Monday, November 10, 2014

Self Mastery

Well, I didn't even make it one week tracking.  I fell back into old habits of tracking and doing really well for one week, and then the two days after that were definitely sub par, and yesterday was almost a free for all.  I really thought I could make it work this time around but obviously I was wrong.  I am just not in the same place now that I was almost two years ago.  If I want to progress from here, I have to do something differently, and it isn't going to be tracking.  Tracking makes me freak out, I get really nervous when my available points or calories get really low, I immediately develop that whole "diet mentality" and it's not helping. 

In light of my realization a few days ago that so much of my problem is simply a matter of impulse eating and eating from boredom I have decided to focus on something that has become stigmatized in the weight loss community: self control.  I have read many diet books, blogs, and articles and so many of them start off by bashing self control.  We start a diet (many of them restrictive) and then blame ourselves for not having enough self control to stay on it, then the literature goes on to tell us that it's not our fault that we can't stay on these diets.  To an extent that is true.  Going on a crash diet or a highly restrictive diet is not a good choice, and leads to severe deprivation and your body goes into starvation mode and who would have the self control to stay on that long term?  However, there is something that needs to be said for self control.  If you don't have any self control, how are you going to stay on any plan?  If you have no self control how will you continue making healthy choices, how will you make any changes at all?  This is an area that I have ignored long enough.  It's time to start controlling my impulses, and mastering myself.  I once heard self mastery explained like this:

We are made up of our spirit and our bodies.  You have heard it said "mind over matter" but phrased a little differently we can create "spirit over body".  Self mastery is the process of making the body subject to the spirit.  In other words, we can control our thoughts, actions, desires, and passions.

And I heard addiction explained like this:
When we are entangled in the treads of addiction our spirit is trapped and enslaved to the body.  The passions of the body are allowed to run wild.  Our spirit has become subject to the body.

I feel like this a lot when I am around food and can't control myself.  That is exactly it, my spirit which is saying "I shouldn't be doing this" is trapped, completely controlled by the demands of my body "eating this tastes so good and I want to eat more and more of this".  When really I need to be doing the exact opposite and saying "I am in command of my body, and I know that eating that food is not going to help me in any way, so I am going to show mastery of my body and my passions and show some self control."

Self Control, Self Mastery, whatever you want to call it, I think that is where my path now lies.  I have the reasons, I have the desire, I have the knowledge, I have the motivation, but all that seems to fly out the window when I get cravings.  Learning to endure and overcome cravings is essential for me to progress on this path.  And no matter how you word it, learning to overcome and endure cravings and talk yourself out of them.... that is self control no matter what spin you put on it or what way you look at it.  If you want to lose weight, if you want to progress, you have to have self control.  That is what I am going to focus on now.  Controlling myself: stopping when I am satisfied, not overeating my desserts, not binging.  I feel like I have addressed many of the issues that lead me to eat, and now its time for one more very important step.  It's time to bridle my passions, and stop giving in.  In the book "The beck diet solution" she calls it strengthening your resistance muscle, and it's something I have been avoiding for a long time. 

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