Friday, August 17
A Hot Fudge Sundae Life
Many of us have such contrary lives, working hard at jobs we can do but would not chose to do if we had such a choice. We work long hours, commute hard and then hope to spend those few precious hours of choice remaining at the end of the day in some sort of peace with our loved ones.
How easy it is then to let habit and thought get in the way of diet and lifestyle and for self- sabotage to creep in and spoil our day. That insidious thought that says we deserve a little something to make it better. And it goes something like this: walking to work, downhill, half an hour’s brisk walking, and it’s cold, barely light and tiring and that before the work day has even started. Walking now past the shops and the bakers has it’s light on, it’s busy inside: hustle and bustle, laughter. And the smell of buns is good. It brings with it a sense of love and comfort; bright, pretty icing colours and a moment of glory beckons as we eat the rich carrot cake and thick creamy icing, the sense of pleasure hurtling us toward oblivion. We are checking out of our lives.
Like cigarette smokers and alcoholics know, this is addiction, likening the pleasure sequence generated eating fat with sugar as akin to the pleasure sense triggered by opiate abuse or cocaine addiction: and that is what you are up against particularly if the pattern of behaviour is entrenched. But talk to anyone with food addiction and you will find that it is never about the food, it never is about the food.
For now, we are back outside that baker’s shop window and in that single moment we have a choice. Buy it or not? Walk past the window or go in? And don’t think that willpower will get you through, willpower is an easily exhausted muscle that can use up its energy in simply walking to work downhill, going somewhere you don’t want to be, moving against your will. So how do we get past this?
Let’s rewind this scene to early morning rising and try this. When you rise make sure you eat breakfast within thirty minutes of exiting bed and make sure that your breakfast has at least 50–70 g of protein and fat and throw in some eggs for good measure. You will know if you have the balance right later when you sail through work that morning not giving food a second thought. If you are hungry again adjust your food on rising and try again.
And now when you walk past the bakers this morning, it’s easier because your tummy is satisfied with breakfast and the hunger has gone. You become focused, pausing instead to look at the holiday destinations in Thompson’s window and noting this year they just might be in budget and the dress at Dorothy Perkins that brings with it the promise of going out tonight and the job adverts in the Post office window bringing with them the promise of change. Lose that moment of short term gratification and you are looking ahead now and at possibilities and that's the difference. Don't compromise. Create a way of eating that stops the cravings and you are mostly home. It's the old 80/20 rule. Get your body and it's mechanical processes working for you and it is everything else becomes much simpler, freeing you to find out what you want.
"We don't want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes." - Geneen Roth