Tuesday, July 15, 2008

conTemplative Tuesdays

What's the deal?

Why is it that sometimes you can quit something and it "sticks," or is relatively easy, and other times it is incredibly hard and you end up "falling off the wagon" relatively quickly? I've experienced both quite a few times. I've analyzed the circumstances, the condition of my heart and mind, my intentions, etc. and yet I don't quite see why I sometimes have great success and I sometimes fail almost immediately.

Quitting ice cream is not something new to me. Quitting JUST ice cream is, but I've done it before. I still have ice cream in the freezer. I couldn't see myself throwing out perfectly good food just because I was rejecting it. My hubby complains if there isn't any around, though he hasn't had any since I stopped! *Fine balance there. At least he has the choice!*

And it's not like I thought about it long and hard, planned for it in advance, etc. I just did it. I've WANTED to do it in the past, DONE it, and made it about 8 hours before breaking down and stopping for a pint (or more) at the corner store.

So what's different this time? That I DIDN'T plan?

That I told myself every afternoon for the last week leading up to it that I had to do something about it (but not made plans) because it made me feel so blah and icky after?

Was it because I WANTED to change my habit? Was it because I was READY to change my habit? Was it because I RECOGNIZED that it was a habit?

Was it because I recognized the root of the problem?

See, when I'm out on my lunch break, I'll be driving back to work or checking my watch, sitting in the parking lot or on the lawn, and suddenly I'll have this desperate thought...do I have any food at work? What if I get hungry? Will I be trapped at work with no way of getting to food?
I think this desperation goes back to two factors...

Growing up we were pretty poor. I didn't know any better, so it wasn't a big deal. But I suspect that I was probably not a stranger to hunger and that may be a factor in me being very cautions and aware of my state of hunger or fullness. In fact, just thinking about going back to work in the afternoon without any food in store for me there causes me to feel hunger! (Then when I get to the store, I naturally move to the freezer and get the same brand and flavor almost every time! Did someone mention the word habit?)

A few years ago, my hubby and I were driving north to a very rural area of New England. We'd stopped for dinner and he wanted to grab a coffee at the Dunkin Donuts before we got back on the highway. It was pretty much the last exit on the highway that we could count on the stores still being open so late at night; and as we stood in line I began thinking about that fact. Now mind you, I'd just had dinner. I had a full stomach (presumably). But I began to think desperately - what if I get hungry along the way? *sigh*

I bought a donut. I didn't eat it, but just having it there gave me the security that I wouldn't go hungry. Hmm.

The second factor is that I have a suspicion that I'm hypoglycemic. When I get truly over-hungry, I get shaky, dizzy, grouchy and a little bit weak. I don't faint. I've not yet fainted once in my entire life. I'm not that girl! But because of this, I like to have a little something in my purse, in the fridge, at my desk, etc. You get the picture.

I guess it doesn't matter as much WHY it's working, but THAT it's working this time.

Until I want to duplicate the success! LOL


As I read back through this entry, a few words pop out at me...

"...I was rejecting it." (me, rejecting food. Like it has feelings!)
habit, recognition, root, desperate thought, trapped, just thinking about...[it] makes me feel hunger, naturally, security.

Definitely something to contemplate.

It kind of reminds me of Bret Favre and (unrelated) a former drug addict.

People say - here we go again, Favre's back. How many times is he going to come back out of retirement?!

I never really believed he'd stay in retirement this second time. (I confess, I wasn't really paying attention the first time.) When asked why, I explain - he was visibly upset, you could tell it was really hard on him, it was tearing him apart having to leave the sport as an active player. In contrast, I recall the recent retirement of Rusty Wallace from the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. He was ready. He was looking forward to retirement, he felt good about his career and also felt good about retiring. Now take Favre. To me, it seemed obvious that he didn't feel good about retiring. He didn't seem ready.

The other thing this reminds me of is a TV drama I watched ages ago. I think it was Judging Amy. Her brother (I think) had been an addict and he'd gone through rehab and gotten clean. He had a roommate who found his drug of choice and a needle in his nightstand. His roommate was understandably upset until he explained why it was there.

In his perspective, it was easier to walk away from the drug with it not around, but it gave him a sense of accomplishment to be able to CHOOSE not to use it every day.


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