Why rules are better than guidelines
I have said this before but it is important enough to say again. I create food rules for a reason. I don’t like rules in general but targeted rules to help me master myself are good rules. Guidelines are not so good.
If you remember, earlier in this course I spoke about why guidelines are nowhere near as powerful as rules for changing habits or mastering cravings.
A guideline is something like ‘I will do my best to not buy any candy when I stop for gas’. It’s dicey and gives you leeway to break it. A rule is more definite. ‘I will only buy gas when I stop’.
The problem with the guideline is the ‘I will do my best’ part. It gives you wiggle room to fail. This battle we are fighting against food cravings is tough enough without giving our inner voice an excuse for momentary weakness.
‘Well I did my best’ still satisfied the guidelines even if you were ultimately unsuccessful. This is an excuse for failure. It is much harder to find a way around ‘I will only buy gas when I stop’. And that’s the whole point.
Different people call them different things but those voices in your head don’t always have your best interests at heart. Some voices do and those are the ones that brought you here in the first place. Other voices have other plans and want you to give in and binge eat. I call my inner voice “The Pig”.
Nobody knows why these voices are so self-destructive. We know their origins are rooted deep within our psychology but we still don’t know why the voice is so intent on damaging the organism it depends on to survive. It makes no sense. But it is what it is.
So when making your meal plans or setting your goals, rules win out every time.
- ‘I will not eat chocolate cake again.’
- ‘I will not eat more than my three healthy meals in a day.’
- ‘I will not drink alcohol until I am at my ideal weight of…’
Rules. We may not like them but they are there to help us!
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Alan Steiner DMD