Can quitting become easy?
Unsplash / Pixabay – Can quitting become easy?

The homilist at church today made a remark that I thought could produce and interesting article. He said, “Religion is easy, faith is hard.” Easy is in the eye of the beholder, most of the time. Some people think running a mile is easy. Others don’t. Some people can avoid a potato chip (remember, you can’t eat just one) or eating a second portion of other dessert items. Others avoid sweets like the plague easily.

To me, carbohydrates are addictive. The first time I gave up sugary products was in the mid-70’s. I had some terrible withdrawal symptoms and gave up that plan right away. Twenty years later, I tried it again. This time, I read five books on the Atkin’s Diet before starting it. I had no problems at all with those food options (no carbohydrates). I managed to stay under ten grams a day for over six years and was super happy the whole time.

There are some other health issues with the Atkin’s Diet that you should know before starting. It’s not the low carbohydrates, but the food choices. Eating highly acidic foods over a long period of time will create a condition called acidosis in your body. Rather than eating only protein and fats, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and a modicum of protein and fat. Monitor your pH and keep it above 7.4 to avoid the potential for acidosis. Talk to your doctor before starting, especially if you are one any prescription medicines.

The first time I gave up sugar it was hard, extremely hard. The second time it was a breeze. What changed? Reading five books helped. I understood the process (zero to low-carbohydrate eating) much better. Not as well as I understand it today. I believe part of the solution is understanding the problem to start. Another part is the expectation of the end game.

Expectations play a major part in our subconscious brain. If you want or need something – to lose weight, for example – you are talking to your conscious mind. It doesn’t help you a bit. Your conscious brain has no control over 95+% of the things you accomplish in your life. The words you choose make a difference.

If you expect or intend something, you are now talking to the controller of your life, your subconscious mind. Expectations are wired hardcore into what can/will happen in the future. Your subconscious mind has one prime objective – to protect you from failure, embarrassment, ridicule, etc.

Fail at a diet a couple or more times and those failures are retrieved the next time you want to try a new diet. Your subconscious mind will thwart every attempt you make to succeed because it knows you have failed and it doesn’t want you to fail again. It doesn’t matter if this new project benefits you or not. The die has already been cast.

There are ways around this vault of failures. Reword your desire (your want or need). Rather than use the term ‘diet’ use the term ‘eating healthy’. You probably don’t have a history of failures with ‘eating healthy’. Expect daily success. Our subconscious mind operates only in the present tense. It has no ability to comprehend the future.

The book by Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge, identifies the incremental changes we make daily can lead to success or failure. Yet, those incremental changes are hardly perceptible on a daily basis. Incremental successes make your life easier – easier to succeed and easier to fail.

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