Don’t let Self Discipline turn you into an Idiot

How is it possible for self-discipline to turn you into an idiot?  When is it taken too far?

I have been contemplating this question in my recent raw endeavors.  I concluded that my self-discipline was misplaced.

I think it is great to strengthen and grow you self discipline muscle.  However, there is a limit – a fine line between going good for you and making a questionable decision.

There is a saying about everything in moderation is good but the extremes are bad – while I don’t agree with this because I don’t believe a even little genocide or a little murder or a little drug addiction is good, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Too much vegan ice cream can still make you sick.

It is not self-discipline to your goals that is important but self-discipline to yourself.  What I mean?  What is the difference?

Say an athlete is 10 yards from the finish line and he strains his ankle.  It could be broken, or just sprained, he felt it roll, knows he is hurt, but does not know the extent he is injured.  He may have the self-discipline to push through and run through the pain but is it wise to risk ever being able to run again without pain for a race?

What about sleep?  When does the self-discipline to say awake for a long period of time fall to the need for sleep?  Even with the self-discipline to stay awake for 7 days, should you?  Cramming for a test or a meeting? Driving? At a party?  It is consequences to holding the line too great to yourself.

It is easier to see in the extreme examples where pushing to achieve a goal may not be as important as doing what is best for you.  But what about real life where the lines are often blurred together.

The first part of the equation is to recalibrate your self-discipline muscle.  Just as an alcoholic can not correctly judge what is too much, when someone with a weak self-discipline muscle may not realize it is weak.

Common sense plays into self-discipline too.  Self-discipline is used to help accomplish goals but that is not it main job or value.  It is to help you be who you want to be, help you create and work for what you want, help you grow as a person, and get you trough the tougher spots to get what you want.

Staying awake for 3 days straight to cram for a test then driving is stupid.  Either study more before, take a nap, or take the bus.  Is finishing a race first more important then a life long injury? Is a crash diet good for you in the long term?

Of course, most of life’s examples are not this cut and dry.  Here is a real life example from my recent endeavor into raw foods.

My Pro raw food list

  • I feel great.
  • Lose weight
  • My face clears up
  • More energy
  • Awesome dreams

Con list

  • Cravings for cooked veggies
  • Cravings for high calorie food
  • Harder to eat out with friends
  • Need to grocery shop twice a week to keep fresh food in the house

For the con list, my cravings for other foods are off the scale.  So, is my body trying to tell me something or should my self-discipline help me stay the course.

Are my recent cravings due to problems in my diet or detox?  Is my body not ready for this drastic a step?  Or am I simply detoxing, growing, and evolving?  Are my sever cravings due to missing nutrients or an old addiction or an deeply ingrained habit?

In this case, I don’t know for sure (suggestions are welcome) but it would be stupid for me to just ignore what I am experiencing.

So, I did some reading online about detoxing and foods, looked up withdraw symptoms, craving lists, bought new uncookbooks for variety, asked a lot of questions, and tried a lot of variations.

Maybe did no go slow enough?  I should allow cooked veggie soup?  Maybe I need B12?

I went 45 plus days originally and did not have this issue, what is different? Am I actually stressing my body instead of helping myself?

So, what is the answer?  Experiment, Live.

Don’t give up.

Change your tactics, change your route, do some research, talk to people who have done what you want to do, don’t assume is wont happen because it has not happened yet.

In this case, I allowed myself some cooked veggies.  I ate 2 pounds of cooked spinach in a day and a couple pounds of steamed carrots.  I found my calorie intake is too low, and I barely eat any veggies.  So now, I am doing another 100 days with different parameters (100 days raw with juicing so I actually eat some veggies).

In my quest for better health, fitness, and well being, I have tried all sorts of things from exercise classes, weights, food choices, vegetarianism, veganism, raw food vegan, sports, meditation, etc, but I never give up or say “I am fit enough”

Be creative, give your body and your life time to adapt.  Recess often.  Use your self-discipline to stay true to yourself in the long term.

Life is a long-term game – not the short sighted quick happy feeling.

Adrienne :)

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2 Responses to “Don’t let Self Discipline turn you into an Idiot”

  1. Darby O'Connor says:

    There is a fine line between stupidity and perserverance. Unfortunately I won’t know that I crossed it and until I look back ;)

  2. Adrienne says:

    I know what you mean Darby. Hindsight sure helps. :) Thanks for reading.

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