Thursday, March 29, 2012

'Don't Do the Dew' Challenge 5

Last night, something interesting happened.

I had already had a MD earlier in the day, but the kids had just gone to bed and I really felt like having a nice cold soda. I went and got one from the fridge, and it was cold and incredibly appealing (i don't always have cold cans, but I had put one in the fridge for the next day). I had it out on the desk with the full intention of drinking it. But when it came to actually doing the deed, I ended up just looking at it, and with great difficulty, I felt compelled to ignore it, even though I had not set that intention. After many days of convincing myself that "too much" mountain dew was something I should resist, I felt the same compulsion without meaning to.

So, I think that's something great, and I'm looking forward to discovering more exciting results.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

'Don't Do the Dew' Challenge 4

So here I am. It's been some time now since I started. To fill in those who have not read my previous posts on "Don't do the Dew,'...

read my previous posts on 'Don't do the Dew.'



I'd like to share some thoughts I've had since an incident about a week ago. I was at home and I had neglected to take out my signature can of mountain dew for resisting purposes, and I had already drunk one in the late morning. So it is afternoon, and I think to myself, "Hey. Self. I kind of feel like having another Dew." Then my self gets a little uncomfortable and says, "But I thought we were limiting it to just one a day." And I think to myself. "Well, yeah, but we're not being strict about it. The point of the limit isn't to get all bogged down with rules and regulations. The whole point is to stay within reason and resist having more than one so that I don't lose control. But once in a while is alright." So my self said, "Fine. But you're not having any more than that, and you can't do this every day." "Of course," I said to myself and proceeded to grab and quickly devour another Dew.

The second Dew was DEWlicious (Wow, I'm in a strange mood right now.), and it didn't seem like quite enough to whet my appetite. It wasn't long before I craved a third, but of course my self was adamant, and thankfully I kept myself under control.

A couple of thoughts about this:

First, ever since that day, and especially in the couple of days following, it has been harder to resist opening a second can of Dew. As the old expression goes, "give them an inch..." Bending the rules just that little bit has done something to my sense of control. I'm still keeping it under control, but it's harder, because something went on mentally that changed things. Maybe not everyone is like this, but if I'm committed to a certain rule, I'm able to follow it to the letter. But once I justify bending the rules just a little, something shifts and I start to recognize the rule as malleable, bendable. It suddenly changes from something solid and firm to something a little wobbly and frail. Now this could either speak to the importance of respecting rules, or to the weakness of a human mind which cannot seem to do anything in a decent, healthy and good way without some strictures. Either we need an ethic which binds us to strict rules, or we need more strength of will. So which should I implement. If it is the latter, how can I really push myself to desire what is good and healthy instead of what is destructive or unhealthy? Because that's what it's about. It's not just about resisting bad things. It's about wanting good things, too.

Secondly, and this is interesting, I made this lapse in judgment at a time when I didn't have it right in front of me. I decided I wanted something without it being there. Every other time, when I've carried it with me and set it in front of me on the table, I've been able to resist, despite this pulling feeling borne of habit and want. But the can in front of me was also my reminder of resistance. This is something I think I like: for anyone wanting to resist something they can't seem to control, I truly believe now that a reminder is a good thing. If you are tempted by anything at all, it is easy to forget all the reasons why you shouldn't give in, but if you had a reminder right in front of you, then it can help to exert greater control over your mind. Why should you resist your temptation? If you don't know why, then I don't think you're ever going to get the strength to do it. If you forget the reasons, then you need a reminder, at least until it sinks in and your resistance has become a habit, and your goals and priorities have become ingrained in your mind.

Those are my thoughts over the past week or so.