Lately, I've been reading the articles of Steve Pavlina
. I've found these particularly informative:
(series) Excellent. Start here.Six Months of Goal-Mongering
Inspiring. How Steve practices what he preaches.The Meaning of Life
(series) Not great, but interesting. I took out of it Steve's idea that since life seems to have no specific purpose that we can see, we should use a heuristic approach: specifically to evolve ourselves constantly. We might not know where we're going, but evolution is the right general direction.
30 Days to Success
Simple but motivating trick: think of a change you want to make and commit to it for 30 days. Afterwards, decide if you want to keep it.
One of the major goals in my life for the past 10 years or so has been to lose weight. Another, to feel less depressed. I've had more success with the depression than the weightloss, but I know eliminating sweets would help significantly on both fronts. I've read a number of books which claim a link between depression, compulsive overeating, alcoholism*, and sugar consumption and, although to be honest, most of them have the smell of quackery, what they argue does line up pretty neatly with some of my experiences. I swore off sweets successfully once for a number of months and during that time I dropped weight easily while experiencing fewer mood swings than usual.
I've had two major problems with eliminating sweets from my diet. First, it's hard to make myself do it. Second, it seems to increase binge-behavior when I do return to sweets. I hope this 30-day trick on my brain might avoid those problems.
So: I'm starting now. One a.m. August 19th, 2005. My before picture: I've been craving and eating a lot of sweets. I've experienced a lot of fatigue. I have dark circles under my eyes. I'm thirsty all the time and have trouble staying hydrated.** I weigh XXX.*** I find it difficult to keep my calories below 3000. I haven't binged recently except for a couple of incidents wolfing down 4-5 granola bars in a ten minute period. I'm going to count granola bars as sweets because my body seems to.
August has 31 days, so my time will be up at 1 a.m. on September 18th. Until then:
I will not eat sweets. This includes normal (i.e. not sugar-free) versions of candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, frozen yogurt, beer (except light beer), fruit juice, granola bars, sweet cereals, "nutrition" bars, etc. I will be wary of foods which suddenly become exciting to me, especially if they are sort of sweet or are full of crappy carbs. (In other words, I won't binge on pretzels or lightly-sweetened cereal.)
* Thankfully, alcohol's not my poison, but it's a recurring theme in the literature.
** Although these sound like diabetes symptoms, I don't have it. I checked.
*** I have records of what I weigh. You don't need to know. :)