The Holiday Effect

I just got a text message from my mom:

Can u get back by 6? I think dad wants to go to Los cucos

I was just talking about lapses in willpower caused by friends. But really it’s not just friends - it’s family as well. And this is so natural during the holiday season. I’ll call it the Holiday Effect.

It’s almost like the universe just provided me with a perfect opportunity to practice a protocol to handle this.

There’s nothing wrong with Mexican - it can be great as a high carb day. But Mexican is my kryptonite. I want nachos and flour tortillas. I have so little discipline right now.

But I know how to deal with it in theory. Using my meditations I take several steps back from the problem, and I’m also using blogging to step back. Implementation intention and mental contrasting are techniques that work. I can do this. So….

Implementation Intention:
When I go to Los Cucos tonight I will drink water instead of reaching for chips.

When I go to Los Cucos tonight I will order fajitas or something meat and veggie intensive and tell the waiter I don’t want any tortillas.

Mental Contrasting:
In nailing my eating I get to lose weight. I can lose fat. I can gain the body I need in order to do other things - like breakdancing and martial arts and more advanced bodyweight exercises like pullups and enjoying travel and take advantage of new experiences that come with that - surfing, hiking, climbing. I will look and feel great, which will increase my confidence so that I can take that energy and invest it in everything else.

I can move on from the eating habit instead of floundering. I can nail it, I can move on, and master all the other skills I need to have the life of my dreams, including writing a book on all this - techniques that will actually help other people improve in their life when it comes to fitness, but also in habit formation in general. And I will be the one who has broken through this skill that humans have yet to master.

Things stopping me: I’m hungry. When I’m hungry my discipline plummets. I love Mexican food. I will think to myself - well, I messed up the last two days, so why not forget this for today and pick it up another day?But I must know that in that path lies the destruction of this entire project. I fear this - I fear falling back into failure, and it’s hilarious because this isn’t as hard as my depression. I know that I can summon up willpower through my meditative techniques. I fear that I will just flounder on in fixing my body, and somehow that fear of moving on makes my flounder on, because I can be secure in knowing that the world is out to get me. Because if it’s out to get me than I have an excuse to not be my best.

Floundering is what everyone does in this - how many people do I know who have learned how to eat right and keep doing it for years at a time, such that it becomes a part of who they are? This is the power of real transformation, and not just floating in these concepts without any real lasting self change. And I’m afraid of being that non-changing person.

These tests always come when you’re at your weakest. But it’s a fantastic opportunity and challenge to show excellence - it’s like jumping ahead of the curve instead of just incrementally advancing. It’s a chance to gain major points if this were a game.

I’ll use this as an experiment, and we’ll see how it goes afterwards.