Exeter University Sport offers, visit to find out more.

Date: 31 May 2022