Day 1690 & New Negative Formulation for Eating

Day 1690 Record Keeping
Day 1662 Fixed Meditation (45 min = 15 min metta, 15 min selfing, 15 min vipassana)
Day 1536 Writing (DID NOT DO)
Day 1075 Exercise (45 min = 15 min cycling, 15 min walking, 15 min elliptical)

Day 816 Mobility/Stretching (15 min back & back erector smash, hip stretch)
Day 126 Flossing (All teeth)
Day 120 Monday Groceries

Ok sleep. Lots of errands in the morning

New Negative Formulation for Eating

Today I went to the store to do groceries, felt depleted, and when Lydia suggested we stop and get tacos, I just didn’t have the will to say no. We’re pretty good at eating right during the week if we are at home, but during the weekends or when we’re out, we are pretty lax at controlling our urges.

I am currently doing a 90 day no beer challenge (which I intend to write more about later). The project involves counting the number of times urges arise - it uses mindfulness, click training, ritual, and curiosity together to map out the terrain of removing an urge. It’s been going flawlessly, but yesterday I opened the fridge, and right in front of me at the end of the day was a beer. I had almost gotten through the entire day without an urge, but at the very end I was smacked with a strong urge to drink a beer.

I got pissed. I’m close to the end of my 90 days, and I just want the urges to be gone (more to get the full map of the fading of the habit than anything else). However today, upon recalling the scene, I realized that at no point was it possible that I’d actually drink that beer.

That’s amazing.

But what caused that assumption of perfect behavior? I think a big part of the construction of the challenge was the focus on one level further off from the behavior; Instead I’m focusing on urges.

Drawing a frame and distancing oneself from situations is a big part of control in therapy - from anger to food. Even if it’s just an imagined visualization, the distancing pushes you on the outside of the forceful urges that have you acting before thinking. And that got me thinking - why couldn’t I apply this whole method to clean up my eating and take it to the next level?

I usually construct the behavior of eating as “eat right” - and so I’ve initiated a habit, either of doing just or making a weekly meal prep. But in this case it’s more of “choose to eat right and not eat bad”. That’s closer to what click training does - you train an animal to make the right decision rather than do the bad thing. And curiosity holds the line until you get a full topography of the loss of a bad habit, resulting in a locked in behavior.

I still think that having a day where I get all my groceries is a good thing. I also still think having a day where I randomize my dinners is good. It forces a state of affairs where I don’t think at all about my eating choices during most of the week. But that extra bit - the tricky bit where you’re at a restaurant with a friend and you say, screw it, I’m out anyway, why not order a pizza - that’s hard. If anything, it’s more similar to vices you want to get rid of, like smoking, or cutting out beer.