My new thing is self-discipline. I am going to get better at it. I am nervous writing this, because I don't want to fail.
So this is the first thing I know: If you are really serious about doing something, it's painful to tell people, because fear of failure is so high. Once you decide that you really want something enough to shift your life to get it — at that point you want it so much that you will feel like your life is somehow incomplete if you don't get it. So it is scary just to talk about it.
This is how I'm feeling about sugar and bread. I think it only leads to bad things. I think it makes me crazy and I have googled a thousand different sites about addiction to sugar and bread, and I think it's true. Here's what I think:
1. Food acts like drugs, and some foods make us crave more and more and more like an addictive drug. Eating carbohydrates and sugar is totally unnatural to the human diet.
2. There is some sort of link between Asperger's and bread. I'm not sure what it is, but we tried taking my son off gluten when he was younger, because so many people say it makes a difference with autism. And while I couldn't really tell with him, I ate the same diet, and I could tell that I was more calm. Most people I know who have Asperger's also have an obsession with gluten. I'm not sure what this means except that I should stay away from it.
3. I definitely notice a difference when I stay off gluten. I have more energy and I lose weight effortlessly. I think this is because when I eat for emotional reasons I always choose wheat-based products.
4. When I take myself off bread, I start craving sugar. So I think I also have a problem with sugar. And, confession: I eat a lot of it. No soda or deserts, but tons of sugar in my coffee. All day long.
There is a lot that I want to change in my life:
Less nervous eating
More weight lifting
Less yelling at kids
More leaving the house
Less acting like an agoraphobic
More blog posts
Less mindless email administrating
This is way too big a list, though. What I really want, if I boil it down, is to have more confidence in myself. Then I would believe I could have a good life and I'd do the things I think I need to do to have a good life.
Here's what happens, though. I say, “Oh. Forget it. I'll never stop eating sugar really.”And then I dump five spoonfuls into my coffee. You have to believe in yourself that you can create a good life in order to do the life you want.
Why is that so hard? I don't know. I mean, I have a pretty good track record for getting what I want. And still: Plagued by the bread crumbs left from last night's dinner.
So I am starting dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Actually, I started it a while ago but I thought I would sound like a crackpot on the blog if I wrote about it. But it's so cool, that I have to tell you.
First, I'm going to tell you my version of DBT, and it's sort of cultish, to be honest, so if you want to get an official version, click here.
I know you didn't click, though; of course my version will be more interesting.
The idea is that you identify a behavior you want to change, and then, each time you don't do the change, you write down everything you were feeling while you were deciding to not do the change.
It looks something like this:
I am on a conference call.
I feel frustrated that things are not more clear cut with a right path for my company.
(You have to always use feeling words.)
I feel anxious that I can’t help think of a solution.
Then I overreact to feeling powerless and I worry that I’ll be a terrible parent and I’ll never fix it. And maybe I’m terrible at everything.
(DBT makes you more in touch with how you feel.)
I tell myself don't go into the kitchen because you will eat bread. I tell myself to just be with the feelings.
Then I go in the kitchen anyway. I tell myself I can eat just one piece.
I don’t. I eat ten.
I feel a strong love for Wonderbread.
Not now. Then.
Okay. So you do this a million times for DBT, and what you end up seeing is a pattern—just as you start having strong feelings, you do your vice so you avoid experiencing the feelings.
So the only way to know your feelings and understand who you really are is to not do the thing that separates you from the feelings. It's actually a lot more persuasive to me to tell myself I will never have self-knowledge if I eat the bread.
That’s why this is a particularly inspiring message for me: