Friday, December 16, 2011

Why are we all such shitty failures?

"I'll start exercising on monday", "I'll quit next month", "I'll eat healthier after Christmas", "I'll just do it this once", "I'll break up with him soon", "This pizza has spinach on it so it's healthy and that means I can eat the whole thing even though I'm a celiac and I'm lactose intolerant..."  Sound familiar at all?  I find it hard to believe that anyone on this planet has not been engaging in some kind of activity or behavior that is harmful to them, promises to stop, but never does.  Self destructive behavior can be a really subtle thing and it's hard to control.  Especially when it comes to your absolute favorite thing in the world, or the coping mechanism you've used since you were 5, or a habit that you don't *really* feel like changing even though you know you should. 

Lately I've been feeling like I'm treating my body with respect, by not ignoring any red flags (pain, stiffness, etc.) that it sends me.  I've been working hard on my alignment and have been seeing real results.  I've been patting myself on the back, going to bed thinking "yup, good work.  It's been a productive day for your health".  Then I start to dig a little deeper and realise that I'm actually a self-destructive crap sack just like everyone else.  My favorite vice: PIZZA.  A lot of research is being done on people who are sensitive to gluten, and the results are really scary.  For people with a sensitivity to gluten (moi), there is a 70% increased risk of premature death due to freaky diseases.  That's 70% less respect I give my body every time I eat gluteny garbage.  Not only is it a long term risk, it actually makes me feel really awful right away, like I've got a meal of thumbtacks moving through my GI tract.  So, why don't I just stop?  That's the question I've been trying to answer. 

I knew someone when I was younger who ended up getting cancer and having to go through some really rough chemotherapy.  The person was in university at the time.  Oddly enough, during treatment, they excelled in their classes, made most assignments on time, and did some really exceptional work.  Then the cancer went into remission, the treatments stopped, and so did the progress at school.  They worked harder and did better when they had a reason to fail.  The cancer was a safety net, a real reason for failure, so no one would fault them personally for anything.  Without the pressure to succeed, success was achieved.  When the responsibility for failure returned, the sucess was lost.  Fear of failure is a bitch, and it manifests in all sorts of ways. 

I've known about this gluten thing for YEARS now, but guess what I did last week?  I bought a thin crust spinach pizza and ate the whole thing.  Not over 2 or 3 meals, I mean I ate it all at once.  And it was so good, omg, I can't even tell you.  However, a few days before that I ate pizza over at family's house, because it was "just this once".  But it's never just this once.  That's why those excuses don't work.  EVER.  I think that because I've never had to control my diet, I really don't know if I can do it or not.  I KNOW I can do well with alignment, because being active and physically fit has always been an important and rewarding part of my life.  Now I'm faced with a new challenge that I don't know if I can overcome, so I've never really tried my best to do it.  I also don't enjoy saying no to pizza as much as I enjoy saying yes to a 2 hour walk.  I've finally decided to give it a real shot though, and I'm trying to respect my body 100% all the time (trying, no one's perfect).  

My new tip for success is to envision of the worst possible consequence of your stupid behavior, whatever it may be.  And dont' just say "oh, I could die".  That's too vague.  For me, the worst would be chemotherapy.  So every time I eye a chocolate chip cookie at Starbucks, every time I am tempted to duck into Pizza Pizza for a quick fix, I picture myself bony and frail, stuck in a hospital, hooked up to a bunch of shitty machines, knowing that the medication I'm taking is destroying my insides.  Grim, I know, but effective.  You never know when the backlash from your poor habits is gonna hit you. I assure you that when the backlash comes (and it will) you're gonna wish you could change the past.  It's really time to suck it up and stop whining about not being able to eat pizza.  I'm not a ninja turtle for god's sake.  Anyway, there's always thai food, right?

1 comment:

  1. hi, jillian!

    it's katja, fellow RES-er! we'll meet in february in WA, but until then, i just wanted to say i loved this post :-)
    i've been gluten (and dairy, ack!) free for over 9 years now, and it's a huge part of the work i do with my clients. if you're ever having a weak moment, please feel welcome to holler - it's just email, but i promise to give you lots of gluten-free cheerleading, if it would be helpful! (katja at commonwealthherbs dot com)
    also, i've been working on a series of posts on surviving the holidays with food allergies, with lots of recipes. you probably have a lot of recipes already, but in case you need a boost, here they are:

    good luck, and can't wait to meet you in person! i really enjoy your writing!