Wanting the Want to Go Away

…Emotional Maturity and Baking for Others

After falling off a cliff in into a binge on leftover cookies she’d agreed to bake for a church function, a lowcarber lamented, “How do you stop the arguments in your head?”

You don’t. You just stop listening to them, you stop “obeying” them.

Have you ever seen cash laying out somewhere that wasn’t yours? Haven’t you momentarily thought “I could steal that cash and no one would ever know”? Did you take the cash? I’m guessing no. You didn’t listen to the argument. You made a decision, probably a long time ago, that stealing money that isn’t yours is wrong and you just don’t do that.  Case closed.

Honest to gosh it’s the same thing with food, once you decide it. It’s just that, sure, stealing money is a more morally/legally fettered issue. And of course we are not often asked to endure daily social gatherings where other people are gathered together, stealing money while we’re trying not to.

This is mostly about growing up and making the right decisions, it’s about emotional maturity.

“Maturity is the ability control impulses, think beyond the moment and consider how our words and actions will affect ourselves and others.” (Dear Abby, June 2005, that’s the most succinct definition I’ve ever seen of maturity.)

You may or may not live with other junk-eating people, perhaps it’s impossible for you to keep tempting foods out of your home. But part of the development of my own maturity and strength with this journey has been setting firm boundaries on what I will and will not do with/around my own personal drugs-of-choice, whether they’re sitting in front of me or not.

I don’t bake anything for anybody. Period. Not even church. If I were somehow required to provide something like that, right before the event, I would go to a bakery, buy exactly what is required, have it wrapped/sealed and take it to the event. (Yes, even if it costs more, because setting myself up for the possibility of eating cookies “costs” plenty too.)  And I would leave any leftovers at the event for someone else to deal with, or “euthanize” them by throwing them away before bringing them into my home.

However, as the years have gone by, I have found that I rarely get myself into that predicament. I simply say with a chuckle, “Well I don’t bake, so that won’t work for me. What else could I do?” I’ve been on clean-up committees, I’ve typed, printed, stuffed envelopes, kept track of RSVP lists, I’ve called people, picked up and transported shut-ins, I’ll help with anything else that needs doing. But one firm line in the sand for me is that I Don’t Bake. No way I’m having that smell swirling around me in my own house. And nobody has fallen down and died when I’ve declined, they don’t even ask why. Nobody shuns me. In fact, it seems that my other better skills/help are more welcome than providing a batch of crap for people to eat.

DECIDE: You make the decision. Once. Period.

PROVIDE: Then you find various and NEW ways (some big, some little) to make that one decision stick (advance plans and refusal to do things that re-ignite the pattern, like BAKING).

Then you simply ABIDE all the inner arguments.

It’s simple, not easy.