Week 1 Days 9 – 11: A fight with my inner monologue.

Fat guy eating candyHad Big plans for exercising this week. I intended to walk the dogs everyday and hit up the gym to swim and work out afterwards. Long work days and big rainstorms delayed both.

The diet is still on track.  The net caloric intake is still below the daily threshold.  Keeping the calories down is probably more important at this phase anyway.  Don’t quote me on that, just justifying.

I had zero caffeine yesterday. I felt it today. I partook in a diet soda to offset the withdrawal. Not that I am trying to eliminate caffeine or diet soda. I am limiting my intake of soda though. Instead of several a day, I am aiming for one or two a week. I’m opting instead for coffee and water. I love good coffee. Keeping my water intake up is harder than I expected.

It is odd how one’s brain works against your best efforts. You would think you body would give you feedback like, “Stop feeding me sugar and eat less bread,”  or even “stuff me full of veggies.” Oh no, on my way back from a security conference yesterday, my body was, not surprisingly, shouting, “COFFEE, COFFEE, Coffee, cooooooooffffeeeeeeeeeee!!!!”

I could hear my internal monologue as if it were conversing with me from the passenger seat of my truck. “Go to Panera. Get Coffee. And get a salad. No screw that. Get a bread bowl filled with soup and for dessert a dozen crescents and a blueberry muffin. ” The more I ignored it, the more it became like a whiney child. ” I waaannnt cofffeeee. Now! Now! Now!”

The conference was in Cincinnati. That is about an hour away from my base of operations. I hadn’t had much breakfast. I skipped their lunch to talk with vendors and avoid the crowds. I was hungry. I had around 1950 calories to burn for the day too. I certainly had the power to indulge my inner monologue child. As I denied my hunger urges, my brain changed tactics. Rather than asking nicely or whining, it switched to an ego boosting method. “You’ve been so good. You deserve a treat. You know you won’t go over by much.”  Every exit we passed, I heard a voice say, “is there a Panera coming up” It was very specific. It knows I greatly prefer Panera’s coffee over Starbucks. It is easy for me to deny Starbuck’s.

It was a long drive home. Despite the random torrential downpours, the crazy drivers, and the associated accidents inevitable when the two meet, I made it home. I made food on my approved meal plan and drown my inner monologue in chicken and veggies.

I’m pretty sure my brain tried every trick it could, short of hallucinating me to Panera, to get what it craved. That is a solid lesson for me. I don’t think I have ever been so aware that my body and mind were trying to trick me. It didn’t need coffee and carbs. It craved them. It was desperate for them. I think it was valuable to experience that sensation. It is a weird feeling to be aware that I have trained my body for decades to want those things. Now it will actively work against me to obtain them.

It is a lesson that transcends just diet and exercise. It is a fundamental element of human psychology. Even when change is good, there will be active resistance to the required pain of achieving the goal.




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