The Choice Is Clear

The key, for me, is eliminating any possibility of alternatives. That’s how I get things done. It’s not even that I need to choose the best alternative, or the most reasonable, or the most sane; it’s that there cannot be any other choice. Period.

That’s how I succeeded (and later failed) in my first round of dieting: if I had the mindset that there were foods that I just COULD NOT EAT, period, I was fine. There was no other alternative; it was protein and non-starchy veggies when I went out to eat. As soon as someone pointed out that I was choosing to eat that way, and it wasn’t a life-or-death dietary imperative, that’s when the weekend trips to the buffet started, and occasional slices of pizza. They wouldn’t kill me, after all, and it wasn’t like I did it all the time…

It’s not just dieting. In college, I was notorious for skipping class, especially before 10:30am. If there wasn’t an attendance policy (and sometimes even if there was), then class wasn’t mandatory unless there was a quiz or test. I could sleep in and not feel the academic pain, theoretically. That’s one reason why it took me seven years to get my four-year Bachelor’s degree.

Some things just need to be black-and-white for me. You do this. The end. You wash your dishes every night. You go to work on time every morning. You stay within your Weight Watchers Points limit for the day and the week. You brush your teeth every night and every morning.

You’d think these would be second nature. No one else seems to have problems doing these things like a normal adult. Except me.

I’ve mastered a very few of these sorts of things. I make my lunch the night before, because I know I won’t have time to do it in the morning. Therefore, there’s no option: I have to make my lunch before bed. Same with putting out my clothes — I can’t see my closet in the dark of morning, and Aaron will be sleeping, so I can’t turn on the light.

It’s time to apply that same sort of mindset to other responsibilities.

Maybe, after I master physical responsibilities, I can work on maintaining positive self-talk and attitudes this same way. There’s no other way to do it; anything else is toxic to me personally. Sounds kind of hippie-dippy, but it just might work.

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  1. This is one possible mind-set. Prior to my experiences with a certain 12 step program I believed that life is just that–Black and white. But there certainly is a lot of gray area. But the one area I can agree with where it has to be B&W is the diet. I killed mine once I started playing fast and loose with the rules. So here I am–fat again. ACK! Don’t attempt to achieve perfection. And most importantly allow yourself to make mistakes w/o critical judgments. Be gentle!