How to Quit Things, and How to Start Things
I’ve been wanting to write this one for a few weeks. I was kind of reminded to write it after reading Greg’s site, where he talks about quitting smoking.
I’ve found that I start things and end things very differently. The only way I can stop doing something is cold turkey. If I try to stop doing something gradually, then I will always be able to find an excuse for myself that I can keep doing it more and more. And I think the only way I can start doing something is slowly. If it too quickly changes my normal day-to-day life, I think it will stress me out.
Let’s take for example two closely related things: dieting and exercising. I’ve recently started doing both. This is definitely the most successful I have ever been in dieting, I think. And I owe that to the fact that I don’t let myself have a “break,” and eat junk food once in a while. I haven’t had any desserts or large amounts of cheese, red meat, et cetera, for several weeks. And the urge sure is there. Out drinking with William last night, I had a huge craving for a slice from Golden Boy pizza, which has become to be a bit of a tradition for us. If I had the “once-in-a-while” mentality, I could have easily told myself, “Hey, you had a crap time in NJ. You deserve a slice of pizza!” And then it would have been all downhill from there.
Now as far as starting exercising, I’m having to take it slow. I think in the past when I tried to start exercising, I over-did it. It would end up screwing up other things in my life because of the extra time it took that I wasn’t used to yet. So this time, even though my exercise schedule hasn’t been perfect, I think it is working better because I am being reasonable to start. But at the same time, doing it this way has the same danger as above…where I can start making excuses. But that is just something I’ll have to work at.
But so far it is all coming together pretty well. I lost about a pound a day for the first 10 days, which was actually frighteningly fast, but the past few days has seen me stay even, probably due to the interruption of my NJ trip. Hopefully I will continue to make weight loss a priority and actually get it done. Really, I am just looking to lose another 15 pounds or so, and I will be where I want to be. So if I just work my ass off for a couple of months at this goal, I’ll reach it. Easier said than done.
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