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May 17, 2010

Why You Can’t Make That Habit Stick (Part One)

Ever wonder why some habits seem so damn hard to change?  Most people do, but very few get past the stage of simply wondering “What’s wrong with me?”.   Unfortunately, an emotionally loaded question like that will likely stop you in your tracks, locking your focus on uncomfortable insecurities and making you avoid figuring out what the real problem is.

It’s time to stop avoiding the painful truths behind your bad habits and face them so you can start making traction on finally changing them.  If there’s something about your behavior patterns you hate, it’s time to start reading and taking notes.

But be warned: I’m not going to sugar coat things for you.

First off, I’m not going to give you the typical positive thinking tripe about how if you just start thinking happy thoughts and follow my 3-step formula everything will come up roses.  Life doesn’t work like that.  We can’t spray bleach on your self-sabotaging mindsets and wipe them all away.  They are deeply ingrained patterns that don’t respond well to magic-button solutions.

What we can do, though, is learn to recognize the root causes and triggers associated with these working-against-you mindsets so that you can see them coming ahead of time, and maybe take some action to avoid letting these patterns continue repeating in your life.

Let’s begin with …

Painful Truth #1: You Say You Want It, But You Really Prefer Something Else

This is a tough truth to internalize, but it’s an inescapable one: When it comes down to it, you will always do what you really want to do.   Those bad habits you have are supporting an outcome that in some way is positive to you, whether you want to admit it or not.

In other words, you like the benefit of the bad habit better than the alternative (a good habit that will take that benefit away).  You prefer sticking with the buzz that comes with the bad, and you don’t really have a compelling reason to change.

I can give you an example from just a few weeks ago when I quit caffeine cold turkey (I had actually quit before, two Decembers ago, but fell back into it 4 months later).  Quitting way back then was easy – I just decided to do it and did it.  Quitting a few weeks ago was easy, too – I decided again, and I did it again.

But that space in between, those eight addicted months? That was hard.  Damned hard.  I tried to quit over and over again, and felt absolutely powerless.  Powerless, over a frikkin’ can of soda.  (To be truthful, it was more like 4 or 5 cans a day.)

Why was it easy at one time and hard at the others?  Well, when it was hard it was because of the payoff. My sweet tooth was satisfied.  The buzz seemed helpful at times (though truthfully, the crashes later weren’t worth it).  I “needed” to keep going, and the sodas seemed to help me do that – even though they brought on negative effects, like a constant increase in weight.

Quitting was hard because there was so much to lose.  Soda tasted good.  It gave me sugar highs.  It was a good distraction any time I didn’t want to sit still and think about uncomfortable truths.  All those payoffs, and I didn’t want to lose them.

Sure, there were benefits to quitting – weight control, overall health, saving money, having more energy … but they would require a hard effort and a physical penalty during the transition, and I wasn’t willing to make that happen.  Quitting cold turkey – or even weaning myself off slowly – seemed like a solution that was just too painful to follow through on.

I kept telling myself I wanted to drink better and eat better, and lose weight and feel better, but I was unwilling to admit the real truth: I didn’t really want those things.  Or I did, but not more than I wanted to be lazy and addicted.  What I really wanted was instant gratification.

Eventually though, the six-packs of soda and the crappy diet I was following caught up with me.  A few weeks ago, my body essentially gave me “the finger” and started shutting down on me.  I couldn’t think straight.  My stomach felt like ashes.  I knew that it could be nothing other than the steady stream of Mountain Dew and Ramen Cup-of-Soups that were the cause of it all.

I felt like crap.  I couldn’t function.  And so I decide that the “payoff” of soda wasn’t worth it.  I tossed the cans, and started drinking water and eating actual fresh fruit and vegetables.  And unsurprisingly, I felt better immediately.

So as of now I’m what, four weeks caffeine free again.  But not because I was strong – it was because I just really made peace with the fact that the “tasty” payoff wasn’t worth it.  I admitted I had an addiction to the benefits I was getting and I craved that more than fitness or health; and once I admitted that, I was able to begin talking myself out of it.

Every time I have the urge to tap into that high fructose corn syrup or double-strength Frappuchino, I remind myself that even though I loved the payoff I was getting from those things, they were going to rob me of so much more long term.  I don’t tell myself  “Soda is bad, I’m going to drink healthy water!” because my built-in bullshit filters will remind me that what I really think is that soda is tasty and the sugar makes me buzz.

I tell myself, “Yeah, that soda tastes good, but when I’m stuck on it I can’t freaking think straight, and I get tired too easily.  It tastes good, but it’s just not worth it in the long term.”

Here’s the thing, though – when it comes to behavior, we don’t naturally think of the long-term.

When it comes down to it, unless we’ve built up a healthy level of discipline we’re always going to go to the short term solutions.  We’re going to say we want the good-for-us, long-term stuff, but when it really comes down to it, we’re just going to keep doing what’s convenient and easy and in line with our current habits.

We’re going to tell ourselves we “really want” those good things and pretend we don’t really want the payoffs of our bad habits.

And we’re going to keep turning that bullshit filter to “off,” all the while pretending we’re not doing it

How to turn that filter on so you can begin unraveling your bad habit

There’s an expression, “Awareness is curative,” and it’s right on the money.  It’s the first step towards getting power and leverage over a situation, and here’s how you can use it to begin killing that bad habit.

  • First, get honest with yourself about what the benefit of your bad habit is.  Quit pretending you’re all noble and wanting to change it and get specific on why you love, love, love what this bad habit is giving you. Is it a physical payoff?  Emotional?  Financial?  Or is it just the relief of avoiding the “fixing” process?  Focus on what juicy stuff you’re getting.

Don’t beat yourself up here.  Don’t feel guilty for enjoying the relaxation of your smokes or the temporary comfort of leaving those bills unopened.  Whatever you’re getting out of that habit, make peace with it.  Understand why you want it so much.

  • Then, start thinking about what this habit is costing you – what payoff you’re truly giving up in order to keep it.  Think long term, and add up the total cost to you.  Focus on the emotional component, and make it vivid.  Will that television habit keep you from writing that novel?  Will that beer gut rob you of the energy to play with your kids?  Think of what “I’ll regret this” events you’re taking on in order to get the “juicy stuff.”

Focus on how you’ll feel 10 years, 20 years down the road.  Internalize the depression that will occur if you don’t change this habit.  Visualize kicking yourself again and again, wishing you had just toughened up and done things differently.

  • Finally, imagine what life would be like if you changed this habit.  Picture yourself actually receiving the payoff that comes with the changes, and do so as vividly as possible.  See yourself enjoying the new payoffs, thankful that you toughed it out and rewrote your behaviors.  Focus on actually enjoying the results of your new, better habits.

Ok, now comes the part where you do the math.

At this point you need to compare things: the honest inventory of “bad habit” payoffs and the vivid imagining of the “good habit” payoffs.  Then admit to yourself that if you don’t change, you’re giving up the good future in order to keep your present payoffs.

Then think about the total cost – the regret, the pain, and the remorse you’ll feel in that business-as-usual future.  And do the math.  Are you happy you held on to your habits, in light of what they cost you?

You’ll likely feel pretty disappointed in your choice.  The short term payoffs will feel empty and tasteless compared to what you could be getting.  You’ll begin to feel the desire for making this trade begin to fade away – but only if you focus on the math.  Only if you make it vivid in your mind.

You see, most people say “yeah, I’ll regret not changing this” and then stop thinking about it.  If you want to break a habit, you can’t stop thinking about it.  You must always be thinking of the cost of not breaking this habit, so you’ll always be saying “As good as this short-term payoff feels, it’s just not what I really want.”

If you don’t vividly focus on this, you’ll vividly focus on how nice your present payoff makes you feel right now.  And you’ll continue to do what you “really” want.

But if you do vividly focus on this on a daily basis, what you “really want” will change.

And so will you.

Now Here’s The Part Where I Tell You To Do Stuff

Here’s what I want you to do right now while this is all fresh on your mind:

  1. Get honest with the payoff of your bad habits and post it in a comment below.  Face it, so you can move on.  Leaving a comment will make you accountable for getting honest and the process will be a relief.  If you don’t want to put your real name, just put “Ass Kicker” in the name field.
  2. Click the Twitter link below and spread the word about this article.

Get honest.

Empower yourself.

That is all,

Dave

42 Responses to “Why You Can’t Make That Habit Stick (Part One)”

  • May 17, 2010 Annie Stith (@Gr8fulAnnie)

    Oh, Dave.

    I got bleary minded by the time I was down to “assess the long-term benefits…”

    It’s not you–it’s me. There’s just only so much change at a time I can handle. Right now I’m changing my routine so that I get used to the habits of keeping up with a website/blog. In my life, that’s quite a bit, having been depressed about being “disabled” for some time until I ran across this bunch of optimistic entrepreneurs on the web… I’m sure you’ve heard *that* part of the story before. ;)

    Maybe it’s just another “now’s not the time” excuse, but it’s what I’m feeling.

    And I guess that’s my point (if this has one). I won’t succeed at more change if I’m already at my limit right now. There is a max point to consider, too.

    Annie

  • May 17, 2010 Brooke Yool

    Dave — this is fantastic — when I go live with my new fitness/wellness blog, I’m totally gong to trackback to this post! True that the changes that are most worth it are the hardest ones to make, IMO! But the results are sweet. :)

  • May 17, 2010 Hannah

    Thanks for a great post Dave! As someone who recently started smoking again after ‘quitting’ several times over the past 3 and a bit years, I’ve been thinking about habits and patterns a lot over the last couple of weeks. This was very helpful to read :)

  • May 17, 2010 Ass Kicker

    There was nothing new here – I’ve heard it all before. But I needed to hear it again, in a new voice. Thank you – I will do the math.

  • May 17, 2010 Mary E. Ulrich

    Damn, now I have to spend the day thinking about why I “love, love, love” my bad habits.

    Congrats on breaking out of the caffeine haze, and it was great that you shared you forgot to press “send”–makes you human.

  • May 17, 2010 Ass Kicker

    Dave, I have read a lot of books and self-help advice in regards to quitting smoking. Although I try to convince myself how much I hate cigarettes, my own bullshit detector is sounding the alarms. I don’t hate cigarettes and all the hypnosis and lying to myself will never convince me of that over the long term (I have had successful attempts at quitting –the longest about 2 years).
    This was a great post with an honest, different approach to how we can change our bad habits. Thanks!

  • May 17, 2010 Ass Kicker

    I love chocolate, biscuits & cakes. I love baking yummy treats for my family. Problem is – I’m the one who eats most of them! Whenever I feel stressed, lonely, anxious, when it’s the kids tea-time, when I get in from the school run (& the list goes on!) I’m the one with my hand in the cookie jar! And I feel guilty every time!

    But my body is so ready to get over the temporary satisfaction it gets from the saturated fat & sugar. I am ready to fill my life with something other than cake, to start to deal with the issues that my over-eating is covering up. My 3 main meals of the day are healthy, full of fruit, veg, whole grains & lean protein. But the snacking is making a mockery of this. That lovely feeling of chocolate melting on my tongue or the crunch of a biscuit is not worth the long-term issues of obesity, low energy, hating what I see in the mirror. It’s time to stop & deal with things.

    Looking forward to Part II!

  • May 17, 2010 Diane Prince Johnston

    Totally! It’s not only fitness and health, it’s relationships too. Thanks for the post.

    Here is an amazing podcast about behavioral change that I found a couple of years ago and has helped me ever since.

    http://renee.personallifemedia.com/
    Diane Prince Johnston´s last blog ..Divorce and Parenting, Facebook and Roller Coasters and Getting to the Other Side My ComLuv Profile

  • May 17, 2010 Asskicker

    Thanks for the great post, Dave. I’m currently stuck in a dead-end job, but when I come home it’s straight to the laptop for god-knows-how-many hours of useless play and enjoyment. I realize I do this to subconsciously ignore the task at hand: to apply to new jobs that will put me on the path to my dreams.

    The task feels daunting and playing online is so much easier.

    But the long-term regrets and pain are not worth it.

    Thanks for helping me put my plan–and my dreams–into action.

  • May 17, 2010 Andy Fogarty

    My worst bad habit is procrastination, but not for the normal reasons. One of my talents is that I’m really good when my back is against the wall.

    I’ve realized that I purposely put things off without even realizing what I’m doing simply because I feel stronger in those situations.

    I don’t like stress and I’m the one the brings it on most of the time. That’s just silly.

    I may have gave you my name, but I’m still an Ass Kicker :-)

    Many Thank You’s Dave

  • May 17, 2010 ASS KICKER

    Thanks for your insight. I am a once successful business person. I had some set backs, but can’t seem to get off my duff and regain what I lost. I have to get up from watching TV and get back in the game. I have taken a job and become satisfied with average. I hate myself for that. I have lived success before, and so badly want to break the chains that are holding me back. I think there is a little guilt and depression playing a part in my lack of gumption. I must break the habits and get back in the game. I have several opportunities in front of me now, and I have to reach for success again.
    Thanks,

  • May 17, 2010 Harley

    this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve just started re-reading my alexander technique book because my habit of bad posture has been taking over recently. You’re right, we don’t often think long term on these things. It’s good to have a reminder and a kick in the pants from someone other than ourselves.

  • May 17, 2010 Thekla Richter

    Great post! I think people spend way too much energy trying to make changes that they don’t really want.

    Being honest with ourselves about what we want and working hard for the things we are truly committed to is great… but best by far to let go the changes whose consequences we aren’t truly willing to embrace. Half-trying to change wastes energy and damages self-esteem.
    Thekla Richter´s last blog ..Thirteen Ways to Prioritize Yourself Out of Being Happy and Productive My ComLuv Profile

  • May 17, 2010 Dan

    Great advice. From my experience I have found that most peole’s insecurities come from a past wound that we haven’t acknowledged or done anything to heal. Sometimes, we don’t even know what the wound is. If we ask the universe/God to show it to us and ask for it to be healed, we can start on that path and wath our insecurities and those things that we distract our lives with will tend to take care of itself. Thanks for the advice, Dave!

  • May 17, 2010 Tracy

    This was the kick in the pants that I needed today.

    One thing that’s been somewhat successful for me is thinking about the things I’d like for my kids to learn from me. One of those is being able to look to the long term instead of what feels good in the moment. Sure, I could just tell them that, but I’ve got a feeling they won’t really take it to heart unless they see me living it.

    Thanks for this post, today was a good day for me to get this reminder.

  • May 17, 2010 jennifer

    My bad habit is I’m a sugar addict. Anyway I can find to get sugar into my bloodstream, I do it. Even if that means getting some cake icing and eating it straight from the container. The benefit I get from this is 1) I satisfy my sweet tooth/sweet craving 2) I relieve stress 3) It’s just damn yummy.

    Unfortunately, diabetes runs in my family and every morning I feel like I have a hang over, even thou I wasn’t drinking the night before.

    So removing sugar from my diet needs to happen. But my first step is just reducing my sugar intake.
    jennifer´s last blog ..Some Wayward Thoughts on Procrastination from an Inveterate Procrastinating Criminal My ComLuv Profile

  • May 17, 2010 ASS KICKER!!!!!

    Man I am totally quitting all sugar stuff from now on even though it calms me down or gets me out of a low. I’ll go for a substitute instead: I’ll go outside or take a nap even though mainstream work ethics are against doing so. What matters is that I achieve my goals. I will stop watching movies or playing games when I do it for the sake of running away from painful thoughts I will call a therapist instead and finally save some money for a weekly session. Way to go. Truth hurts but I have to find some hacks for those bad habit benefits. There is always a solution, do what you like, manipulate/outsmart yourself.

  • May 17, 2010 Diane

    Thanks for your great post. It came just at the right time for me.

    I have also found that when I really focus on the benefit of the “good” habit rather than how bad my current habit is, I’m much more likely to stick to it longer term.

    I quit smoking cold turkey a year ago. And the only thing that stops me from going back is thinking about how much better I feel every day by not smoking.

    I started eating healthier about 6 weeks ago – I gave up wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and even started a blog about it. I was great for 5 weeks, really focused on how much better I felt and how much energy I had. But last week, I totally fell off the wagon. So now I’m challenging myself to pick myself up faster than I normally do (because like your caffeine it usually takes a few months to spur myself back into action).

    Even though I know it myself, seeing someone else say it in black and white really helps! And I love the shut-up-and-be-accountable-for-yourself approach that you take Dave. I look forward to it every Monday!

  • May 17, 2010 Single Mom Rich Mom

    Dave, logically I agree with you – emotionally not so much. When I quit smoking back on May 18, 1997 (but who’s counting?), I followed a program (Smokenders) and tried doing the math of WHY I *should* be quitting – but my lizard brain was telling me stuff like “nah, your dad smoked for 50 years and he was fine, blah blah blah.”

    What ended up working for me in that situation – and many others – is the fact that I’m a control freak. I HATE being controlled by an addiction and feeling that a chemical controls me and I don’t have the upper hand over myself. And to be honest, the detox was so ugly, I never wanted to go through that again.

    My mantra at the time was “I’m a puff away from a pack a day.” (Although I only smoked half a pack a day, the former sounded better.) Whenever I’d feel the craving, I’d breathe deeply like a hippo in heat and repeat that phrase over and over to myself. It worked anyway. :-)
    Single Mom Rich Mom´s last blog ..PMS rant: I Hate Frugality My ComLuv Profile

  • May 18, 2010 Rhonda

    I thought about why I love what I do; TV and internet and the only thing I could think of was not having to think, pretend I’m working, forget all I have to do, and its my comfort zone. However, I do try to work hard and I achieve it for a couple of days then my comfort zone life kicks in I’m tired, I don’t have time to keep going now, its too late and I’ll start fresh tomorrow. and tomorrow and tomorrow is it that I am so full of excuses to myself granted I feel guilty about things I shouldn’t feel guilty about. And so far I have 15 things I will regret and they are strong reasons not to keep quitting on myself. For those smokers I quit 6 years ago with the patches. And Annie being disabled myself I find life a challenge at times (a lot of the time) but I’ve learned one thing when you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hang on.
    Love love love this site

  • May 20, 2010 wbailey

    Habits are tough to kick, for sure. A daily chai and glass or two of wine were my escapes into comfort-land, with nothing to show in the end but calories on my hips. The only thing that TRULY eases my stress is to quit moping & whining, quit sticking my head under the covers, and just get done what needs to get done–fully concentrate and focus and DO IT. That applies to work, music, exercise, all of the above. The key for me was to accept the fact that yes, it’s gonna suck at first. No, I was NOT be happy the first day I went without, or the 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 40th. But I know there WOULD come a time when I was free of that nagging tug in the back of my mind, and it would feel damn good. It took about 2 years of trying to quit for the chai, and I’ve just quit the wine a week ago (again) and am feeling good. The other things that helped were: doing only a little at a time, forgiving myself when I slipped & just getting right back on the wagon, and looking at what I could be good at instead. Ie, I was a pretty functional steady drinker for 13 years, and don’t have much in the way of skills or great experiences to show for it. Ok, that’s enough of my life committed to that. Now, what if I commit the next 13 years to being an athlete instead?? I like the idea of looking back on my choices and being proud, looking back on my experiences and feeling rich. It’s about choosing what each day will stand for, and therefore, what your life will be made of. Life is a fractal. :)

  • May 20, 2010 Ben

    Dave, this rang true for me as about as true as it gets. I too have been soda’s bitch for far too long. The funny thing is, I’m actually pretty healthy in spite of it. I work out pretty much every day, and the rest of my diet is very healthy. But I’m just in love with the short term buzz of a mountain dew or an energy drink, and I hate that I love it.

    I have actually tried using self-hypnosis, and yes my internal bullshit detectors would go off when I would tell myself “I’ll choose freedom instead”.

    I’m going to give this technique a shot. Thank you.
    Ben´s last blog ..Starting running: Week 3 report My ComLuv Profile

  • May 22, 2010 Stephanie Gerbig

    My bad habit: self-imposed lack of structure. I avoid it like the plague, even though I desperately need it.

    I left Corporate America partly because of all the structure, only to discover, as an entrepreneur, I need it more than ever.

    After reading this, I realized that lack of structure itself is not really the problem. It’s my constant inability to implement it.

    So, it seems my lack of structure is only made worse by not having enough structure to implement the structure.

    Wait, huh?

  • May 22, 2010 Paul Where

    Dave,

    My greatest obstacle in getting all the things I’m capable of accomplishing is the deceptive devil himself, procrastination.

    The short-term effect of having more time to do nothing can simply overwhelm my deepest resolve to create at times. Thank you for an effective way to deal with this, and all my other bad habits.

  • May 24, 2010 Ass Kicker

    Thanks for the post. You are totally right. It was much easier to give up smoking when I realized how much I love it. I love it. Like I love my family love it. Like I love my best friends. It feels really really good. And it gives me a great excuse to get away from people (which as a capital “I” introvert was super helpful in social situations). And it made me feel like part of a club (even if, when I looked around, I wasn’t too impressed with the overall health and well being of the membership). Oh I loved it. I still love it. But I don’t do it anymore and it wasn’t that hard to stop. It’s not even that hard to keep stopped, in spite of having lots of friends who still smoke. It will floor me if I do it and I can’t afford the payback.

    Now I need to get real about the crap I eat. It’s impulsive and I do it because I feel like I’ve earned it when I’ve had a “hard” day. And I also do it because other people around me seem to be able to eat crap like french fries and cookies or whatever and not gain any weight. Truth is, they are doing something I’m not (like exercising) or they are something I’m not (like 26 and tall when I’m 42 and short). And that’s just reality but I don’t like it and not complying with the rules of nature gives me a quick way to make myself feel better about what isn’t. The down side is the 20 extra pounds I can’t shake. Which leads to not liking myself physically. Which leads to all kinds of bad junk.

    Time to get out the door and go for a walk – thanks for another great post!

  • May 24, 2010 eileen

    trying to get may dissertation done, but addicted to online tv. ok, there is no long-term benefit to watching online tv and the episodes will all be there when i finish the dissertation.

    and once i finish the dissertation i can move on to better things and a new stage in my life.

  • May 27, 2010 god damn it

    this is so true….somehow i quit smoking after nearly 15 years straight because it was actually “feeling” like it was killing me, but here I am eating fritos and wondering trying to pretend they aren’t just as evil. When I quit smoking it was the most horrible months of my life, so bad I never want to go back there because i could never make it again….why can ‘t I have this reaction with bad food? That addiction came around at almost the same time as the cigarettes….

  • May 28, 2010 pramod

    i will break my bad habit…

  • May 29, 2010 Lana

    I resonate with this. I want to give up alcohol, but not enough to do the work. This gave me a different way of looking at the problem.

  • Jun 26, 2010 frank

    powerful stuff. got to think of the payoffs man. need to really retrain my mind. inspiring.

  • Jun 29, 2010 Ass kicker

    Amazing article.
    The payoff of bad habit are 1Instant Gratification. 2 time to not worry about the problem and escape 3 tastes very good 4 I have a feeling of enjoyment
    5 I don’t want to miss the opportunity of eating good food 6 it’s compulsive,if there is good food I have to eat it. If I don’t eat I feel like loosing something.

    The pay off of quitting the bad habit is 1 look good 2 more energetic 3 can wear trendy clothes and be more attractive 4 increased self esteem 5 healthy for me and for my kids 6 can live longer 7 can do more 8 don’t have to spent a lot of time choosing what to wear 9 good applause from friends 10 can talk about it

  • Jul 2, 2010 Ass Kicker

    Here’s another one: punctuality. For me, specifically it’s mornings, but also just in general. I finally realized that I (as a kid) felt helpless, powerless and humiliated when someone else said “YOU will be here at THIS time.” That translated into a general aversion to starting work or anything else on time. So the benefits of being late for me, have always been I felt more like I was in control, and able to relax because I was the one driving things. Which of course is a complete lie, but that’s what I’ve always told myself. Already starting to see this in a different light, thanks Dave :-)

  • Sep 3, 2010 ASS KICKER

    I cannot put money into savings. Even in this economy, when it can’t be more important. It is easier to spend it when I am pushed to, then to say no I can’t afford that right now. It keeps my family happy. After I have let them spend my money or talk me into spending the money I always regret it.

  • Sep 10, 2010 Evangeline Parenting

    I needed to sneak in my other objectives – train them up to build better habits and have them learn to become independent.

  • Sep 30, 2010 Kickass

    I can’t seem to shake smoking weed/hash. I have two main goals that I am trying to push towards but I can never seem to get there. I accept too many projects than I can handle and doing them for free doesnt help my motivation, even thouh they are for friends i.e. My problem is saying no as I feel it’s “rude” even though I know it’s not. This ends with beeing stressed out, depressed and the jay gives a relief because the mind just let’s go from all the distress and trouble. Guess I just have to face the fact that and stop beeing everybodys work horse, I’m MY horse!

  • Oct 8, 2010 Cathy Magar

    You are awsome Dave…you nailed it….the reasons we dont change…we dont want to…duh! Anyhoo…. I seriously need to lose weight…got divorced a year or so ago..then was assaulted by a man one night after clubbing. Been hiding behind fat ever since.. its not so much…but it keeps men at bay to some degree and frankly it was what i really prefered…..but if i look at the big picture..keeping the creeps away is certianly not worth my long term health.. akido would have been far more effective than a hamburger..lol! So that said..to all the gals out there self soothing with food..cheers and a kick in the ass or balls what ever it takes..good luck! C

  • Oct 8, 2010 Robert Dial

    You speak the truth Dave… I have a lot of problems..weight problems on and off most my life… dependence problems…. lack of ambition in many areas, not to mention that my health, posture and the rest of my life, including personal life now shows the damage and suffers. And still I have great difficulty admiting to these problems…the bullshit filters are a in effect to this day …and this blog was real help for me.. so thanks Dave.

  • Oct 17, 2010 Cristopher Thomas

    This actually jives with some things that my mentor and I spoke about not too long ago. I’ve got several bad habits, but as an example:

    I have a terrible habit of waking up, turning off my alarm, and telling myself, “Self, you can lay here and enjoy the warm, snuggliness of your bed for 10 more minutes. And then you are getting up.” 40 minutes later, I’m still in bed, and I have exactly 25 minutes to shower, shave, dress, and get out the door. Wanna know what kind of morning blows? That kind!

    I’ve done it both ways. The sucky way, and way where I get up, get ready, and still have 30 minutes skim the news, settle my mind, and pick up my daughters toys on my way out the door so that my wife doesn’t have to when she gets up. I know what I prefer, even as I’m laying there, giving in to the warm, snuggliness. I have to get myself to realize the benefits that I’ll be enjoying a few short minutes after getting up, *in the moment*.

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