Of course, the world isn't this simple. Surely, discipline plays a role, but so too do a wealth of other factors. Genes, obviously. Environment, too. And I believe there's a combination of the two in play, where some people are genetically predisposed to be more vulnerable to processed foods than others.
But the discipline thing is bothering me. Is discipline a part of my problem? Could it be a part of the answer? Am I undisciplined?
|Coincidentally, there was a euphonium at the Brat Trot 5K today|
After college, I got a "real" job. While my field isn't one in which you'll get rich, I've moved my way up quickly and have been successful. Along the way, I've gotten two advanced degrees in my field, both while continuing to work. Heck, I've even written 286 posts on this blog without even a dangling preposition that I've been guilty of.
The point of the last two paragraphs isn't to brag, just to establish credibility that I'm not lazy. And as a general character trait, I'd say I'm not undisciplined.
All that being said, I have a much different track record when it comes to food and self-maintenance in general. I eat when I know I shouldn't all the time. I stay up too late. I don't exercise regularly. All of these are much better with the Pounds Off Playoff to help focus me, but each still challenge me on a regular basis.
So yes, while I don't consider being undisciplined to be a general character flaw of mine, it makes a lot of sense to work on developing my self-discipline muscle with regard to eating and other healthy behaviors.
My wife sometimes reminds me that I need to stick with things before I can see if they pay off or not, that they say takes 21 days to develop a habit. So I've identified three areas to work on my self-discipline, and I'll do so for the next three weeks:
1. Stick to a calorie limit, no matter how much I want to go past it in the moment. I'm going to use 2200, which is approximately what my I would be eating if I were at the "normal" weight for my height.
2. Go to bed by 11:00, or earlier if I'm tired. My biggest challenge in self-discipline may be in going to bed. Yet I'm increasingly aware that staying up beyond when I feel tired, even if I get seven hours of sleep, leaves me fatigued the next day, and vulnerable to overeating and skipping exercise.
3. Clear my work email inbox, rather than leaving in a mix of resolved and pending messages. You probably thought I was going to go with exercise, but my legs are still limited to non-impact activities after various nagging injuries. Instead, I can greatly reduce my stress level by staying on top of the tsunami that is work email, surfing the wave instead of feeling swallowed by it.
I'll let you know how it goes and what I'm learning. And hopefully I'll be inspired to write with some humor along the way. Discipline should be a means to a more productive, more enjoyable life, not just nose to the grindstone.
In other news, I did the Brot Trot 5K today with my boys. I mostly walked with my 9 year old, while my 12 year old ran ahead. It was 72 degrees in Seattle and not a cloud in the sky. Just a gorgeous day. My son and I kept an eye on fantasy football on my smartphone. I enjoyed the bonding. With my knee still not 100% after summer softball, I nearly passed on this race, but decided to do it to be with my boys (mom was working). I'm glad I did - it'll be a nice memory someday.