Monday, 14 May 2018

Why is it so hard to make 'good' choices?

I like to think that I'm a reasonably intelligent woman. I manage to stumble through life without too much trouble most days and I have mastered being a civilised being in an increasingly complex world. So you'd think that making choices about my life would be a doddle, wouldn't you?

Well it's not as easy as that in Johanne's World.

I have a great gift for self sabotage. Wherever there are choices to be made I will veer towards the 'bad' choice like I'm magnetically drawn to it and have left my free will in dry dock. It doesn't even matter what I'm making a choice about, it can be anything and I am perfectly capable of making a 'bad' choice.

I know that giving subjective values like 'good' or 'bad' to choices is a bit silly but it helps to focus my mind on what I mean. A choice is neither 'good' or 'bad' in reality, it is just a choice but in certain circumstances I need to assign such values to my choices to differentiate between them.

Take food for example. I am old enough (God, am I old enough!) to know which foods are 'good', nutritious and have health and well being benefits for me. I know that I have a weakness for certain foods and do not exercise any form of control when eating them - I'm looking at you pasta, white bread and crisps! For me these are 'bad' foods and choosing to eat them is 'bad' for me, makes me feel sluggish and piles weight on or stops me losing weight. So you'd think it would be easy to choose the 'good' foods and to shun the 'bad' foods, wouldn't you? Wrong! I keep choosing the 'bad' foods, over and over again, for years and years and years. I sabotage efforts to make healthy choices, 'good' choices and I reel from one shameful episode of crisp scoffing to another toast binge.

So why do I sabotage myself like this? I wish I knew. I'm fed up of trying to sort out my diet, trying to improve my fitness, address my health concerns only to sabotage my own efforts. It's getting to the point where I don't want to start again and am on the verge of accepting that I will never make things any better. And that's a depressing thought.

I guess what I'm saying is that my ability to make 'bad' choices is stronger than my desire to improve my health. I feel really sad typing that as it sounds as if I have no control over my own life and lifestyle choices.

It's not only with food that I manage to make 'bad' choices either. Every day I wake up full of good intentions for writing. I fully intend to turn the TV off and the laptop on, to be productive and creative. And most days I leave the TV on and waste hours watching junk daytime TV, the laptop left cold in its case and my stories remain unwritten and untold. Again, I sabotage my efforts by making a 'bad' choice.

So what should I do? How do I break this cycle? I'm not sure, I really don't know if I can. Perhaps it's just part of my DNA or personality and I have to accept that. Maybe there is a way out, I'm not sure. I know that I can't keep sabotaging my efforts and feel good about it. I need to find a way that works for me, a way to make the 'right' choices, the 'good' choice for me.

And that's what I have to do now, to start making 'good' choices. I'm not sure how I'll do it, after all I have many years of self sabotage experience behind me and it won't be easy changing the habits of an adult lifetime. But I want to do it and that's got to be positive, hasn't it? Wish me luck ...

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