There is a joke (that I don’t agree with) that goes like this:
Did you laugh? Yeah. I don’t think it’s funny either.
Here’s another not-funny one:
Thing is, even if you’re not ready to accept the growing link between sugar/grains and mental disturbance, I have noticed readable changes in moods after eating stuff like that. So I don’t play with fire.
I was depressed for two years. I’ve only been back to “normal” for a few months, and I’m still learning what normal means after two years of ‘not being myself’. If I can keep that scarey stuff at arm’s length by paying attention to my food?
Have you noticed the similarity between the words discipline and disciple? Apparently they have the same root word, and point out what we all know on some level: when we truly believe something, it doesn’t take as much willpower.
Put another way, you have momentum added to whatever willpower you may choose to engage.
For example, I believe gluten chews up my brain and guts, and spits them on the wall for display.
Am I still tempted by each croissant sandwich I make for my kids’ treat?
Sometimes. A little. It smells good, has memories of yum tucked in every flaky fold, and is sitting in my hand.
This is when I have to engage the Bank Teller image. Or imagine my few months as a Wendy’s employee. I never would have taken ‘just a nibble’ before passing it to a customer.
But I can walk down the pasta isle without my mouth watering.
I grocery shop without impulsively grabbing things I can’t (or won’t) eat.
Or won’t feed my children.
And it’s because I believe in connections I’ve observed relating to digestion, hyperactivity, selective hearing and the like.
Yes, I can argue [some of] those connections away with the best of y’all rationalizers, but why bother? I’m more motivated, everyone’s eating better, and I get to avoid that corner of mom-guilt asking if this [fill-in-the-black] could have been avoided by giving them a different lunch.
Now, I hope I don’t go crazy over this. Sometimes there’s no other lunch to give them.
The morning I wrote this post Melody had PB & H taco shell roll-ups because I hadn’t been motivated to make bread recently. And She had a “breakfast cookie” with wheat flour in it, so she did have gluten in her lunch.
But I still have some better-choices I made: avoiding the peanut butter with hydrogenated oil (even though she prefers it), and the breakfast cookie (made in a big batch and frozen for long-term snackage) was made with soaked flour. Even though it, too was wheat. So I have some satisfaction.
I just like to know I’ve done all I can, and being not-depressed really helps in honestly assessing my limits (e.g. That I’ve done enough). Still learning as I go, yes.
Returning to motivation, having a positive (or negitive, come to think of it) reason that stays with you is more helpful than a reason that you get farther and farther away from.
The reason is one of proximity, and let me give you an example to help with that idea.
If your biggest motivation is to be not-fat, you will be getting farther and farther from your motivation as you lose weight. The urgency (and probably the motivation) will diminish as the “threat” gets fuzzy in your memory.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to weigh 136 pounds and be able to do at least one chin-up “someday” (that would be me), there is something to lean into. There is something that gets closer over time, and not further away.
It’s not enough for an every-day, daily grind (that takes a more focused approach), but it is trajectory, and as such is still very helpful.