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My commitment has already been challenged though! I'm going out to dinner tonight and purposely chose a restaurant (a burger place) where I knew I could eat a low carb meal - burger without the bun, some sort of salad instead of fries. Then when I went to their website they had this special BBQ menu which included all these great carby sides!!! I was torn. I thought maybe I should use one of my 2 "free" days to splurge. But then I thought about it some more and decided to stick with my original plan. Although, I will have the watermelon/feta salad from the special menu as my salad! And if I do pretty good the rest of the day, I actually will have plenty of room for some frozen yogurt.
One of the things I've always found helps is being aware of something. If you know there's going to be something hard to resist ahead of time, it helps you mentally prepare for it. So I'm glad I went to the website and saw it, instead of seeing it when I got the restaurant and was hungry!
Do you have a weight loss goal you want to aim for or just focus on the behaviors?
Welcome@Orchid and it's great to see you here @P-JK
Well the past two days were my biggest challenge of the month -- a brief holiday in Boston with an old friend. She had a party on her rooftop patio to watch the fireworks and it was the best time I've ever had watching fireworks. For one, Boston's budget for fireworks must be enormous, because the show was fabulous and probably lasted 25 minutes. Secondly, seeing it from a friend's private rooftop patio is the best thing ever, because of the lack of crowds. I was very well behaved at the party, all things considered. I brought some super low carb cremant (cremant is champagne made in a county of France other than Champagne so can't legally be called champagne, but it's the same dang thing -- and by low carb I mean extra-brut or zero-dosage -- they don't add any sugar to the secondary fermentation, so it's lower in carbs and sugar than regular brut champagne, which is lower in carbs and sugar than other types of wine). I had eaten very low carb during the day, and I was careful with my choices at the party (swordfish, greek salad, blue cheese with only 1 fresh fig, etc)with my worst indulgence being my favorite lentil salad with feta. Today was going to be naughty as well, because my son wanted fried clams. I figured life is for living, called today a 125g day and had a reasonably small portion of fish fry lunch. Breakfast and dinner are super low carb and on track (I'm making the "crack slaw" from the dietdoctor.com site, indian flavor). So I'm calling that well planned, successful and behaving, because I have a long list of things I did NOT do. I did not get a croissant at Starbucks this morning, my husband and I shared an order of the sous vide bacon egg bites with my husband (4.5g carbs). I did not have pie at the party, or the sugared spiced nuts, or the watermelon, or the sweet cocktails, or the veggie burger (that looked amazing). I did not order onion rings to go with the fish fry.
I think I'm on track to earning my star for the week.
Can I be super nitpicky? My goal for the challenge is to stick to lower carb eating. The 5lbs is ancillary - it's the 5th star, but 4 of the stars will be earned by behaving and sticking to the plan. It's more of an afterthought than a goal of the challenge. Thanks!!
Willpower is not enough, it is holding you back, it sucks, preventing you from creating the right conditions. If you need willpower, there is an internal conflict: 1. You don’t know what you want and are thus internally conflicted, 2. You haven’t committed to something and created the conditions that facilitate your commitment. Willpower is like a muscle, it depletes with use
Let’s start with what I really like: the muscle metaphor. Yes it depletes, you can not rely on it the entire day and not on every day. For me that is the best argument in favour of intermitted fasting: be it for two days a week (not every day) or for part of the day (eating window). Contrary to most ‘diets’ intermitted fasting concentrates the use of willpower in certain moments in time, enabling to relax and ‘refill’ at other moments.
The muscle metaphor however also means that it is very useful (who would not like to have and use muscles) and that it can be trained. As most of us experience: we can get better in using willpower (and were trained as children), just as athletes can improve their muscles to provide more power and improve endurance. That doesn’t mean there is no depletion: trained athletes get exhausted too, it just takes longer.
On the point of getting committed by creating the conditions that enable you to do away with (internal) conflict. I would say creating conditions will help, but it’s a bit over optimistic/simplistic to expect you to be able to create the perfect environment that will solve all conflict. We have a name for such an environment and it is called ‘paradise’, or ‘heaven’. We all know we will not get there in this lifetime (and after that it might depend on whether you lived according to the right rules if they will let you in …). Unfortunately the human condition is such that we live in conflicting conditions and have internal needs that create some level of conflict. Hence we have to make choices (decisions), consider trade-offs and ‘pay our money by doing so’. Sorry, there’s no free lunch. Fortunately we have our (hopefully trained) willpower to help us make some right decisions in many cases. That enables us to relax and ‘turn the other way’ in some others.
As indicated above: it does help to change the environment to your benefit where possible. Commitment will help (but somehow I think commitment could be depleted as well…). For me there is a third way to make decisions more easy to take and that is by creating routines that reduce the number of occasions where you have to take decisions. If you turn decisions (for instance on what to eat on a fast day) into a routine, than there is not much of a decision left (and you need to rely less on willpower). For me breakfast and lunch at a fastday are always the same: two very light ‘Swedish style’ crackers in the morning and a cup of tea and one slice of bread and tea for lunch. That’s it and having a fastday contains just that (and a small dinner). No real decisions to make, no snacks in between, just the decision to make that day a fastday. You might call that commitment, or changing the environment, but I think it is slightly different (and it works for me). And if I have learned one thing from this forum it is that humans are so different that there is never one golden rule (such as ‘willpower sucks’) that works for everyone in all circumstance (so we have to find our own way of making the right decisions and making them more easy to take).
P-JK wrote: For me there is a third way to make decisions more easy to take and that is by creating routines that reduce the number of occasions where you have to take decisions. If you turn decisions (for instance on what to eat on a fast day) into a routine, than there is not much of a decision left (and you need to rely less on willpower).
I totally agree with this. We made lifetimes of bad habits and bad routines leading to overeating. Now we're forging new ones. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. This is why I'm using this challenge period to challenge myself to live a significantly reduced carb life. I want to eventually maintain at a lower carb range (like 100-150 per day), so if I can practice for a month with some 60g days interspersed in 125g days, I think I'll be setting myself up for an easier time maintaining.
@P-JK - thank you for your thoughts on the article. I agree with you. I was kind of thinking the same things. For example, while I can't control what foods get brought to school, I can make sure I have eaten a decent lunch and have healthy snacks on hand, so I don't need SO much willpower to resist them!
I peeked at the scale this morning and like what I saw. But I don't want to get too excited because I still have 4 days before my official WI. I have to say though, one of the things I'm really happy about is that I've stuck to my eating window very well. Normally, this is very hard for me over summer vacation, because I'm home with lots of time and and food at my disposal and not as busy as I am when I am teaching. But I've done very well with it. I am exercising in the morning and then sometimes running some errands or whatever and that helps too! I think maybe I've done a good job of building up that habit!
Anyway, we've got a good group in this month's challenge so far. Good luck everyone!
Had a great fast yesterday, nothing but coffee and broth all day. I added a little ginger and lemon to the broth and it was delicious! Or maybe I just thought it was delicious because I was starving! Anyway, the scale was good to me today, but I know most of that is just water from the first big fast. I am off from work now so that helps.
I've been thinking about the article, it makes a lot of sense. The idea that when we commit the decision is already made. I think that is what makes fasting work, there aren't a lot of decisions on a fast day. When I did WW, I was always bargaining with myself, a bite of this, a half point for that. On a fast day, the decision is made!
Good luck to everyone!
cblasz wrote: Definitely not too late NYC!! I'm so sorry about your loss. You are right, you definitely can't worry about food at a time like that.
Do you have a weight loss goal you want to aim for or just focus on the behaviors?
@nycnyc2013 - you might've missed this before. I'm just checking to make sure I have your goal right!
Yes, I'd like to add that I want to go below 180 lbs.
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