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September 27, 2012

I am enrolled in a graduate psychology course on Social and Personality Development. One of the assignments we have to do is a “self-control test.” We have to perform the experiment and write a report on the results. Our subjects can be children, or ourselves. Though I know many people with children, none are really young enough to do this experiment effectively. Plus they need to have not been raised by practically perfect parents so that they present a biased sample who are unusually willing to wait and share.

So I’ve elected to subject myself to the experiment. I have been told by certain close friends that I spectacularly lack impulse control. That’s true in some cases, and not in others. In some situations– such as teaching, or with children in general– I have extraordinary patience. Even for myself, I don’t go out and buy anything I want whenever I can afford it. But there is one thing I can be all too impulsive about, it’s food. I have long been far too easily pulled into the drive-thru.

I didn’t use to be too bad about it, when I was married. But that was because there was someone to cook for me. (Though often our conversations about dinner went much like the music video). Since being single, I have been terrible. Drive-thru or delivery has been my ready companion. It’s all the usual excuses: I’m tired when I get home, and it’s no fun cooking for one. Grocery shopping is time-consuming, blah blah blah.

Yes, the allure of 3-for-99 cents tacos on Tuesday night is overwhelming. But I’ve seenย Super-Size Meย one too many times. I know it’s bad for my health and for my budget. So, it occurred to me that if I was going to test my self-control by giving up something I really valued for a week, what could it be? Coffee is not an option. I did that for a week once and almost fainted. No, I’ll give up dining out. Dine-in, delivery, drive-thru, take-out. I won’t do it at all for a solid week. If I can’t buy it at a supermarket, I can’t have it. I’m torn on the level of preparation required (nothing from the deli section? what about frozen foods?)

I hope this leads to a true and enduring lifestyle shift for me. Thank goodness for the digital confessional.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2012 12:26 am

    Hello Teacher. I was so neglectful of nutrition as a teacher. I finally settled to 3-4 home style restaurants and ate half decent meals while I graded/marked post-break-up. If I did shop it was kinda futile – I was a lousy cook. LOL This sounds like it’ll be a great experiment. Take care.


    • September 28, 2012 8:35 pm

      Oh I’m a lousy cook as well, but there’s only one way to improve, right? Thank you for the support ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. September 28, 2012 9:17 am

    Be healthy teacher man!


    • September 28, 2012 8:40 pm

      Working on it. I didn’t buy dinner out tonight. However, so far I’ve only had Cheetos…


      • September 28, 2012 8:51 pm

        Whatever you do, don’t sit around & eat said Cheetos & then scratch your nuts. Hahaha….sorry, I have no filter!


      • September 28, 2012 9:13 pm

        My vote: Yes to deli foods, but No on the Cheetos! Or any other food that turns your fingers weird highlighter colors.


      • September 29, 2012 12:41 pm



      • September 30, 2012 8:05 pm

        The Cheetos were there in my pantry… So I didn’t technically cheat, but yes, impulse control… I always lick my fingers after eating them. Then, Saturday morning, as I’m out canvassing neighborhoods in support of public-school-funds ballot measures, I notices there’s the faint taint of orange still on some of my fingers.


  3. September 28, 2012 8:50 pm

    Mmm Cheetos…. I know you can do this!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Journaling Pain permalink
    September 29, 2012 4:29 pm

    Good luck.


  5. October 7, 2012 2:17 am

    It’s a lifestyle change. But you also need to be aware and knowledgeable about food and cooking. I do recommend you begin with reading about food and nutrition along with a few simple and basic recipes for beginners. You will need to have basic dry ingredients at home available all the time, such as rice, pasta. I suggest you begin with learning a few simple sauces to go with boiled rice or pasta. Quick and easy dinner.


  6. October 7, 2012 1:27 pm

    Definitely a healthier choice so I hope it works out! You don’t get sick of eating out after a while? I would. ๐Ÿ˜‰



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