Today is the 4th day of this whole experiment and I’d definitely say it’s the hardest one. Some things are going pretty well: brought meals, went to boot camp, being reasonably mindful, etc. Last night I went out to dinner for the first time and would like to decrease the level of panic I had about whether the vinaigrette had added sugars or not. I made the best choice I could. I mostly eat food I cook and I’m still going to eat out on occasion. I officially free myself from the burden of worrying about a single serving of salad dressing. Namaste.
Today has been stressful, though. And observing myself wanting to eat to not deal with it, specifically a craving for sugar, has been interesting from a “wow, that’s interesting to notice” and “hmm…my body must realize I haven’t given it crap in a little while” way. At the very same time, my brain is freaking out and telling me this little “experiment” is stupid. I’ve learned that habits are hardest to form early on. A good friend shared an article about Extinction Burst that was particularly helpful around this. You can also take a look, if you’re interested.
The gist (from http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/07/extinction-burst/)
The Misconception: If you stop engaging in a bad habit, the habit will gradually diminish until it disappears from your life.
The Truth: Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your old ways.
So for a couple of hours, I’ve done nothing, meaning I’ve eaten nothing. But I’ve wanted to. But I’m decidedly not “hungry hungry”. Just mind hungry. Then another good friend told me that I should be adding, rather than depriving myself. If I really want to eat, then eat. Just don’t do as much damage and don’t break my promise to myself. So I’m taking a small break, eating carrots, snap peas and raw almonds and hoping this whole thing passes soon. Sitting with feelings is annoying. But I guess that’s the point of this experiment, in a way, right? To figure out what happens when I take away my coping mechanisms?
Grumble. Until other day!
Edit: Writing about it helped. Didn’t even finish my snack. New coping mechanism forming? Stay tuned!