I hate being told what to do. Hate it.
Growing up, my parents rarely made demands- they expected me to respect their authority and in return respected my right to question. On the rare occasion that Mom or Dad said “Do this now!” it was clear that it must be too important at the time to question. As I was a generally good kid, this system worked well for us and kept us away from any major blow-up fights.
But an unintended side effect of this is that I absolutely cannot tolerate demands. This is quite selective- I’m more than happy to receive assignments at work or be told what repairs my car needs or that the course I’m riding goes like this not like that. Pretty much anything else? Nope. Will not respond. Even if I was about to do what you just told me to do, I will now do the opposite.
Admittedly this is childish. There is no harm in doing what I was going to do anyways just because someone told me I need to do that. It’s just this knee-jerk reaction to the assumption of authority that rankles. Even my own parents- the ultimate authority to a child- didn’t assume total supremacy, so why on earth should some other person order me around? Manfriend learned this very quickly and (bless him) never tries to boss me. He knows it simply wouldn’t work. Suggestions, advice, anecdotes are all welcomed but I tune out as soon as it crosses the line into demand territory.
Just wait, it gets worse.
I can’t even tell myself what to do. As soon as I say “I NEED to get this done right now,” I head off on a tangent. Or I get paralyzed and don’t do anything at all. Or I come up with a thousand reasons I don’t actually need to get it done. Demands are unacceptable from any quarter, even my own brain.
This especially carries over into my food habits. The very instant that I swear off junk food is the very instant I get in the car to grab a dozen doughnuts. As soon as I forbid candy, I load up on Reese’s and start stuffing my face. Even when I was using a calorie tracker, I got rebellious and started eating more just so I could punch stuff into the app. You don’t have to tell me how insane this is- trust me, I know.
The only way I can keep myself from eating junk food is by letting myself eat junk food.
Despite how nonsensical that sounds, it’s how I work. Defiantly cutting out all junk just makes me focus on and crave it more, so I have to give myself a free pass at all times to eat whatever I want. When I’m not thinking about it, I eat the way I’ve always eaten: pretty lean with the occasional splurge. Isn’t that a “healthy” diet? I tend to stick with foods that make me feel good physically; I know that too many carbs makes me feel sluggish, and I really like chicken and veggies. Sharing meals with health-conscious manfriend helps too- he’s an exponentially better cook than I am so he keeps us healthy and full. Then when I get the 4,000 calorie cheeseburger from Cheeburger Cheeburger one day during lunch, I don’t feel bad. When I say “it’s just one day, it won’t ruin me,” I can actually mean it because I know the next day I’ll be having my usual lean burrito and yogurt for lunch.
Overall I eat pretty well- low in carbs, high in veggies and protein, not too much salt or sugar. But I have a desk drawer of Hershey’s Kisses at work and never miss an opportunity for doughnuts. Manfriend and I are ignoring Valentine’s Day, but you can bet I’m taking this as a perfect excuse for a salty, sugary, bacon-y brunch of epic proportions. After all, I told myself I couldn’t.
How do you try and eat healthy? Anyone else stupidly stubborn like this? (It can’t be just me)