Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"There is no try. Do or doughnut." Attributed to Yoda

A doughnut at the office - newsworthy?
The other day I had a doughnut in the office, the first I've had since my November experiment with blood sugar (2 D-nuts = blood sugar 212, ugh).  My co-workers snapped this photo.  However, when my kids visited my office and all laughed at the picture of me eating a doughnut, I realized it was a more significant photo than I had thought.  The secret to me not eating doughnuts all day every day wasn't that I have an iron discipline, that failed me for 30+ years.  What changed was I learned not to like doughnuts.  What enabled that was shifting from a sugar dependant metabolism to a flexible, fat burning and ketone making metabolism, and then noticing over a few years of running on fat, that doughnuts were just another pile of sugar, nothing special, nothing exotic, nothing magic.  

Freud said "Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar."  He was trying to say "It has no sexual connotation when I smoke a stogie."  Well, to get control of sugar snacking behavior, you have to get to the point that a doughnut is just a doughnut.  When your metabolism is not sugar ingestion dependent, it doesn't make you feel much different when you eat a doughnut, or some other carb laden sugary treat.  When, on the other hand, you are dependent on carb ingestion to sustain blood sugar levels and mood, the doughnut is a lot more than just a doughnut.  To the unconscious mind, that doughnut was a life line, a way out of the darkness, a light at the end of a dark tunnel.  In that context, you'd be hard pressed to oppose the unconscious mind's association to goodness the next time you reach a close point of approach with a doughnut.  

Getting to the point of not eating sugar all the time so that I could become a fat burning machine was more a matter of organization and habit than will power.  The right organization and the best habits were discovered by years of trial and error.  Or as I like to tell the kids, "You have to fail to succeed."

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