Last week, I posted about my lack of food discipline. I’m pretty good at restraint. Except for food. And I use “food” in the loosest of terms:
One comment from The Graying Saver got me thinking:
Halloween and Thanksgiving will be back, but if you cultivate discipline you will forever be free from having to climb the 20 pound hill.
More on that in a moment.
To Gift Or Not To Gift…
First, let’s get to last week’s question. Mrs. 1500 asked about gift practices. We don’t need anything, but some folks around us are insistent on giving gifts. In some cases, the practice has devolved into a gift card exchange where the recipients name the stores they shop at. It’s hollow and forced. It makes me want to throw up. And I’ve been unable to avoid it.
Here is what you had to say:
Reader Wade’s sentiments echo mine exactly:
I cannot wrap my head around adults giving gifts to other adults. Sending each other lists. Specifying colors and exact items.
I am fine with gifts for kids. I get it. Once you hit 21, the gifts should end. I am not popular for my opinions. I even said if you have to get me something to make you feel better, make it edible or drinkable and under $10.
I went to local distilleries and got things for friends. I figure if they want to keep the bottle, that’s fine, otherwise it’s a consumable gift.
I like the idea of consumable stuff. **cough, cough, beer**
You can also agree to make a group donation to a worthy cause.
This is what we’ve done. Anyone who wishes to give us a gift can donate to a charity.
I like Mr. Crazy Kicks’ idea:
Finally one year we decided everyone was spending too much and ending up with a lot of stuff to donate/return. We came together and made a rule that any gifts need to be homemade. Our gifts went from being $100 gift certificates to stuff like pickled peppers from our garden.
Finally, Reader Ann had a dissenting opinion:
This whole thread is hard for me to read. One of my ‘love languages’ is giving gifts. I want the recipient to see the gift and that will let them know two things — that I know who they are and that I love them. I show that I know who they are because I’ve been listening to them and know what their hobbies are, what interests them, what they’d like, what they don’t like.
Thinking more about gift giving, I don’t disagree with the practice completely. If I see something that I know will be appreciated or is needed, I buy it regardless of the day. However, we’re all so fortunate, I find this to be exceedingly difficult. If I want something, I just buy it. Same goes for most around me.
If I had it my way, we’d all throw in a certain amount of dollars and take a nice vacation together. The greatest gift you can give me is your time. Or a Tesla. I wouldn’t turn down a Model 3.
I have a difficult time when it comes to food. Especially stuff like this:
On Sunday, I went to Costco and made the mistake of putting this in the cart (yes, I’m one of those 4 strange people who actually like fruitcake):
I went home and googled the calories in this sucka. Do you want to chance a guess?
Wait for it…
Here it is:
What the hell do I do with it now? Maybe I’ll leave it in a field for the buzzards. Do buzzards life fruitcake?
I was talking to Michael from Uncommon Dream recently about diet and weight. We had both listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast where Dr. Rhonda Patrick discussed the benefits of time restricted eating (TRE). TRE is only consuming calories in a time window of 6 to 8 hours. Potential benefits include:
- less inflammation
- reduction of cancer and metabolic diseases
- longer lifespan
Who the hell knows if any of that stuff is true, but other evidence strongly suggests that TRE is a great way to lose weight. For light reading, see the NY Times. If you’re a hardcore science nerd like me, see this on cell.com.
I decided to give it a try.
My Experience With Time Restricted Eating
I eat my first meal no earlier than 10 am and dinner at 6 pm for a 16-hour fasting window. On some days, I wait until noon to eat for an 18-hour window.
I wake up between 5 and 6 am and my first hunger pangs hit me at about 8 am. Most of the time, I can push through and the hunger eventually subsides. Often, my hunger doesn’t come back and I find myself having to force myself to eat at noon.
The experiment has mostly worked out. I’m down 20 pounds and consume fewer calories. I don’t always have time to exercise, but I always have time to eat less.
I’m not perfect though.
Sometimes It Doesn’t Work (Cultivating Discipline)
There are days when I’m hungry at 8 am and can’t push through. About a month ago, I fell off the bandwagon and landed hard on my ass. After I dropped the girls off at school, I came home and ate 3 bowls of Honey Smacks. Three big bowls. Good, but not good. Not good at all.
That canceled out walking to school. And walking back. And pretty much any other physical activity for the day. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go directly to the bathroom with an upset stomach, sit on the throne and reflect on your bad deed. Arrrgh.
TMI. I know. And I’m sorry. All of this on a Monday morning. Back to business. Anyone still here?
I try to pay attention to what affects my willpower and came up with the following:
- Sleep: If I’m tired, it’s very hard to stay on the right path.
- Stress: You can only handle so much. If my day is extremely stressful, I just don’t have it in me to fight off the Honey Smacks or Halloween candy.
- Recent behavior: I find the willpower begets willpower. If I’ve been strong in the morning, I can usually fight off urges for the rest of the day.
How About You?
Discipline is probably one of the most important life skills you can acquire. It made me wealthy. When I was younger and didn’t have a lot going on (no family, girlfriend, an unhealthy social life, and a normal, 8-hour work schedule), I’d come home and study programming languages until I went to bed. After 6 months of this, I got a fat promotion and permanently escaped the world of mainframe programming. It was nice to know you COBOL.
I continued working hard, made more money and BOOM; I had permanently escaped the world of formal work.
And we’re finally here. If anyone is still here.
How do you cultivate discipline? What do you do to fight off bad urges? How do you become mentally strong?
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.