As the title of today’s post has suggested, I am now entering the more difficult part of this journey.
I’m going to complain, now – just a little bit.
The headache arrived this afternoon. Mild, but definitely sticking around. Threatening worse. And it didn’t come alone – it brought along some serious fatigue. I’ve been yawning since lunch, and more concerning, I now feel like I am walking through Jell-O. I was wiped out by a 5-minute walk to a friend’s house this evening. I feel slow, dull, and heavy.
Of course, I’ve been heavy for a while. I’ve been gaining steadily for the last 4 months. But I don’t notice it so much, when I’m eating. The extra food provides a compensatory boost of energy that lets me delude myself about my true weight. Now that my food is restricted, my blood isn’t flooded with sugar, and my body has to dip into its fat stores. And it doesn’t like it.
It could be worse.
My body is not mad, yet. Not hitting me with cravings, or even hunger. It’s just kind of sad and wimpy. It wants me to curl up in bed and rest. Which I will, soon. I’m hoping that will pacify it, for now.
I’m still doing pretty good, mentally. No wavering. No second thoughts – ok, maybe a few, fleeting thoughts, but nothing serious. Nothing I was ever in any danger of acting on. I’m sticking to this.
It could be better, too.
I’m still trying to figure out how to solidify this commitment. It feels strong right now, but I don’t know that it’s become a part of my identity, quite yet. I think I want it to. But maybe that’s the problem right there – I think it. I don’t know it. There’s a little room for doubt. And if I get hungry enough, my devious and addicted brain will exploit that doubt for all it’s worth. My success against its trickery is far from assured.
This is not something I can leave to chance. I need to get this right.
The Internal Debate
SPT talks a lot about automaticity. The things we do consistently, we can eventually perform almost without thinking. Without having to really make a decision, thus not drawing on our limited supply of willpower. But she also thinks that as we develop these habits, they slowly begin to form our identity. We see ourselves doing these things, and over time, we convince ourselves that this is who we are.
That makes sense to me. Seeing is believing. And I think it might be part of the answer. If you want to build trust with someone, you have to prove yourself trustworthy. You can’t just demand trust out of thin air. Why wouldn’t it be the same within ourselves? Maybe instead of forcing myself to abruptly adopt a new identity, I can just grow into it, gradually.
Admittedly, the concept of having to convince myself of anything is a little strange. We tend to think of ourselves as a single entity – and in a way, that is true. But SPT gives some pretty strong evidence in her book that our minds, if not our true selves, are made up of separate pieces and processes that only work together as one because they are so interconnected. That if we sever those connections, the different parts of our brain make their own decisions, initiate independent actions, and manifest their own interpretations of reality. Given how much I argue with myself – and lose – I’m certainly willing to entertain that hypothesis. Still, it conjures up images of multiple personalities, independent actors inside me who are not really me. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that.
But here I am. I’m still listening to SPT, because nothing else has ever come close to explaining my food issues as well as the proposals in BLE. And no other way of eating has ever given me this kind of peace. I liked the person I was, when I lived this way. And I’m going to get there again.