Originally, I had planned on cutting something out each month…something that I do or eat too much of.
I realized doing so does not solve anything if I am doing it for the reason of “cutting back”. If I cut something out for a period of time because I do it too often than the issue is not addressed or resolved. Cutting it out and replacing it with something better can be good, but it still does not address the issue. In my opinion it comes down to discipline and sacrifice which go hand in hand. I believe that self disciple cannot come without sacrifice… and one cannot make a sacrifice without that discipline.Discipline: training* to improve strength or self-control… an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training; correction or training
Sacrifice: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
A simple example of this is “fad diets”. These diets are about sacrifice (avoidance) but not necessarily discipline. It seems like disciple initially because something has to be abstained whether is is carbs, or calories etc. After a period of time, these diets fail because they require unrealistic expectations and drastic measures in order for weight to be lost. Weight is gained back because long term maintenance is impossible. Over the course of the diet, it was all about sacrificing or avoiding something (i.e. carbs) but not discipline (moderation). One without the other can lead to the regaining of weight plus. Discipline is commonly confused with deprivation. If I decide not to ever eat a cookie again, I am depriving myself because I love cookies and cookies in moderation are not bad, but if I am disciplined I will only eat what I should.
* I italicized training in the definition of discipline because I believe that discipline comes with time. Athletes have to train for their competition – they are not ready to compete the day they set foot on the field. It is a process that needs to be addressed, worked at and perfected. With the example above, fad diets do not address discipline and the working in of your favorite foods, they eliminate or restrict. Completely cutting something out may be difficult which is where disciple can come in. The “bad” foods can be addressed and worked in in healthier quantities (moderation).
Avoidance of the real issue still leaves the issue, while addressing the issues takes action against it.
To relate all this to me – I challenged myself to give up peanut butter for a whole month because I knew that I could do it, I did not have to eat it, and I eat too much of it anyways. Cutting it out was not that big of deal, but because I did not eat it when I really craved it, I found myself munching on many other things for that satisfaction that I get from a good ol’ PBJ sandwich. In the long run, avoiding that one thing does not do much good I don’t think. Plus, when the month was over I started up eating it again. What I could have done instead and decided is better is just working in other lunches and eating other things.
There is life outside of peanut butter, I know it sounds crazy – but it is true.I really puked all of this out in a hurry and need to go back over it, so it may not make sense…