Monday, May 2, 2016

The angel and devil on my shoulders

We had to go to a swim-team-related banquet last night, and even though it would have been relatively easy to stay close to the AltShift plan, I made some poor choices regarding sugar. It started when I accepted some lemonade (I was starving, dinner was still 45 minutes away, and I reasoned that it had life-sustaining calories) and ended with…oh, just trust me when I say it ended badly. I had not had that much sugar in quite a while, and I felt pretty awful a couple of hours later and even more awful the next day (i.e., now).

It’s not really such a mystery to me why I might do this, but here’s my question: How can I learn to associate this awful feeling with sugar so that it no longer appeals to me? How do I burn this into my brain so I can stop using willpower to stay away from the stuff?

It occurs to me that I have the reverse problem, too, in that going for a walk and doing yoga both leave me feeling utterly fantastic, and yet sometimes—often—I have to force myself to do them. I have literally never regretted deciding to do yoga, and yet it’s still not half as appealing as a cookie.

I sort of feel like the whole point of meditation is to help you make these angel-on-your-shoulder choices; maybe I need to up my game.


  1. Two things:

    1. This []. Because it is so SO awesome.


    2. Associations, for me, don't work. I will battle it to the death. For me, it's about not even realizing I'm moving toward (or in the case of sugar, away) the end goal. I fit it (ie walking/yoga) right into my standard easy-peasy routine. I eat breakfast. I go to the bathroom. I turn on my studio heat. I do my weights. I get dressed. I go into the studio. Oh! look weights DONE! I used to have my weights outside. Could I make myself take that 30 second trip out to do my weights? Uhm. Nope. So I moved'em into my bedroom. and I've been good as gold for months.

    Same deal re: sugar. (you know this is coming, right?) the reason you succumbed was because you hadn't anticipated/prepared for having nothing to eat. Maybe before you head out to another swim meet, stuff every pocket with acceptable snacks?

    Side step the problem and you eliminate the need for associations.
    Win-Win I'd say!

    Good luck! (and I hope you feel desugared soon!)

  2. As you probably know, sugar, like alcohol, stimulates that super addictive pleasure center in your brain. I believe the whole family is "sugarholic", a trait that seems to come from Big Jim, but Joan has a sweet tooth too. Sugar offers both physical and psychological pleasure/comfort and the brain begs for more, being human, we give in. As for exercise, although the result at the end is exhilarating, humans don't like discomfort and we know that exercise is not comfortable. Dang we're a complicated organism.