View Full Version : Self-denial

2010-02-10, 10:55 AM
So, I've got a little plea for advice: how do you manage the self-denial part of your self-control? What mental tricks do you use, good habits do you maintain etc., to ensure you don't pig out/veg out/procrastinate/whatever? I'm thinking this is something I need to work on, you see...

Totally Guy
2010-02-10, 11:10 AM
I've stopped myself from pigging out by having more food in my cupboards.

It used to be that I'd go shopping and have an "age of plenty" until I ran out and and I'd have an "age of famine" and need to go shopping again.

But over the last couple of years I've been buying enough to fill up my cupboards and restocking generally as I run out of specific things.

For me I used to eat a lot to because I knew there there would be a period where there would be next to nothing available. It was contradictory, sure, but I think that's the nature of the flaw.

Now I'm certain and secure in myself enough to know that I'll never face an "age of famine" again so there's no pressure to eat it all.

Also I used to compete with my younger brothers for the best food in the house. Since I moved out that's no longer there but I think that's what started me off on bad eating habits.

Someone else can do procrastination as I've got no idea how to fight that one.

2010-02-10, 11:21 AM
I don't know exactly how helpful this will be for you, but here goes. I don't worry about self-control. My self-control would be considered horrible, or at the very least, minimal.

I am, however, very self-directed. I do what I want to do. I also do what I have to do, like going to a crappy, low-paying job or working on a frustrating school assignment, because I can't afford not to. There's no mental trick to it, it is largely a matter of balancing your obligations/commitments/responsibilities to the social world we live in and the obligations/commitments/responsibilities to your Self as a living being.

Sometimes you just have to say 'screw this. I have to do this/ have to not do this to ensure my own well-being'. You have the freedom to do that. You also have the responsibility to own the consequences, whatever they may be.

2010-02-10, 11:29 AM
Personally... I use the weather. Seriously. There are things we have control over... and things we don't. I may have desperately needed to clean the outer-side of the windows at my house, but this incoming snow storm has nixed that... again. :smallsigh:

Is there anything I can do about it? Nope. It will simply have to wait. I don't have the time or capacity to worry about things that are out of my control, so I can dedicate more focus to the things that are within my control.

Does this help with the self-denial? Maybe and maybe not... but it at least would help eliminate the extraneous things that always find a habit of getting in the way of other things you can/should be concerned with.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2010-02-10, 12:15 PM
To me, the best way to make sure you don't eat a whole lot in one sitting is to eat less food, but eat more frequently. Make your three normal meals a little smaller than you normally would and eat several snacks inbetween. For the other things you mentioned, try and put a weekly schedule together. Schedule some free time for sure, but also set aside time to walk/run, work/school, whatever. You may not always meet that schedule, but if you don't one day, then forget about it, and just try the next. I don't think the issue is self denial, as much as it is will power, and trying to be disciplined in what you do.

2010-02-10, 01:57 PM
I've always found self-denial easier than motivation. That being said, for food particularly, the only thing that has worked well for me is tracking it. I write down everything I eat and how many calories (best estimate, at least).

Vegging out and procrastinating are different, because then it's not so much that you don't want to veg out, but rather that there are things you specifically want to get done and you're not sufficiently motivated to do them. I've never found a particularly effective way around that (aside from good old fashioned fear). You just have to decide what's more important to you... And remember that putting things off IS making that decision.