Sometimes, when I talk about this “food challenge,” people get the impression that I have a great deal of will power.
Anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows I have practically no tolerance for discomfort of any kind. And breaking habits is uncomfortable.
I was talking to someone the other day and explaining how a big part of “changing the way I eat” has had to do with changing when, where and why I eat – maybe even more than “what” I eat. Early on, I made a pact with myself that I would try and only eat when I was actually hungry. And I would eat however much I wanted at that time, until I felt satisfied.
When I have something to write and am not sure how to attack it, my first response is to go eat something. When I go out and run an errand, as soon as I return home I go to the kitchen and eat something. Even if I’d just eaten 15 minutes before. When I have to make order out of chaos on my desk, I eat something first. I’m rarely ever hungry during these times. It’s more of a habit – something I do to soothe myself, something I do to transition to the next thing. Those were the habits I broke early in this challenge – and they were as hard (if not harder) than giving up sugar. Partly, because I was forced to figure out other ways to soothe myself. Or (far worse) exist in a state of unsoothiness. (Yes, I just made up that word. But, I’m pretty sure I’m going to start using it often.)
I now do not eat if I’m not hungry. Even if I’m at a party, or out to dinner. I need to be hungry to eat. That’s the deal I made with myself. It may seem completely insane from the outside looking in, but to me, it feels like the first sane way I’ve approached food in my entire life.
There aren’t that many weeks to go on this challenge. If you have habits you need to break, use this challenge and the support here to try breaking them. It takes a long time (some people estimate 3 months, others 6 months) to develop a new habit, but certainly the early weeks are the hardest.
I don’t give food a second thought on this challenges, but the lifestyle challenges – decluttering, getting more sleep, stretching – are things I still need to develop habits around. Here, I get a taste of what my life could be like if I get more sleep for a week, and I can decide if it’s worth the effort to make that a priority. You can too.
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