I can do this. I'm the ONLY one who can. And not by Willpower. NOW I begin to win my war!
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
So how are you doing? Are your efforts SUCCESSFUL for you? Or are you still here (like me!) rocking along, gaining a pound, losing a pound, over and over.... feeling frustrated and foolish because you really are working hard at getting practically nowhere?
Working hard? Yes, working hard and trying different things and they DON'T WORK? I know (boy, do I know!) that you can work HARD and have nothing to show for it! For years and years!
Why? I'll tell you why! I JUST this second realized this: We've been working hard at changing our DIETS, not OURSELVES! Why-yyy, on earth?!? Do you really want a better DIET? NO, I'm not working to invent a better diet -- I'M working to create a better ME! If I change my clothes, does that change ME? I might look different, but I'm not different. No permanent changes have been made! By the same token, if I change my diet, does that change ME? I might look different, BUT I'M NOT DIFFERENT. Are you getting a clue now about what we have to do?
We have to change our insides; we have to change our very SELVES -- the very part that leads us to eat unhealthfully. "Well, what do you think I've been doing all these years?" you ask. Well, if you've been dieting and exercising for years and you still haven't seen the changes you reasonably expected when you set out years (decades, like me?) ago, you've been wasting your time. Harsh, cruel, but true. Wasting. YOUR. Time. You could've reached your goals and been enjoying the benefits for years already... but no... You've been working on changing the outside; but you've neglected changing your insides.
"I can't change my inside!"
Yes you can. You CAN. YOU CAN! But only you can, nobody else can do it for you.
Like me, have you ever wished for a deserted island where you can lose weight and get healthy? Where there aren't DECADES of dedicated research and scientific effort into figuring out how to make absolutely irresistible food and how to make you buy it and EAT it? And keep eating it? Never mind nutrition -- the goal has been merely to get your money into THEIR pockets regardless of your health. So the sights, the sounds, the smells, the foods, THE TRIGGERS are EVERYWHERE you turn -- even in your home, your refuge! Feel sad/happy/bored? That's a trigger to eat! Want to know how extreme it is? You're urged to take bottled water with you everywhere you go. Heaven help us that we can't go an hour without water! I'm not dissing water... I'm dissing the fact that no one wants to let us get out of the habit of consumption at our slightest whim lest we develop a backbone against that unnecessary habit and quit spending money to conveniently eat whenever, wherever, why-ever.
And that's our next clue. You're still here, no deserted island in sight. And the food is still here. So whatcha gonna do? Give up? Hand over your wallet and your health and your dreams and desires and anything else they want to take from you? Or are you gonna get mad? Are you gonna grow a backbone? Are you going to CHANGE YOUR INSIDES?
Yes, you can; you can do it. It has been done before by your parents. They changed you from a squalling infant into a person who knew how to use the brain with which you were born. They stuffed education, behaviors, and discipline into you (and they did it with the best of intents). Now it's OUR turn to USE our brains and the knowledge, behaviors, and discipline we have to turn ourselves into the persons we want to be! Now YOU get to PARENT YOURSELF! You get to use your brain, your logic, and your smarts to blind yourself to the manipulations of outsiders who want your money and offer you unhealthy food to get it. You get to marshall your own internal forces to get what YOU want. You get to discipline yourself.
No, it isn't easy. Neither is it easy to watch your desires slip away from you year after year no matter how hard you chase them. Neither is it easy to live with poor health. You DIDN'T choose your poor health, but you didn't open your eyes and resist it either. However, YOU ALWAYS GET THE CHANCE TO REACH FOR YOUR DREAMS. You can do this.
So what DO you DO? I'm not here to give you a new diet. I'm here to tell you that you MUST discipline yourselves. You must learn to draw some hard lines around what you will and won't do -- and never give in. The "Id" of your brain will whine and whine like the little child it is. Your "Ego" and "Superego"must be the parent and say no, you can't have whatever you want whenever you want; you can't have it at ALL. Eventually the whining will stop. Your brain will actually change if you continue long enough. It gets easier and easier as you follow your program faithfully. It is like how you drive yourself home and then when you pull into your driveway, you say to yourself, "Wait. How did I get here?" You form habits of health.
And you don't let the whining get to you; you don't give in. In fact, the experts say to give in is the worst thing you can do. Rewarding the whining e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y just sets up a pattern of more, and longer, and louder whining. Prepare for it. Seriously, PRE-pare for it. Have what you CAN eat available. Have your escape-from-temptation plan in place. Have support you can call on. Do everything in advance to prepare yourself to succeed. Stick that iron rod up your spine because you are going to need it. You know yourself better than I do; you know what you need.
I know what I need. I tell you the following only because it may help you figure out how YOU need to discipline yourselves. Science is finally discovering that sugar AND flour (indeed, any carb eaten to excess) affect the brain in addictive ways. Some people are more- and some people are less- susceptible to its seductions. I've been lazy and haven't resisted those slow poisons to my system. I have to heal my brain -- my insides, my literal backbone to my central nervous system. I have to give them up. Those are MY hard lines. I have to decide that I will think the night before about where I'll be going and the temptations I will face and what I'll do about them. EVERY night! I have to decide the night before what I will eat the following day -- and allow myself NO deviations. I have to give up constant snacking since the constant interaction with food leads me to eat too much. I have to find some personal support. I have to figure out a concrete way to hold myself accountable. I have to know my triggers and I have to come up with solutions and put them in place. I (oh, this is HARD) have to give up my love for variety -- and discipline myself to eat the same food long enough to be bored by it, long enough to heal my brain, long enough to be able to handle the stimulation that variety gives me, long enough to find my limits.
I have to prepare every night as best I can, as much as I can, to preserve my willpower to last as long as I need it -- to quit depending on it when it has shown me for decades that eventually, it gives up and gives in. I have to rely on my smarts to outsmart manipulation and temptation, not willpower! At 60 years old, I have to be a parent to myself and discipline myself. I have to love myself enough not to tolerate my weakness of over-indulging my desire to over-eat. Spoiled children are not pleasant, and that's what I've allowed myself to become -- an over-indulged, undisciplined child. No more. No more. It is time for a change that WORKS. I will change ME. I can do this. This is