Daily Archives: June 11, 2011

Self-Indulgence or Self-Delusion or Self-Control?

“I can’t ever have chocolate ice cream or brownies again!”

“You mean, no bread, ever?”

“What, no pasta! I can’t give up pasta.”

“But what about Thanksgiving or holy days?”

“My kids wouldn’t go along.”

“You can have treats, but just not too much. It’s calories in, calories out.”

These are a few of the things I have heard people say about going on a lower carb, no sugar eating plan. I have personally thought several of them myself.  People fear change, period. People fear personal change, that is, changes in how they behave, even more.  No doubt there is a biological basis for this fear, but we can look at our way of thinking and evaluate it for its merits or misconceptions or fears or anything else that might get in the way of our health and happiness.

What strikes me as interesting is that I’ve heard no one say the following when engaging me about my low carb diet:

“What, I wouldn’t be craving all the time?”

“You mean I can lose all this fat and get healthy?”

“I could cure my pre-diabetes/diabetes condition?”

“I could be lean and fit again?”

“My kids won’t struggle with mental and physical conditions brought on by excessive sugars?”

“You mean I will still enjoy holiday meals without all the starch and sugar?”

The great psychologist Albert Ellis who put rational thinking on the boards pointed out in his many books that the rational, logical way of thinking is often the last recourse for most people. We know many things on the rational level, yet emotions will trump them time and again. Think of anything you truly regret having done, and chances are very high that you knew, logically, that you should not do it, but you did anyway for other emotional or self-indulgent reasons.

Sometimes people don’t want to change at such a deep level they delude themselves that what they are doing is right, or acceptable, or that eventually it will lead them to some mythical promised land. These are people so attached or devoted to their behaviors that any change is unthinkable.

Never underestimate the mind’s capacity for rationalization.  Here are some classics:

This one won’t hurt.

I’ll start tomorrow.

A little will be okay.

I deserve it.

It will make me/him/her happy.

When it comes to addressing the truth of our relationship to food, especially sugars, artificial sweeteners, starchy carbs, we are in one state or another, and a sensible person—that is a person with the ability to see reality as it is—will recognize that state. Generally we are either being self-indulgent, self-deluded, or self-controlled.

Once you recognize that being self-indulgent or self-deluded is what is causing you to continue in self-destructive behaviors with food, the sooner you can get on the way to being a person who is self-controlled. To be in control of oneself is a great asset to all kinds of achievement in life. To be out of control is to be at the whim of any passing cookie or donut, and hardly a person who can say s/he is happy with their condition in life.

Yours in the pursuit of self-control,                                                                                      Sugarbaby