Weight Therapy #8: Motivation

There is a joke (that I don’t agree with) that goes like this:

Heart Attack on a Plate!
(Image courtesy of arrowp via stock.xchng)

Did you laugh? Yeah. I don’t think it’s funny either.

Here’s another not-funny one:

Depression in a Box!
(Image courtesy of allergyfre via stock.xchg)

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?

I’m motivated.

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.

Not pretty.

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.

7 thoughts on “Weight Therapy #8: Motivation

  1. I applaud your food choices! (I’m visiting because you dropped a line on my blog.)

    A while ago I consumed a large amount of white flour and processed sugar, and I stopped sleeping. Zero. I’d lay awake all night long. I’d doze, and I’d feel something try to switch over in my brain, but the switch was broken. The sleep-train would depart without me.

    So I did the research. Sleep is a complex series of chemicals, hormones and vitamins. But it comes down to if you can’t absorb your vitamins, no amount of sleeping drugs will help you. (Sugar is an excellent absorption inhibitor.) So I took a mammoth amount of probiotic to get my stomach back in balance. And I slept like the dead that night.

    I’ve been a believer in the hyper-glycemic diet ever since. I feel best when I’m eating high fat, high protein, low carb. (I still eat some flour, along with brown rice and oatmeal, but I try to keep it to a minimum.) Women desperately need fat in our diets for our hormones to work (good saturated animal fats, not that fake processed stuff).

    Yikes, this has kind of been a long comment. Sorry about that! Again, I applaud your diet choices!

  2. It is so encouraging to meet other people with similar convictions (even when it’s “only” about food)!

    Actually, food is such a huge part of our lives I think we shoot ourselves in the foot trying to make it less than it is.

    Thanks for stopping by, Kessie. :)

  3. Pingback: Talking About Feelings | Untangling Tales

  4. Physical and mental health are very much linked. The world always looks like a horrible place when my blood sugar is low!

    But make sure you don’t go overboard. When I was in my teens, I got caught up in punishing diets that quickly escalated to anorexia–which lead to clinical depression. Too many donuts can put you down in the dumps, but eating nothing but spinach and fat-free low-carb everything can do the same thing! It took a move halfway across the country and many years of growth to feel comfortable in my own skin again. It took even longer to see food reasonably again–not as a “forbidden” enemy that will make me gain weight, but as something to enjoy and to fuel my busy life.

  5. Low-fat and low-carb is incredibly punishing. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    Right now my “reasonable” idea of food is acknowledging that my body does better with some food-types than others.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Amy, it’s Aletha Breckenridge (used to be Bennett!). Don’t know if you remember me? Do you have a resource (whether book or website) you could point me to to learn about how gluten and/or sugar affects mental health and depression? I’m interested in learning more. Hope you and J are well. Loved seeing Teena’s pictures of your kids visiting over the summer. Blessings.

  7. I don’t have a specific (single) resource to point you at for all my reasonings.

    My conclusions come from three years of reading very broadly about brain function, diet, food sensitivities, mental illness (including depression, ADD, BiPolar, etc.) and addiction.

    Sounds like a great book subject for someone who enjoys research ;)

    You can start with “The UltraMind Solution” if you want just a single title. That’s got a lot of targeted information that will jack your education way above the average human’s in this area.

    (Just re-read the subtitle, and it looks like a pretty targeted example of what you’re looking for. Good. I don’t like research. Really didn’t want to right that book.)

    If you want info on starting a gluten-free lifestyle, I’ve got a few introductory posts on the family blog at helmericks.net. Top left of the menu bar.

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