Remember this post on ego depletion? If you need more info and refresher, check out this post by a Duke professor (warning: salty language).
I had a kind of epiphany this morning. What’s aggravating is that it is really coming full circle to something I told you back in October (see above). Here’s how it happened:
I was thinking about the fact that I have been ALL OVER THE BOARD the last couple of weeks. I have fasted. I have eaten ice cream. (Not at once, obviously.) I have been a train-wreck of indecision about whether I will join (or even initiate) a lunch order from the office. And this morning, I realized that was because when I have not DECIDED on a course of action (like, I will follow strict Medifast/TSFL rules) I stumble around and make some really bad decisions on the fly. I am not COMMITTED to what I am trying to do, plan-wise. And when I have anything less than laser focused commitment, Little Kitteh can seduce me away with her oh-so-tempting routine, which she has to a science, that goes like this:
“We’ll start tomorrow, after you figure out exactly what you want to do.”
“Meanwhile, you should go on and order lunch/have Italian dinner of carby goodness and cheese, because after all, you will be strict tomorrow.”
“And your new plan will doubtless take off any damage I am doing, right away.”
ARG! What’s truly maddening is that it is hard enough to say no to her when I am sporting a major DETERMINED groove. When I am wondering what would work better/best/etc., I am toast.
So I was thinking about that, this morning, and my exact thought was, this won’t get better until you MAKE THAT DECISION, once and for all, and do NOT revisit it.
And then it hit me. That’s DECISION FATIGUE and EGO DEPLETION, you nitwit.
The website I linked to above suggests that a cheat day is a good solution for ego depletion–based on the idea you can just “wait just a few days” makes it easier to say no. For me, physiologically, that does not seem to be true. The opposite, in fact. A cheat day starts the whole carb craving thing all over again (although I do enjoy having one meal a week or so that is higher in calories/fat–but that would not help me when what I want is ice cream, you know?)
I think the answer is a little different. And unlike what I wrote before, I don’t think it is the Noms themselves that do the trick (although that is helpful, fewer decisions mean less fatigue and more brainpower for better choices). No, I think it all comes down to DECIDING that you are going to stick to The Plan (whatever that is). The “and stick to it” is easy (okitsreallyhardsometimesbuteasiER) if you have made a commitment.
Right now, I am “toying with” (and I have to note that “toying” is exactly what I have been doing!) these options–going to set them out for all to see, and make a DECISION tonight. This is not a “delay and eat more” thing, this is taking the time to make a reasoned decision, and committing to it, 110% plus. Here are the options:
Food Plan Options – the issue here is that having heard about all the benefits of fasting, I can’t NOT do it. But HOW to do it?
Option 1: Continue with Noms, but try to maximize fasting window at night — basically compact my noms a bit so that I don’t eat after dinner at all, and fast until breakfast, then delay breakfast bar slightly to achieve a minimum window of fasted time (if so, what’s the goal? There is an IF plan that calls for fasting 16 hours, compacting food into 8, which is not really possible and eat all the Noms, but I could shoot for 12 hours, 8 to 8, and see how that helps my progress and health.
Option 2: Take a break from Noms. Try the Eat Stop Eat plan, which calls for eating “normally” four or five days a week, and fasting 1 or 2 days a week. I’d be lying if I said taking a Nom break wasn’t appealing, as is ‘eating normally.” Flaw is, I can’t eat “normally” without triggering the hell out of myself, foodwise. So I guess I’d be eating “normally for a Paleo type diet.”
Option 3: Stick with Noms, as is, but fast one day a week, building up to 2 days. Concern: that kind of IF is not really meant to go with low calorie diets like Noms. I wonder if I would rebound and be more starving after?
Exercise Plan Options (because I am going to do this deciding thing ONCE, danggit, and stick with it):
Option 1: kettlebells, three times a week. Simple, neat, effective (I hear).
Option 2: WAtP videos – they worked before, and really add to my cardio-fitness, which I need for my July vacation. Also simple, also easy. Can do the 1 mile at work on break.
Option 3: T-Tapp – really startlingly helpful when I have done it before, harder than the other two to execute but with a lot of other health benefits.
Option 4: some combination of the above. Problem: T-Tapp, the one I am most inclined to combine with something, is really big on only doing T-Tapp and having your rest days. Similarly, The Swing people are all “less is more.” I may say screw it and do (for example) Swings on Sun/Tues/Thurs, T-Tapp on MWF. (and no, I do not delude myself that I will hit every one, but I will hit more than if I do NOT have a plan. AND I need to be in a get up at the same time every day mode, and without a plan, I will sleep in on the non-exercise day!)
There you have it. Decisions, decisions. PLEASE share your thoughts below, I would love some advice.