Friday, May 13, 2016

External control vs. Internal control

Based on the quote from my last post, I am thinking about what it means to me.  I think that I am on the right track.  Extreme dieting is not my thing.  Sometimes, I eat things that I would never have considered eating in the past while dieting.  Things like chocolate and ice cream.  Not a lot, just a bit.   I'm happy.  I can keep this up.

I have been mulling over dieting, dieting programs, fat farms, the Biggest Loser, and diet food.  All these things represent external control.  For example, if I had the money, I would have joined a program like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig.  I would have paid, and they would have delivered the food to me.  I would just have to follow the system, and submitted to its control.  I probably would never have joined the Biggest Loser, but it would have been nice to go someplace where everything is controlled and portioned.  Someone to tell me where to go and what to do.  If I followed a diet, like I did as a teenager, I would have a list of things I could and couldn't eat.  I would submit to the portion control of the diet.  I would measure and weigh my food.  I would eat what they say when they say.

I would do that for a while.  I would lose weight. I would be miserable.  Eventually though, I would want to break free of the rules and portions and nasty diet food.  I would want to be able to go anywhere and eat.  Because I would be hungry, I would go overboard and then give up.  Fail. Again. Gain the weight back.

Internal control is quite the opposite.  I learn to control myself.  What a concept!  The Bible calls it temperance, which means "self-control"  I learn to eat what I need, when I need it, and base my portions on need rather than desire.  And because I am in control, I won't rebel.  I won't need to.

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